I am officially awarding this dress with the prestigious title of 'most-frustrating-sewing project-ever'. I went into this project with high hopes and good spirits. Both the hopes and the spirits died early on and it took every ounce of willpower and determination to drag myself out.
I was initially drawn to this pattern as it is a faux wrap. I haven't had a lot of success in the past with RTW wraps staying in the right place, so I thought this was a good feature. Secondly, it had a little gathering down one sideseam which I thought would be a flattering feature of a knit dress. Add to that the most gorgeous piece of silk jersey by Milly and you'd think I'd have a winner. Yes? No!
I've done so many alterations, both planned and bodgy, that I hardly know where to begin. I'm not really sure I can even remember what they all were. I didn't actually record them, as I have no intention of using this pattern again.
Possibly the most obvious, was my decision to omit the collar and draft a v-neckline instead. Also, I removed a large wedge from either side of the neckline just above the bust to ensure I did not have any gaping. Everything from that point was just made up along the way.
As mentioned earlier, the fabric is a silk jersey. It's suprisingly heavy, very drapey and not particular stable. All of which contributed to the 6 week nightmare.
I initially lined the dress in a viscose, thinking that would make help hide lumps, bumps and panty-lines, but the weight of the two fabrics combined caused all sorts of disasters. The armholes were hanging down just above my waist. In the end, I took my scissors and cut it out.
The front of this dress is made of two pieces. As you can see, the top piece extends from the top, crosses under the bust, attaches at the opposite sideseam. This piece extends to the hemline. The under piece, starts at the top and cross under the first piece, attaching at the opposite side seam. This piece stops at the waist in length. My biggest problem is the stress that the crossover of both pieces places on the sideseams. If they're pulled tort enough to provide coverage and support, they drag the sideseams forward at the point they are attached. As you can see below, in my attempt to find the balance between a supportive front and a nice looking seam, I've ended up with a bagging of fabric where it attaches. This in turn, make the front a bit saggy. If I pull it further, it drags the back of the garment forward....and so the problem continues. Believe it or not, but I have played around with this for around seven hours. So frustrating!
Anyway, I think what I'll have to do, is add a band of fabric about 15cm in width, across the back, under the dress, at the point where the crossovers attach to each sideseam. Does that make sense? This should pull those points backwards, thus keeping the neckline against the body. I've heard this technique used before in wedding dresses yet I've never seen it nor given it a go. I can imagine, however, that it would solve the problem.
I wore this dress to a meeting this afternoon and got lots of nice compliments. I was however, quite conscious of the extra fabric at the sideseam and kept folding it and hiding it under the tie. I'll definitely have to fix it before I wear it again.