Added Jan 13, 2013
Cardiff, United ...
So – I had lots of new sewing books for Christmas and one of them was Burdastyle’s Sewing Vintage Modern. How convenient then that there’s a competition to make a dress from the book using or adapting the patterns given. I’ve never entered a sewing competition before and don’t for a second expect to win, but as I’d already designed lots of outfits from the book and even matched my designs to fabric I already had, I knew there was nothing to hold me back and this weekend I went full steam ahead with the Elizabeth gathered dress! The title stems from the fact that I’m SURE I will be making this dress again, so this is the first of many.
I altered the pattern quite a lot from the original version in the book;
1. I did a full bodice lining rather than the facings the pattern called for – I always find facings a bit messy, plus now you can’t see any stitching on the bodice part of the invisible zip – yay :-) – to make it even neater on the inside I also covered the end of the zip. I attached the bodice front to the back by turning the front the right way round (i.e. wrong side of lining and fabric facing each other) and then slipping the bodice back over it so that the right sides of the outer fabric were touching and the right sides of the lining too. Then I stitched along the shoulder seam, trimmed seams and clipped curves and turned it back around. I hope that makes sense. It’s one of my favourite sewing tips I’ve ever learned – such neat shoulder seams now!
2. I lowered the neckline – a lot! I don’t tend to make muslins, I make the lining first, alter that before cutting the outer fabric and then put it all together. Every time I tried on the lining I wanted it slightly lower so I just kept using my french curve to lower the neckline. I also pivoted the center front in 1cm, grading it down from the top to the bottom of the CF line. If I hadn’t done this, I have no doubt it would have gaped and I have enough on show already to know that gaping is not the way forward!
3. The original dress pattern is nice and simple so I pleated the back before cutting and sewing the bodice. I like the very subtle way it breaks up the Ikat print a bit and depending on the lighting it adds some nice texture to what would other wise be a flat expanse of fabric!
4. Instead of a gathered rectangle for the skirt I gathered a half circle skirt and then made about 100m of black bias binding – at least that’s what it felt like – to go around the hem. I used a tutorial from Colette Patterns to make the binding. http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/continuous-bias-tape-tutorial I ran out of fabric for some of the skirt so I tried to match up the print and add an extending section – you can kind of see it at the hem of the front skirt piece (it’s only about an inch deep).
So that’s it really – a very simple pattern, which was perfect for adapting to my own style. I recommend the book, it has some lovely variations to suit all styles. I’d say the original is perfect for a beginner and I guess I made it intermediate with my adaptations.
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