This isn’t a ‘oh look at the lovely hack I did to make a different garment’ post. This is a ‘look at the hack job I did, that through magic and luck is actually wearable’.
I downloaded Love Sewing Magazine’s Brunch in Paris Dress it has a cowl neckline that I liked. I planned to make a top out of it. I eliminated the skirt, added some length and removed the darts on the front but kept the top two on the back. I didn’t need this top to be very fitted and it meant that I didn’t need a zip closure. I picked out some lovely poly fabric that has a lovely drape to it and feels very soft. This isn’t really a review of the pattern as I didn’t really follow it, but what I did follow is good and I believe that the pattern is well drafted. I would recommend it.
Bias cut fabrics are something that I have worked with before but I really want to improve on this. The front is cut on the bias and the back isn’t. I followed the instructions about not cutting the bias on the fold, but I didn’t draft a facing. I don’t like facings and decided to use a bias facing instead, in hindsight I should have followed this instruction.
So, I began, I cut out, sewed the darts sewed the side seams and pressed then I tried it on, just look!
Clearly I didn’t add enough length! It was still long enough to wear tucked into a high-waisted skirt so I decided to power through and finish off the project, and planned to had a slip/lining thing later. I thought about it further and realised that the distance between the two pieces would just look odd, so I decided to make the first part into a very short lining, more of a long facing really.
I added length to the pieces (too much, next time it’ll be Goldilocks worthy!) and sewed it up as before. Despite a couple of mistakes like sewing the french seams on the outside I finally attached the two pieces at the neckline. This part made me so proud: they matched up perfectly. I had made no mistakes with the bias cut fabric! This means I can cross off bias cut fabrics from my list, as now I’m confident if I’m careful enough I can use them! Achievement unlocked!
I finished the armhole with bias binding as a facing. I could have used the ‘lining’ as an all in one facing, but for some reason doing that confuses me. Last time I attempted it I ended up in knots. I’d never finished an armhole like this before but I’d no issues.
A problem I had was that I didn’t account for my hips in the drafting so the fabric gathers at the back. A reoccurring issue I have is the armhole being to tight. Is this a sign of a needing a FBA? I didn’t do one and the dress doesn’t strain across the chest but it does pinch slightly at the arms. Does anyone know the reason for this? Luckily when I wore the top it was comfortable so this wasn’t an issue, but I’d like to correct it for the future.
I hemmed the bottom by hand. This might be really obvious to some but to me it was revolutionary. When pinning fabric to be hemmed I pin it to my ironing board cover then pressed it, this makes it really easy to manipulate. I apologise if that’s painfully clear, but it made my life so much easier!
Someday I’ll write a post that won’t have ‘disaster’ as a tag, but until then I’ll continue to churn out less than perfect projects that I like and enjoy wearing. I loved this fabric which is why I powered through despite the difficulties, and I’m glad I did, not just for the final project for what I learned. I actually learned so much that I’ll put it in list format!
- Follow instructions and draft facings for cowl necks
- When cutting on the bias don’t do it on the fold.
- When adding length add enough (!) and make it slightly wider at the bottom for hips
- I can use bias cut fabrics I just need to be careful
- My walking foot is my savior
- When I find cheap and pretty polyester that feels nice I MUST buy all of it!
So while disaster is still a tag, ‘failure’ is not!