Somehow during a massive Google-searching-session I stumbled across the pattern for The Casual Lady Dress. I am a "casual lady" am I not (though I am a lady on a full-time basis, I'm just casual about it...you know)? And I love me a shift dress. The hunt for a new pattern is (temporarily) over!
The pattern is fairly simple to put together. It's just a front and + back pattern piece, plus a front + back neck facing. Simples. I did my usual trick of just making the largest size available and it fit...yay!
The pattern calls for a medium weight knit so I decided to hack into this fabric that I bought from...Tessuti! This is actually the very first piece of fabric that I EVER bought, which is kinda weird as it's a pretty slinky knit so not exactly beginner material. I obviously had delusions of sewing grandeur when I first started sewing. This fabric is also quite sheer and I always questioned what I would make with it...so I'm kinda OK with cutting into it for a practice dress (until I fluffed up the dress that is and now I have a WORLD of regret)! Also, what IS the print on this pattern? The more I look at it the more it looks like weird, giant sperm. My husband thinks it looks like some sort of curled up dragon. Hmmm...
Like I said the dress is VERY simple to sew, but I COULD not turn the "arm hems" under as instructed without the "arm hem" (is there a proper term for "arm hem") being all bubbly and wonky. Does anybody even know what I'm talking about when I say "arm hem"?
I thought I'd use my rolled hem foot to create a lazy, but easy finish but it was just too loose and messy. And then in the middle of the night I woke up and thought I could use fold-over elastic to finish the arms nice and neatly. It worked SO well however my sleeves were uneven due to the fabric shifting during cutting. Because I cannot leave well enough alone I kept trying to even up the armholes and I now I have a a dress that I can BARELY fit my arms in to. Stoopid stoopid Melanie.
I loved the use of the facings to finish the neckline, but I wonder why the facing stops half way down the armholes and doesn't continue down to the bottom of the arm hole? I'm wondering if I would've had more success turning the "arm hems" under if the facing ran the whole length of the arm? Should I extend the facings people, or get rid of them altogether and use fold over elastic on the neckline too?
So here is my giant sperm dress with the two tight arm holes - ta da!
The dress fits REALLY well (apart from the arm holes that are cutting off the circulation to my upper limbs). I will definitely be making it again and I think I will use the fold-over elastic technique to finish the arms.
Is it lazy that I'm always looking for the easiest way to get the neatest finish? What's the most questionable print on a fabric you've ever bought?