Inspired by Me Made May (the brainchild of Zoe Edwards), and the latest series of the Great British Sewing Bee, I've dusted off my sewing machine and started making dresses again. I hadn't really lost my sewing mojo, it's more that the knitting mojo had been in overdrive since, hmm... September last year probably. That and the fact that we haven't really had much warm weather yet this year (and it's nearly June for heaven's sake). Also, knitting is much more portable and I've done a fair bit of travelling so far this year and it's much easier to pack a bag of knitting than sewing.
When I looked back through my sewing notebook I realised that I hadn't sewn a single garment since August last year. I have done a fair bit of mending and alterations in that time though, mostly for other people, and also knitted three jumpers and seven cardigans for myself and three baby / toddler items. It's not as if I haven't been making things, they've just been from sticks and string rather than fabric. So I have a fair few blog posts to write - I'll catch up soon I hope.
Enough with the waffle, here is my first dress of the year. When Roisin posted about her Rural Juror dress I knew I had to track down the fabric and make a dress from it for myself - I think it's an absolutely gorgeous print. I'm sure I've seen other versions online too, but I can't remember where now. I bought the fabric some time last year and have only this month got around to making it up. Because it's a border print I cut the bodice slightly larger at the side seams to allow for the total lack of widthways stretch. And as I had enough fabric to add sleeves, I did.
|Version 1, with sleeves|
However... I got as far as tacking the bodice lining in to place to take the photo above before I tried it on. I've made two Emery dresses with sleeves which fit fine, so I wasn't concerned to try it on before this - I thought increasing the side seam allowance on the bodice would be enough to allow for ease of movement. But it wasn't. I could hardly move my arms in it at all because it had no give. So I unpicked the armhole seam and took the sleeves out. When it came to sewing the bodice and lining back together at the armholes I figured I'd do the turning it inside out on itself thing. But that didn't work because I'd already attached the skirt and there was no way I was going to unpick that. So instead the armholes are topstitched and I now have a dress which I can wave comfortably in. Or remove things from high shelves. Or anything else that requires arm movement.
|Final version - sleeveless|
I didn't have enough fabric to pattern match the back, but since I can't see it I'm not worried about it.
|The back view|
Now that it's finished I'm happy with it, but I do wish there hadn't been as much unpicking involved!