Wednesday, 13 May 2009


So I am part way through my lovely oyster silk version of the 50s delight below. Actually, I think I need to name it - how about Jackie? I decided that I didn't want a button fastening at the front but instead a zipper at the back, and though I haven't got as far as the skirt bit yet I am thinking of having a more tulip-style skirt instead of the full skirt the pattern uses; the silk dupion is quite voluminous and I don't want it to end up looking like some sort of 80s wedding dress… But for now I am just making up the bodice.

When I made the practice version, the gathered seam under the bust did not lie quite under my bust but instead sort of across it (a factor of my freakishly long upper body as opposed to the size of my bust, sadly) so I needed to make an adjustment for this in the silk version. What I ended up doing was extending the length of the upper bits of the back and front pattern that make the straps. So far it seems to have worked but I haven't sewn everything together yet. To remove the button closure facing stuff from the front of the bodice, I just folded the front bodice pieces back to the 'centre front' line and cut them on the fold. Again, seems to have worked so far but I haven't really fitted it properly yet. Is really hard to do with pins sticking everywhere… perhaps I should buy one of those Lady Valet dress forms… For the back, in order to leave enough fabric for sewing in the zipper, I added an extra 2cm to the centre back seam allowance.

Anyway, the cotton version of Jackie was a cream colour for the bodice, and it was quite translucent and you could see the folded darts a bit. So I wanted to line this version - also to make it nicer to wear. As I have only ever made two other things before - both of those being massively simple - and the dress pattern does not have instructions or patterns for lining, I am having to figure it out by trial and error. After a bit of searching I found an awesome tutorial on Threads which shows a great quick-lining technique . If this is the quick version, don't know that I'll ever get around to the 'slow' method…! I have sewn the facings to the lining pieces (which are just cut out from the same pattern as the bodice pieces) and now am about to sew the lining/facing unit to the front fabric… it is all pinned and ready, hopefully will get around to doing that tonight. Am a bit nervous about turning it the right way in (which involves pulling the back sections through the shoulders - sounds confusing to me) and pressing it but watch this space….

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