Now if you have visited me before you will know 2 things about me. One, that I am no spring chicken and two, that I love clothes and especially making them. So I am constantly scouring the internet to find new patterns. Something other than those offered by the 4 or 5 big commercial pattern companies. I am delighted to find therefore a sudden flurry of new young designers producing and selling their designs as patterns, many of which are available for instant download. Ok you have to do a bit of origami before you can get stuck in, but the prices are so reasonable and you get it instantly. Of course you have instantly picked up on the 'young' bit, which implies the designs are going to be young. Of course they are, but I am of the firm belief that any pattern can be tweaked to suit you whatever age you are. Of course I do avoid the pelmet skirts, the plunging necklines (back or front) and the 'can they really breathe in that' bodycon dresses. But classic styles can always be made to work.
This little gem, the Gathered Sundress Pattern by PatternRunway sold on Etsy is a perfect example. It is also the subject of this post. Not the pattern I hasten to add, which is great. The clear helpful instructions show you step by step how to acheive a really professional look. No the problem here was a fairly experienced sewer who did not fully read the pattern!!
1. As the bodice was lined I used this as my toile. I had plenty of the lining fabric so could afford to waste a little if necessary. (Note. At this point I must have pinned the toile correctly!)
2. The body measurements for the size I cut were one inch bigger than my actual measurements at bust and waist. Great plenty of ease then.
3.The toile fit perfectly.
4. Proceeded to cut out rest of lining and main fabric. Assembled all. Zip, though not an invisible one as suggested. ( I have a stash of zips which I try to use whenever possible) fitted smoothly. Piped band and waist band aligned perfectly. Pockets assembled and bound successfully. Dress looked great. I did add 3 inches to the length.
5. Dress is very snug....ARRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!
Ok I can wear it but not if Im going out to a blow-out dinner. What had I done. I read the pattern again....and again... Oh no!...................
I am that used to having a 5/8" seam allowance I just assumed that all patterns had. And you've guessed it, if I had read the thing correctly, or even glanced at the notations on the pattern I would have seen that this pattern only allows for 3/8" seams. So taking into account the fact that I have made a 1/4" error on all the princess seams it is surprising that I can get the dress on at all.
But Im glad I made it and will certainly be doing so again. I did in fact make another in cotton jersey, this time unlined to check that it was my sewing that was the problem and this turned out a little loose, as I had expected the first one to be, So all in all a great weeks sewing, a lesson learned and two new pieces to hang in the wardrobe.
Now where was that new blouse pattern I liked...and the first thing I will check.....
I think I need that glass of wine now....or was that the problem?.. Back soon with pretty pictures of Wales...