After my success with the fish dress, I decided to do something a little similar. My plan was to use the sleeves and skirt from this pattern.
and the bodice from this pattern.
Cutting was a little tricky, because I wanted to be able to conserve enough fabric to get a blouse out of it as well. (More on that in another post.) I cut out an extra skirt panel as I really wanted the skirt to be extra full. It was a bit of a geometry problem, but I managed it.
Look at how long the skirt panels are when stitched together!
It stretches from the door of the sewing room all the way to the closet. And to think I had to gather that down to fit my waist!
Construction was straightforward and simple as I've used both patterns before. I only had two major problems. First of all, the lining I used was horrid! Its a gorgeous lavender that is so pretty but it just frays and frays and frays. I attempted to finish one of my seams with the rolled hem foot but that just created weird bulk. The worst is around the waist. There were big floaty clouds of frayed polyester all around the waist...so I Fray Check-ed the whole thing. (Fray Check should come in an aerosol. Really it should.) Guess what happens when Fray Check dries? It gets scratchy! Good times. I am reluctant to put seam binding over the waist seam, as its already super thick, but I'm not sure what else to do.
The other error I made was, uh, well, I forgot to cut out the damned sleeves. I'm not sure what happened. I didn't even realize that they weren't cut until I was mostly done with the dress. I was certain I'd made sure that there was enough fabric left over for the sleeves...but then there just wasn't. I had to dig through the pile of scraps to come up with enough fabric to make sleeve facings and even then one of them ended up being cut on the bias. I hope it doesn't end up doing something weird to the way the sleeve hole pulls around my arm.
Also, I noticed very late in the process that the sheet is made of 100% polyester...as is the lining. I think this will be a very warm dress and I will be sure to avoid heat and flame while wearing it.
The zipper went in beautifully, for a change, but the hem is a bit of a mess. This is probably the worst blind hem I've ever done. I just couldn't get the fabric to feed in evenly so the picks aren't consistent at all. From the outside you can see a few places where the picks just stop and then start up again a few inches later. That's because I ended up just catching the just the lining instead of both layers. It causes the hem to bubble slightly. At some point I think I will go back and hand pick the hem, but I'm just too exhausted by this dress to do it now.
It does this funny thing on one side where the waistline flips under when I move. I'm not sure why that is. I've never had this happen before. I don't know if its because of the bias cut armhole facing, or the bulk of all that gathered fabric, or something else, but its really annoying.
Still, I think its a very pretty dress