Sunday, 19 July 2015

Another Gabby...

Behold! I've made ANOTHER knit Gabby Dress. I made this Gabby after my first two attempts to make a dress for the upcoming Frocktails party in Melbourne failed miserably due to many many many struggles with my overlocker (turns out the needles needed to be change - if only I knew that $80 of fabric ago). Whilst I think this dress is...."okay", there's just something about it I don't love enough to be able to wear it to a special night like Frocktails.

This time I around I bit the bullet and cut my Gabby Dress pattern to a size smaller, so this dress is pretty much a size M all over, rather than the L I usually make and take in about 100 times until it fits. I could probably make a size S, but let's not go too crazy. I left the shoulders at a size L as I didn't want the arm holes to be too small. Wise move.

The fabric I used is from Tessuti (bought on sale at for 30% off). I do like this fabric (it's very cozy to wear), but am also wondering if it looks a bit like the bed quilt fabric from the 80s...or maybe brocade curtains?

I often find the short sleeves on this dress (or any dress) quite difficult to finish as I have to maneuver the sleeves through my overlocker and sewing machine. This time I overlocked the raw sleeve edge and sewed the sleeve hem before I sewed up the side seam. I'm sure this is cheating, but it was a stress-less way for me to finish my sleeves so I'm happy with it.

I'm really cross at myself for not adding a neckband to this dress as the neck has stretched out which is the primary reason I'm not loving the dress. It feels...homemade, in a bad way.  When I noticed the neck had stretched I did steam it vigorously with the iron, and give it a wash in the machine and a turn in the dryer and it has shrunk a bit, but it's still wonky. I wonder if I could add a neckband retrospectively...or if I should make this dress into something else (not sure what yet).

In other exciting sewing news I visited Tessuti today and am finally the proud owner of a Tailor's Ham! Curved seams are totally going to be my bitch now *insert evil laugh*!

Pattern: "Gabby Dress" by Tessuti
Size: M, sewn with 3/8" seam allowance and left at a size L at the shoulders. The hem is 1"(behold my knees people)!
Modifications: none
Fabric: Cotton/Poly/Elastaine from Tessuti
Changes for next time: ADD A NECKBAND YOU WALLY!

Geometric Ponti Gabby Dress

Hands up if you recognize this fabric! Yep, it's the very same as my recently completed Mabel Skirt. I originally bought this Tessuti ponti for this Gabby Dress, but didn't have enough to cut both front and back on the fold as the fabric was narrower than I thought it was. D'oh! I tried to make the back panel with a seam down by the back but it looked terrible. Sooooo, I bought a remnant online which was going to fix my fabric problem BUT it was too short for the back dress piece...hence my new Mabel skirt.  After all of that I finally  bit the bullet and went and bought MORE fabric...enough to cut the piece I needed on the fold.

Blah blah blah...after weeks and weeks and lots of dollars I finally have my Ponti Gabby Dress. And here she is...

I really like the way this dress looks BUT the fabric is SO heavy and stiff (something you don't notice when it's just a little skirt) that it's a bit of a weight-lifting mission to wear it.  I probably also need to figure out the proper size to cut for this dress as I cut the L, sew it on my overlocker with a seam allowance of 1.5"...and it's always too big. So then I go and shave off the width of the overlocking...still too I do the same thing again, which has resulted in a good body fit, but I do wish sleeves (or perhaps across the top of the back) had a bit more room.

I also have to admit that I totally cheated when I came to finishing this dress. I wanted a nice "professional" finish on the sleeves and hem but I wasn't confident that I could achieve it so I took the dress up to the local alterations place (ie "The Rip Off Shop") and got them to finsih it. $35 later (plus however much I spent on the fabric - I've totally lost track) we have a beautifully finished dress.

So whilst I love the way this dress looks it's not all that comfortable and I won't be wearing it for a day sitting around in the office. That said I think it's perfectly fine as a going out dress and I actually wore it to dinner last weekend at one of Sydney's most fancy restaurants, Rockpool Bar and Grill. I thought I might be little "too casual" but compared to what some people were wearing I was pretty dolled up. I felt good - stylish and modern and the dress felt quite OK to wear.  I think it might also become a Frocktails dress - I like that if I get hot I have short sleeves which makes all the difference in a hot room.

Pattern: "Gabby Dress" by Tessuti
Size: L, sewn with 1.5" seam allowance and then shaved off the overlocker seam (so maybe 1/2"); and same again from the bust down.
Modifications: Added a neckband.
Fabric: Ponti from Tessuti
Changes for next time:would like to make a longer sleeve version for winter.