During the class at Bobbin + Ink we were making (or tying to make) the ever-popular Laurel dress by Collette Patterns. I'd been eyeing of this pattern for a while and I liked what Collette had to offer in terms of patterns to fit me. This class was just the motivation I needed to get going with my first non-stretch dress project.
And the result? I have a finished dress - hooray! I made this up in a size 18 and was SO worried that it was going to be too small. Ironically it's actually too big, quite a bit too big actually. When I went back to the pattern packet and read the "finished measurements" I see now that this dress has quite a lot of "ease" in it so I could have made a smaller size...but I guess in the back of my mind I'm scared not to make the biggest option available in case it's too small.
There's a few things wrong with this dress in terms of fit and fitting in with my own personal style.
- the dress is too big. I'm not too sad about this as it means that Collette Patterns will fit me. Yay!
- I'm finding the fabric (from Lincraft) to be kinda hot and heavy, not cooling at all like a cotton should be.
- The fabric is also quite "stiff". I feel like I'm wearing cardboard...a cardboard sack. I'm thinking perhaps that my issues with the fabric are exacerbated by the fact that the dress is too big.
- Although it doesn't look it, the neckline feels too high for me...I feel a bit like I'm being strangled.
- I also have issues with "high necks" as they are not flattering on bustier people, like moi.
- The sleeves, for me, are an awkward length and quite restrictive. If I made this dress again I'd shorten them to above the elbow.
It's not all doom and gloom though. Although the dress is too big I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I learnt A LOT in this class and I'm chuffed to have finished an entire garment ON MY OWN!
This class has taught me:
- How to transfer dart markings from a pattern to the fabric (I had NO idea how to do this and it was a major roadblock to me starting to sew on my own).
- How to sew darts (they always seemed so scary to me).
- How to make a little pocket and reinforce the sides to make it stronger.
- How to insert an invisible zipper (I found this HARD, so hopefully I won't struggle with it too much in the future).
- How to finish neck/armholes with bias binding.
- How to (badly) hem a dress - I found this REALLY hard and couldn't get the hem an even width the whole way around. How do people do this?
- When you start stabbing yourself with a pin whilst sewing take your foot OFF the foot peddle thingy, otherwise blood.