Still working my way through those 2012 makes! Finally, some details on Stella’s Christmas Day dress. It’s New Look 6974, view B with the view C/D underskirt.
Although I had cut this out weeks earlier, I didn’t start making this until Christmas Eve. Yes, I know. I did make a start at about lunchtime, and I really didn’t think that it would take me too long to make. I was wrong. Once I’d finished hemming the overskirt and the underskirt, I noticed this:
Did you spot it straight away? The underskirt band, attached to the lining, wasn’t covered by the overskirt, especially at the sides. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! The fabric I used for the contrast godets, shoulder straps and underskirt band was a medium weight linen, so I’d chosen to use a fabric that was much softer on the skin for the rest of the underskirt/lining. Which also happened to be a nice neutral colour that didn’t show through the floral – but did show at the sides, because the overskirt just wasn’t long enough to cover it! What was going on with the drafting there? And why didn’t I notice it as I went along…oh yes, I was rushing to get this finished, wasn’t I (because I still had my dress to make too).
So, what to do? I wanted a quick fix – so jumped into the car (it was 4pm Christmas Eve by this stage) and headed up to Spotlight to find an appropriate trim to sew to the overskirt to lengthen it and cover the underskirt/contrast band join. They had three broderie anglaise trims that seemed wide enough, one in pink, one in white, and one in cream. I took quick snaps and uploaded them to facebook to get some input from my sewing buddies as to which they thought would be best – then went and bought all three and rushed back home! After varying opinions from my friends and some deliberation on my part, I went for the pale pink trim. Which of course was the only one that wasn’t pre-gathered. So I gathered it all up by hand, pinned it on and stitched away.
So, what do I like about this pattern? I do like the contrast godets, and the gently gathered shoulder straps. I cut these much wider than the pattern pieces – I think that there was a printing error for the pattern, as the pieces I originally cut just gave normal flat straps. I recut them double the width, which worked fine. I also like the front and back yokes. There are ties at the back which form a nice bow and give some additional shaping.
I wasn’t thrilled with the instructions for the zipper insertion. It’s a lapped zipper, which is okay in itself, but the instructions have you insert it at the end. This means that it’s not nicely enclosed by the lining. Because I was following the instructions pretty much in the order they were written, I hadn’t thought ahead about the construction enough to vary the zipper. If I had thought about it, I’d have used an invisible zipper and had it inbetween the lining and outer fabric. As it was, I bagged out the centre back seams with the lining and outer fabric so that the zipper opening edges were nicely finished, then turned them under and inserted the lapped zipper in the usual way. It looks fine, and you can’t really tell from the outside, but I know that it could have been done in a nicer way that would have enclosed the zipper tape. You live and learn – wherever possible, read the instructions first and THINK about the order of construction before you dive in! Why is it that I don’t always follow my own advice?
As it turned out, Christmas morning dawned quite cool and crisp, so Stella decided to layer her Christmas dress over a long-sleeved top and leggings. Not quite what I’d originally planned! The day did warm up, and by lunch time she had stripped off a little. The dress fitted beautifully. I cut it out in a size 3 width with size 4 length. She’s a skinny little thing! Happily, she liked her dress. Considering that it was her fabric choice (the floral print came from Spotlight a couple of years ago), it twirled, and had gathered pale pink lace on it – all the things that my five year old requires – I was not surprised!