Ok so it’s the end of May and thanks to the bank holiday I just about snuck in this month’s Wardrobe Challenge handmade item.
The latest pattern to come with my Sew magazine subscription was Simplicity New Look’s 6145 – a variety of sixties dresses. This screamed out as perfect for the zany bright lime/daisy print fabric I bought way back in MARCH at the Knitting & Stitching show.
According to my measurements I needed to make up a size US 18 – but having now done it I would size down as well as make a few other personal alterations – I already shortened the pattern by 2 inches, but my other notes include raising the bust dart, narrowing the neckline (as it currently sits out on my shoulders, which is an ok style but it’s not meant to do that!) and also somehow taking some volume out of the upper back, which is currently tending to bag a bit.
As far as sewing goes, I found it relatively straightforward. I can’t say how much of that is the clarity of the pattern and how much my improving skills, a bit of both I suspect. Even making an unlined sleeveless version (E) and leaving out the additional neck interfacings (which seemed unecessary to me, as the pattern already takes account of facings using the main fabric), there were 20 stages in all. I think pattern tracing and altering took about 1.5 hours, fabric cutting another hour or so and I pretty much spent about 6 hours on construction and fitting.
The fabric was very forgiving – it’s a no iron (although I did have to press seams under a cloth) and super easy to sew. I used chiffon for the collar and in hindsight should have thought to buy a metre as I needed the bias – another note for next time! It’s slightly bias cut, but not enough. I’m sure it would sit better if it was properly cut.
I think this is the best finished of all the items I’ve made. I feel like I’m really starting to crack zips now, and I did use understitching for the facings (learnt in Celia Banks’ workshop). But I really need to work on fitting things better, because I’m not 100% happy with the fit of this even though I’ve tweaked things, it’s not fully fixable, and I already know that means I’ll turn aside to wear something else on numerous occasions (and maybe also because it IS a bit of a statement….!)