Well, I posted yesterday to give me a kick in the behind and it worked! I woke up early today and decided that I must do something related to my February plans. I’m usually in the mood to do one particular thing – maybe tracing, maybe cutting out, maybe sewing. Today I did all three. I traced, cut out, and sewed V8764. Before anyone thinks I’m some sort of super-sewist (and if you haven’t read my About Me page) I should mention that I don’t work (for reasons I may post about some day – I’m not a “lady of leisure” – I wish!!) and I don’t have kids so if I’m in the mood to sew I can do so all day. My only concern is the cats and they soon let me know when they’re hungry. If I forget to eat then Mr RTS will cook for me when he gets home from work 🙂 (I know I probably use too many smilies – if they are annoying, please let me know.)
Anyway, after pottering around for most of the morning I finally started tracing this pattern at around 11a.m. I don’t usually trace commercial patterns but, as I may have mentioned before, Vogue patterns are horribly expensive here in the UK so I didn’t want to just cut into it. This took me about an hour. I know there are super-sewists out there who only take 15 minutes or so to trace a pattern, but that’s never going to happen for me (and I don’t think I’ll ever work out how they do it). It always takes me at least an hour, even for something as simple as this dress. For something more complicated, such as the Burda coat I attempted last year with 20+ pieces I think it took me more than three hours just to trace.
Then came the sewing. I did, finally, end up with something I like, and will wear but it took much longer than I’d hoped. (As usual, click on any photo to embiggen.)
(More info about the pattern to come, and also photo of pretty shoes.)
This dress is on Dolly because I just cannot get a photo of it on me that looks good. I’m 99% sure that it looks pretty good on me in real life, but not in any of the photos I tried to take. It does look better on Dolly than it does on me because I’m getting some puddling of the fabric at the centre back because I am short waisted (and maybe sway-backed) but I can’t set her for that.
This dress ended up taking ten hours to sew from start to finish. I’m sure it could have been a lot less, but I had to make a lot of alterations. Because Vogue patterns are so expensive here, I jumped on a link in the new year when I realised I could get Vogue patterns for around £5 each. As the sale was limited in time I thought I had to buy while I could and didn’t have time to do much research. Based on Vogue’s sizing I should be a size 16 and as this pattern was one of those that came in sizes up to 14, then 16 plus I had to buy the 16 plus. After sewing two Vogue patterns I’m fairly sure I’m close to their size 14, but hindsight is always 20/20! I wish I had bought the correct size because this is one of those patterns that has different cup sizes included.
As it was, I traced the size 16, then sewed as little as I could before trying the dress on. As I was sewing it in jersey I was hoping I could omit the zip so I did the “Mena test” (i.e. does it really need a zip) and it passed easily – far too easily. It was definitely too big all over. I suppose that’s a nicer problem than the too small all over of my trousers from last week.
I ended up taking in the centre front and back seams, and shortening the shoulder seams by 1cm each. This dress is also supposed to be lined, but because I was making it in jersey and omitting the zip I simply ignored the idea of the lining and did a simple hem at the neckline, using a twin needle to sew it down. I also used a twin needle to sew the sleeve and skirt hem.
If I still worked then I would wear this dress to work tomorrow, with these shoes.
I know they look really orange in this photo, but they’re not. They are a dark red and go great with the dress. Over the past couple of years I’ve been selling off a lot of my “I’ll never wear them” shoes on ebay, but some pairs just cannot be sold! (These were another bargain at £7 – I never spend silly money on silly shoes :).
Stash update: 1.5m used (I think I got a slight over-cut but was only charged for 1.5m). Current stash is 239m.