Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Screen Siren 1960s Frock - Finished Dress

It's finished! I have a dress! Despite knowing that there is plenty of past evidence to support that I can in fact sew, I had lost confidence in my abilities. I am happy to say I have now regained my sewing mojo. Last Sunday was the last class in this project at Thread Den. It was the dreaded fitting and zipper and class. I'm pleased to say it all went fairly smoothly.

We did the shoulder seams, which I'm glad were explained as they were done differently to how I thought they were done. Then it was time to pin the side seams and put it on to check fit. The first good sign was that I could get it on over my clothes. The instructor was great in helping with the fitting. I'd forgotten how useful an extra person is for this stage. She let it out a bit at the hips (which I expected would need a bit more room), took it in little under the arms, and adjusted the darts to fit better around the bust and to move slightly higher on the back (probably a result of having taken an inch out of the length at the waist). Side sides and darts sewn up, it was time for the dreaded zipper.

Okay, turns out zippers are not anywhere near as complicated as I thought. This was a regular zipper, machine sewn in. No funky invisible zips, or lapped thingies. It was a simple case of pressing the fabric back at the sewn allowance, then lining the zipper up so the pressed edge of the fabric just covered the teeth, pinning it in, then machine sewing about 3/8" from the edge. Too easy! The only slight hiccup was that somewhere in my pinning and sewing, the zipper must have moved a bit and the top of the back pieces don't line up evenly. Could also be an error in my cutting out the back pieces.

I finished up the class with the final fitting checked and the hem pinned and only the hand sewing parts left to do (shoulder seams, hem, and hook & eye above the zipper). Once I got home, I decided I wanted to get the dress finished. I did the hand sewing in front of the TV after dinner. I must admit it took me a bit longer than I expected. I've clearly lost my previous hemming speed. And as is the Murphy's Law of sewing, the last thing you need to do gives you the most grief (the other law is that you will run out of thread an inch before the end). In this case, the damn hook and eye above the zipper was being difficult. I was tired by this point and losing my dexterity. I found it tricky to hold the little hook & eye bits in place and then sew them in. Then I sewed the hook in around the wrong way. Argh! But I got it done eventually. The top of the back pieces still isn't sitting great, but it's passable.

And now the photos! Please pardon the unpressed hem, the tired expression and the poor lighting. I will try to take some "dressed up" photos that better showcase the dress. Update: Here it is, all finished and out at Circa Nocturna. The black belt is from another frock. I felt it needed a belt. The flower is a brooch that just happened to match the fabric really well.
 I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Definitely has that "Joan Holloway" wiggle dress look to it. I'd like to try the full skirted version of this pattern as well.

I think we can safely say that my sewing mojo has returned. Bring on the frocks!


Melbourne Belle said...

Well done, it looks splendid. I didn't appreciate when I saw it the other day how beautifully the back frames your tattoo. It's a very you sort of a dress.
I am so proud of you.

Ant Queen said...

Thanks :) I didn't realise until looking at the photos how well it compliments my tattoo. I keep forgetting I have one :P