Sunday, 10 July 2011

Flower dress stage 5: The completed dress

So, here I am wearing the completed dress – the difference a belt makes!
(You will notice some wounds, nose and right little finger – both longer stories!)

Why I love this dress:
I enjoyed making it
I know I will not meet anyone else wearing this dress
The construction is the best I could achieve – and I am a bit of a perfectionist!
It fits ME
The pattern design is placed where I wanted it, as I took considerable effort to plan this
The pattern design allowed for the top to be cut on the cross to works cut on the cross – even though the pattern is predominately ‘vertical’
The material ( silk jersey) does not crease – so great for sitting down in and packing
It is very versatile and I can wear red, green or black belts to give quite different looks.
The style (& colour) is good for me (I feel taller wearing it! )
I have had LOADS of great comments about it (which is always encouraging!)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Flower dress stage 4 ; the construction

The stitching of the dress went to plan; the hem was a challenge, to make it not too stretchy or too tight. In the end I decided on hand stitching.

Particular things that were helpful:
My amazing body duplicate model that makes fitting a dress a dream, I wouldn’t be without it. Every time I see a manikin for sale I want to go and put a little not on it and say don’t buy one – unless you are that identical shape- and who is? I have not yet met anyone….

Putting in a sleeve head, this makes such a difference to the hang of any sleeve. The ones in this dress I made from a thin piece of padding that I teased out to what I judged to be the right thickness.I then covered each with dress material (the cream background) allowing this to hang over the filling.
Inside the sleeve head

I then hand stitched these in.

This is the finished dress, but it is missing something!

The next and last posting about this will be a photo of me in the dress and why I love it so…

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Flower Dress Stage 3 : Planning the Construction

I have found that time spent planning before jumping in to get stitching always pays dividends. These are particular techniques I employed in stitching this pattern and this fabric, perhaps they will help you work with a similar style and fabric.
I have altered the pattern (see previous) for fewer seams and cut each pattern piece so it can be placed on the pattern – by this I mean I have opened up the front and made a whole front rather than putting it to the fold. I use Fabribaste for this and hand stitch it to the original pattern piece.

I use fine thread in both the sewing machine and overlocker – industrial rather than commercial as I find the commercial yarn does not allow such a good seam, it increases the tendency to pucker! I also use a super stretch needle in the sewing machine.
Seams – use the Elna Overlocker set for stretch knit stitch ( a safety 4 thread making use of the differential feed and stitch length settings)
Darts , waist seam etc stitch – stitch with my Janome sewing machine- stitch 5 (zigzag) with 0.5 width & 2.2 length
When stitching use Fabribaste at the start & end of seam. I stitch this on by hand securely before I start to stitch on the machine so I can pull and get straight seams
Skim the outer edge of the front & back neck facings – to prevent laddering. I use the overlocker for this.
I will use one of my own finger pincushions – which will go on any finger or thumb – so versatile!

Make a mental note to press for as long as I stitch!
Now I am ready to start!
(My Elna Overlocker is a much loved machine – Model 945 Computer – which gives me automatic settings for loads of stitches, the sewing machine is also much loved – a Janome Memory Craft 4800)