This dress had been fighting me practically every step of the way. The pattern itself is pretty straightforward and simple, but I was clearly jinxed yesterday.
First, on a less related note, I seem to have misplaced by ballgown bodice pattern. Which makes it a little difficult to make a new ballgown. So far, it’s not in my pattern stash or at Christina’s house. On the plus side, it’s made me be more creative with organizing my patterns. Now, instead of just floating around on my bookshelf or in boxes, they’re all put into page protector sleeves in a number of three ring binders. They’re not in any particular order, but I know they’re all there now. In theory.
Then, after I pieced together all of my bodice pieces for the Hawaiian dress, struggled through gathering the bust pieces and attaching them, and then tried it on, it didn’t fit. As in, 3″ of overlap at the back closure. Not the end of the world, but at that point I was tired, hot, and clearly not in the right mindset for power sewing. Roo and Christina put a cold cider in my hand and helped me recut a muslin piece for the center front, put in some creative tucks in the pattern piece, and reangled the front curve. I grudgingly unpicked all of the sewing I’d already done and recut a new center front pattern piece and outer fabric piece.
I decided I’d cut my skirt lining pieces before recutting the new center front lining piece to make sure I didn’t mess anything up (inevitable with the way my day was going). I managed 3 pieces, 2 to go, before I stood back and realized that I was about to run out of fabric by inches. I think this was the point where I simply downed the rest of my cider and stopped just short of banging my head on the table. We wound up having just enough fabric for the last two pieces by cutting them an inch shorter, meaning I need to remember that I have a 1″ hem in the back and 2″ hem everywhere else. I wound up having to piece the center front lining together since I didn’t have a single piece of lining fabric large enough.
My struggles seem to have appeased the sewing gods (clearly my chocolate bread french toast was not enough of an offering), and the rest of the sewing went fairly smoothly.
I didn’t take any in progress pictures, mainly because I was trying to hold myself back from throwing machine and dress out the window for most of the day, but I did remember to take a final picture.
Recutting the curve in the front meant that there was no jiggery pokery needed in the end. It fits perfectly with just the right amount of coverage. Also, using upholstery thread to hand gather makes a world of difference. It’s thicker, stronger, and smoother.
I didn’t understand how this pattern could go to all the trouble of calling for lining and understitching to keep things neat and pretty and then be perfectly okay with raw edges all over the inside. So, I grabbed some lime green seam binding and now all of my ugly raw edges are nicely bound. I probably should have trimmed the seams first, but meh. This works just fine. Once the full dress is assembled I’ll likely also sew the seams flat so they don’t poke out at the corners of the bust and show.
Finally, all that’s left is the skirt. I need to sew my outer and lining pieces together (keeping them open at the bottom), hem them, and then gather them to the skirt, ideally matching the seams all the way down the dress. I’ve set aside the idea of trimming the skirt in the pink fabric. I’d still love to, but I really want this done and the recutting put me further behind than I wanted. So, I’ll save it for another project.
The very last bits are to insert the zipper and some type of super secure halter closure. Then… lime green petticoat and a cocktail.