Thursday, February 20, 2014

February garment completed in super quick time and entered into PR's LWD competition

I’ve completed my February garment in good time!  I’ve entered it into Pattern Review’s Little White Dress competition and reviewed the dress on PR here:
In the competition I had to post a photo of an unadorned dress and photos of it accessorised for day and for night (below).  My husband entered into the spirit of the occasion and kindly took the photographs.


As posted in my monthly plans, I sewed version B of McCall's 6028 (centre panel contrasting)  but without the additional colour, in order to fit in with the LWD competition rules. My fabric was ivory, rather heavy in weight and quite heavily textured, with a lot of polyester (probably) and a touch of stretch. Both sides of the fabric were acceptable as the ‘right’ side and the members of my sewing group were split 50 – 50 as to which I should use. The fabric was lovely to sew with as layers stayed together but on the downside, due to its thickness and stiffness, darts did not crease well and pressing results were poor. I had originally planned to sew the same dress as I had done for my daughter (V8766 also entered into PR’s LWD competition) and started the fitting process with a muslin but when I came to sew the bodice, I didn’t like the appearance of the darts and so changed to this pattern.
M6028 is a Palmer/Pletsch fitting pattern from their classic range, also called ‘The Perfect Sheath’. They advise sizing by high bust measurement. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the 14 so sewed the 16 which I thought would be fine as I was nearly the 16 and have a large frame. P/P give pretty good instructions to lower bust point and to perform a FBA, both of which I had to do. I did ask for help on MAGAM as I wasn’t happy that my redrawing of the seamlines was accurate. My fitting buddy, AKA my husband, didn’t like handling the tissue (P/P advise tissue fitting) so I made a couple of muslins, which allowed me to sort out some of the lines. I also had to lower the waistline by 2 inches and marginally increase front seams to accommodate my bulky anterior thighs. The dress was size 16 at the top but I graduated to an 18 at the waist. I still needed the extra at my high hip but was able to take in lower down. Instead of using self facings, which I thought would have been very bulky and visible due to the thickness of the material, I inserted a full lining.
I was extremely pleased with the fitting of the muslin. The actual dress is a little looser, perhaps because of the touch of stretch but is very comfortable. It fitted well, felt lovely and I was extremely pleased with my invisible zipper which glides effortlessly.  I needed a 24" or longer zipper and the usual ones accessible to me are max 22". I felt a bit stuck but eventually tracked one down in my local John Lewis haberdashery – it was 3 times the price but is beautiful if you can say that about a zip! I didn’t have time to wait for a delivery from an online store as I was right up against it for time. The fabric hasn’t pressed well – or I haven’t pressed it well, not sure which! - and I would like to remake the dress with a different  fabric. This is the first satisfactorily fitting garment of any kind that I have made, that I also like and can wear!
New challenges and techniques:
*FBA in princess seamed garment - I had tried a princess seamed skirt but never a bodice or dress
*Making and inserting full lining to dress
*Making the inside as nice looking as the outside.
While I will make this dress again using a more suitable fabric, I want to leave it for a while as I effectively made it 3 times with the additional muslins. I haven’t decided what to do for March's challenge as yet. I may use the lovely striped linen/viscose that I bought to make a dress for my daughter but ended up not using as I hadn’t anticipated how the full circle skirt would lie – and hadn’t matched properly, but didn't like how the stripes lay anyway. I could make a blouse with this as a blouse is on my list of 'to dos'. I’ve also bought new fabric to remake the princess seamed skirt mentioned earlier as I ran into trouble with it, probably at the pressing stage as the fabric stretched and didn't lie properly. Oh, really not sure yet. I do plan to actually watch some of my Craftsy on-line lessons!
I don’t have a blog. My plans to start one fell through (although I do have a domain name). Do you think anyone would be interested in a blog by me? I see it as more of a learning log than anything else. I would welcome your opinion.
Thanks.  Anne



  1. Beautiful dress Anne. I love it with your shawl. I would be very interested in your blog should you chose to create one. I started my blog just to journal my learning progress as I had just started to sew. I find it invaluable not only to see how my sewing has changed but also for the friendships I have formed through it and the amazing support and feedback given by the sewing community. Let us know if you do start a blog.

  2. And also - you can put a lot more photos on your blog so we can see the finer details of the dress and a back shot etc.

  3. Wow, your perseverance resulted in a beautiful dress. Good luck in the contest; your dress seems to be exactly what the judges have in mind.

    I'd be interested in your blog :)

  4. Gorgeous dress Anne! I'd be interested in your blog as well!

  5. Possibly more dedicated to muslins than SarahLiz!

    Your dress is lovely and I would also love to read your blog if ever you proceed with one.

  6. Beautiful dress! When in doubt: go start your blog. I started mine five months ago, can't imagine being without one anymore!

  7. Anne, this dress turned out beautifully - the work with the muslins certainly paid off. do start a blog - they are good ways of keeping track of sewing - and lots of us love visiting blogs - there is always something to see and learn from other sewers. Wishing you the best of luck with the
    LWD contest.