After posting a few days ago that I don’t understand UFOs I’ve just made one. This is the dress I have sewn today. Please ignore that it isn’t properly ironed – as it’s a UFO (which I will explain in a bit) there was no point as it’s just going to be folded up and stored in with my sewing fabrics for a few months.
Burda 02-2011-101 (with a little bit of frankenpatterning from Burda 04-2007-104).
The belt is just one I already own. If I were going to wear this dress then I would probably make a matching belt from the scraps, such as Tilly’s bow belt.
(I only noticed on uploading the photos that Dolly seems to have developed a tilt.)
I never intended to photograph this dress on myself because it’s a summer dress and during the winter I tend to neglect to shave! As it turns out, I couldn’t photograph this on me anyway because it’s too big. Yesterday I made two muslins of the bodice – I traced a size 40 and it was both too small and too low cut. Based on how the first muslin looked I reduced the height of the front darts by 1cm, increased the side seams by 1cm, raised the front neckline by 4cm – grading to 1.5cm at the shoulders, and increased the back shoulders by same amount. I also took about 1cm out of the top of the centre back seam – starting about halfway down the bodice seam at 0 and gradually curving it until I’d removed about 1cm. I then made a second muslin. This was still on the slightly snug side, but looked like a good fit so I cut my proper fabric. I didn’t use the instructions for the skirt that Burda had included because, as I said in my February plans, I’d look like a sack of spuds tied in the middle. Instead I used the main skirt piece from Burda 04-2007-104, increased in length by as much as I could and still fit it on my fabric (this increase was about 12cm).
Note – I made two muslins of the bodice but the dress still turned out too big. Really frustrating. I made the muslins in cotton and the dress is cotton so I can’t even blame the fabric.
The reason I am going to leave this as a UFO is because it’s February and I won’t have any need for a summer dress until, probably, June at the earliest. My weight tends to fluctuate so I could correct the fit issues right now, and then discover come summer that it no longer fits me because it’s too small (or even bigger on me than it is now, although that’s far less likely). Although I have absolutely no intention of removing the side zip to correct the fit, I’ve been playing around with the dress on Dolly and there are some things I can do with the back seam and the front darts that should make it fairly easy to get it to fit me – but it definitely needs to wait until summer.
I’m annoyed with myself because, due to the two muslins, I was very confident that this would fit so instead of moving the zip to the centre back, which is something I do on a regular basis because it’s so much easier to take in side seams that don’t have a zip, I decided to leave the side zip in and try to work out how I could sew a lined, sleeveless dress with an invisible side zip without doing any hand sewing . There may be a tutorial out there on the interwebs, but I couldn’t find one last night (plenty for lined, sleeveless dresses and plenty for zips, but none, that I could find, for lined+sleeveless+invisible side zip). As it turns out, it is completely possible, although complicated (well, it was the way I did it!) involving more than one part-sewn seam. I took some photos during the construction to maybe attempt a tutorial, but, wow, it is really difficult to even get the right photos, let alone write a proper tutorial. I bow down to all the bloggers out there who write tutorials with brilliant photos – your efforts are greatly appreciated. I always appreciate every tutorial, but since starting this blog and attempting to write my own I am amazed by the quality of the blog tutorials that are out there.
Because of the way I constructed the dress, I couldn’t try it on until it was more or less completed…..
(this is what it looked like at one stage)
… – but I wasn’t worried because I made two muslins!! I even stay-stitched just about every piece of the pattern that was curved because I knew I was going to be playing around with it, due to the zip/lining thing, and didn’t want the fabric to stretch out. And then it didn’t fit me :(.
I do think it’s a really pretty dress and I’m 99.9% that I will alter it come summer because all I need to do is correct the fit (hopefully easy), stitch the bodice lining down at the waistband, which I usually do using my stitch-in-the-ditch foot, and hem it. So, it’s a UFO with prospects :).
An aside – why is it that every single time I publish a post I have to hit “edit” as soon as it hits the screen because I have forgotten to include Categories and Tags – will I ever remember before hitting publish?
Edited to add stash update: 3m used (this dress used a lot of fabric because of the bias cut skirt). Stash now at 236m.