I have finally finished making my new blue dress. I say finally as it has been a long process of alterations as I went along. Dressmaking means you can get the right FIT for YOU.
It was only that I so loved both the feel and the look of the linen and wool blend fabric that kept me going dressmaking at times. Perseverance means I now have a classic, easy to wear dress, which will take me through the changing seasons.
The Dressmaking Pattern
The pattern I used was the Simple Sew Skater Dress. Contact me if you would like this pattern for your dressmaking.
I do agree with Simple Sew pattern advice to launder fabric before you begin. If your fabric is going to shrink, you want it to do so before you make it into your new dress!
What I didn’t do though, was make a toile, which is also a good idea. What I did do was use the pattern according to my bust measurement. I am still getting used to one effect of the peri-menopause – an increase in bust size!
What needed altering? Quite a lot!
I do just need to mention that the pattern instructions do not mention:
- creating a hem on the sleeves
- sewing a sleeve or side seemThese are necessary to make a dress! otherwise the dressmaking instructions seem clear to follow.
Neck Line Alterations
The neckline gaped so I inserted darts into the neckline (and also the neck facing) to correct this. This did alter the shape of the neckline but gave a much better fit.
To get the neckline to lie flat:
- I clipped the curves on the neck and neck facing seam
- Top stitching using a twin needle
I used this for the hems too and it gave a firm finish
I also increased the lower front bodice darts for a better fit.
The bodice also needed some adjustments at the back as it didn’t fit too well at first.
The right back sleeve seam was baggy – maybe I am rather lopsided, but that is one of the joys of making your own clothes, you can make them fit YOU!
Here is the back bodice before alteration:
You can see that the left bodice back slopes down differently to the right side. So I unpicked the top-stitching and the facing at the left back. I then made a paper template of the right side and then used this to re cut both the back bodice and the facing.
The facing was then reattached and the top-stitching completed.
I think these pictures shows the improved fit:
They also show I need to get my hair straighteners out!
Dressmaking Finishing Extra
My final addition was straps with press studs to hold my bra straps and the fairly narrow shoulder together. This took a few minutes but will increase my comfort and confidence in wear.
There are lots of advantages of dressmaking
If you would like to increase your joy of stitching, I have a new workshop programme, including a weekend dressmaking course.
I usually put workshops on my FaceBook page events
Please contact me if you would like to join me.
I would love to hear about your dressmaking issues, please leave a comment.