Friday, 14 February 2014

Complete: My Fitted Bodice Dress!

Oh yeah, after my fitting odyssey, it's easy to forget I can actually make a garment from the damn pattern, instead of endless muslins!
The BEST thing about this garment was that I didn't have to try on and attempt to fit as I went. I knew I'd invested the time to make it turn out right!
Sooo.... here it is :O

For my other posts in the fitting series, here's a link to post #1post #2, and post #3.

I spent a while deciding what to make first with my new darted bodice block. In the end I decided I would show off my good fit by letting it speak for itself. No distracting design details, no patterned fabric. (However I am looking forward to playing with both of those things!) The pure simplicity of light pink linen. There's nowhere to hide!

This pattern is a true Frankenpattern; the bodice is Vogue 8766, the skirt is a Sewaholic Cambie, and I used the instructions for the Colette Truffle dress!
The instructions were good, if a little sparse. I finally got to try out the different way of lining a bodice which eliminates the need to hand-stitch! Yay! I've seen it floating around the web and have wanted to try it! I give it a thumbs up, though I will work to improve my technique in the future.
However, I did still hand-stitch the lining down at the waist, as stitching in the ditch from the right side is a bigger pain, in my opinion! (Maybe I just need more practice!)

I also need lots more practice at putting in invisible zips; I definitely still find them a bit scary, and it takes me a while to make sure everything's lined up right! But I got there, and it's rather invisible, so yay :) (And this was done with a regular zip foot, I still don't own a specialised foot. IT CAN BE DONE!)

This is a linen I bought when I was still a total sewing newb. I thought I'd make a top, but I realised it was too heavy and would result in a boxy top; not the look I was after. I'm glad it finally found its destiny!
The lining is a super cute lightweight floral someone from the WSBN gave to me. Score! I would have had enough to line the skirt as well as the bodice, but I accidentally cut extra pattern pieces I didn't need instead. Ugh! Lol!
But I'm so pleased at how they go together <3

Oh yeah, and frankenpatterning the pieces together was a case of "This'll be easy... *hours later* Hmmm, okay. I was wrong". I had to:
a) Make the seams of the bodice and skirt pieces the same length on both the front and back (they were quite different).
b) Make all the darts line up (again, quite different!)
I ended up increasing the waist of my bodice a little at the side seams, and decreasing the cambie skirt. On the bodice front, I didn't want to mess up the side seams because of the pockets, so I took it out of CF all the way down to the hem.
On the bodice back I took some from CF and a bit from the side seams, (On the side seams I tapered to the original side seams further down).
I was just sorta making it up as I went. Obviously since I'd fitted the bodice so carefully I tried to change it minimally, mainly changing the skirt.
For the darts, I moved them on both the bodice and the skirt, as they were quite discrepant! Phew, a lot more work than I anticipated!

By the way, I stained this fence, so admire it will you?? (I'm not DIY at all so this is a big deal haha!)
Side note: I wish I had nicer shoes to pair this with- wouldn't it look the bee's knees with some nude heels? Unfortunately I spend all the money I could be buying shoes with on fabric and yarn. Oops...

The linen was very fray-happy, so I pinked the seams that would be enclosed in the lining. I don't know if it was necessary, but it couldn't hurt... I finished some seams with zig zag and some with my overlocker (I'm still scared of chopping a hole in my garment with it by accident!).
For the hem, I pinked it, then stitched bias tape on top of it. I did this to reduce bulk, because instead of turning under the raw edge of the linen (two layers of medium-weight fabric), there is just the linen with the thin bias tape on top. I picked up this idea online. I think I'm doing it right?? Haha. I didn't have any lace which I suppose would be even better, being thinner!

Then I used my machine to blind hem it.

I switched my machine with my Mum's when I went up north for Christmas. Both of them are from the same series though, so it's almost the exact same machine! I believe these machines date from the late 1960s. Mine was the most basic level (I think it was a 732). Her 730 has a few extra features which include fancy ornamental stitches! I also like the way it runs a little better.

Last time I did a blind stitch hem, I had to use a long zig zag, and I did it this time too. It was only AFTERWARDS that I realised one of the fancy new ornamental stitches I have access to was a blind hem stitch! D'oh! I will use it next time and think I'll get a nicer result, as my wee test indicates... The stitches are spaced further apart which helps hide the hem.
Still, the jury is still out on whether it can beat a hand-stitched hem!

Bottom: dress hem. Top: Even BLINDERER sample hem! Next time!

Okay, I'm going to take a wee second to congratulate myself on my nice fit:
Boobie darts: Smooth and in the right spot.
Neckline: No gape
Side seam: Straight (YESSS)
Armholes: Not too low, follow the curves of my body.
Annnnd... Waist seam: LEVEL!!! It's Leveeeeeeeeeellllllllll!!!

Oh, and just for satisfaction, a comparison to my first muslin:

There are a few tweaks I can see myself making (I might blog that separately) but this is pretty good fit if you ask me! And boy I worked hard for it. Phew.

"I made this pretty dress, and all it took was a million hours of muslining! Simple!"
Now, bring on the squillion variations I guess! Heh :)

Ooh P.S Happy Valentine's Day! It is also my wedding anniversary today and we are going out for dinner. Naturally I shall wear this dress!
P.P.S Thanks for entering my giveaway, it is still going and I will announce the winner soon!

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