About a year and a half ago I started making this dress. My mum had given me a free pattern from Prima and I had some pretty fabric lying around so I thought I’d give it a go.
I started off quite enthusiastically but before I could even cut out the pattern pieces I noticed a problem. The full pattern wasn’t included and the body of the dress needed additional length. After quite a bit of faffing around trying to get the line right I gave in and called in the help of a more experienced sewer who showed me how to use newspaper to complete the pattern. I cut out the pattern pieces and did the tucks quite quickly but then I came to the darts….for some reason I was really scared of darts and despite getting instructions and reassurance from various people I just couldn’t bring myself to get started. I should point out that at this point my sewing machine hadn’t been fixed and was temperamental to say the least. It took forever to get the tension right and even then it was pretty hit and miss with actually working. The bobbin winder also wasn’t very happy….. To get the sewing machine to actually stitch was such a pain in the arse that I had to really really want to sew other wise it just wasn’t worth the hassle!
The dress sat about in my sewing box for months and months. Occasionally I’d spot it and feel a bit guilty about not doing anything about it but then I hid it under some clutter and forget about it again. Finally, when I had my sewing machine fixed and got my sewing mojo back, I got around to digging out the pieces, giving them a good iron, and getting started again.
Embarrassingly, after all the fuss I made the darts, they were really simple and only took me one try! I did have to consult my massive 70s sewing book but it was all pretty self explanatory. After I’d got those sorted out the rest of the dress came together quickly. It was just like making a very long top.
Now that I’ve finished the dress I’m really not sure about it. I like the pattern of the fabric and the colour but there’s something about the fit and the way it hangs that I’m not quite sure about. I’m not sure that cotton was the best fabric to use. I think it would have been better in something with more movement. When you wear it without a belt it looks a little bit sack like. However when you put a belt with it the cotton drapes in a weird way and looks a bit unflattering.
The other thing I’m not sure about are the sleeves. These were my first effort at gathering a sleeve and I don’t think I’ve gathered them quite enough. They are still a bit big and make me think of kimonos. On the plus side they are both the same size which is what most worried me when I was making them.
I’m not quite ready to wear this out in public yet so it’s going to go into the wardrobe and hopefully in a few weeks time I’ll be a bit more keen on it.