I had another day off yesterday. For someone who is always surrounded by people, its a bit strange to be in the house all alone. Strange, but good. Quiet. That’s probably the best bit. My life is usually pretty noisy.
I had a plan.
I have been sewing forever, but I rarely make clothing for myself, and I haven’t used a commercial pattern in about 20 years. Somehow its less scary to just wing it, maybe because the expectations are lower. Anyhow after years of knitting cardigans for myself, I want to make some cute frocks to wear with them.
I though the Parfait dress from Colette patterns would be a good place to start, it looked simple enough… um yeah, no. First thing I realised is that apparently I am horrendously out of proportion. I needed a US 10 to fit my waist and hips, but that came with a 38.5″ bust. Mine is 34″. 35″ with a bit of padding. thats a difference of about 3 sizes. Oh dear.
Google to the rescue, and Hooray I found a tutorial for a “small bust alteration” on the Colette website. It was a bit fiddly to doing the adjustments on my own without a dress form (I so want one of these!) but I think it worked pretty well.
Prepare for some gratuitous boob shots…
I also added some length, as it was looking pretty short. In hindsight I probably added too much, the length is a bit frumpy now. But that should be easily fixed.
Constructing the dress was challenging, so many little pieces. I decided not to do what I usually do, which is race into things. I made myself slow down and take time to carefully traced the pattern pieces and then cut them out.
The slow and steady approach worked, the dress fits. Its not perfect, but it fits. There are things I would do differently next time, but I can definitely see myself making another one of these soon, maybe with contrasting straps, waist and pockets. For this dress I used some relatively cheap Japanese poplin from Spotlight, but its pretty and the print is busy enough to hide some of my mistakes!
I didn’t quite finish the dress in one go, too soon it was 5:30pm and the family was home, with dinner and baths and bedtime stories and after all that I’m too tired to sew when I could be knitting on the sofa. I still need to insert the zip, attach the pockets and stitch the hem. Its an invisible zipper and that will be another first for me.
I feel I really learnt a lot with this project. My first muslin, my first major fit alteration, my first invisible zipper still to come. And it was fun, in a quietly satisfying sort of way. Hooray for sneaky days off!