This was a project with a few firsts and it was a challenge, to be perfectly honest when I first looked at the pattern I wasn't sure whether to give it a go or not. Mainly because I don't have the figure to wear the dress as it is designed, high necks always look awful on me and straight dresses and skirts always seem to cling round my middle and make me look like I am still pregnant despite the fact my youngest child is four. Secondly sleeves terrified me - I just couldn't see how on earth that funny shaped piece of fabric fits into the armhole. Having heard good things about the detailed instructions in the book the pattern is from (Love At First Stitch by Tilly Walnes) and having a few metres of cheap printed poly-cotton I decided this might as well be my first go at sleeves and if I adjusted the neckline my first go at pattern hacking.
The bodice on this dress caused me no end of trouble, whilst I am sure for people who can just cut out the pattern and get sewing it is a quick make for me it took forever. I started with doing a FBA which was an utter pain, it created bust darts that were nearly five inches across leg to leg on the pattern they were also in the wrong place so had to be moved. this was wear my first first happened; I made a toile. Thankfully, even though the darts were massive, the toile did seem to fit. I was right though, the high neckline looked awful I didn't have a clue how to go about changing it.
Knowing it needed to be a V-neck but being vaguely aware that I couldn't change it too much because the back neckline would 'go a bit funny' I put the toile on my dressform and took my chalk and scissors to it. When I had something that looked ok. I transferred the changes to the pattern and drafted myself a not quite right but the best I could do facing piece The end result of the neckline is better than I expected and not the worst part of the bodice, that accolade goes to <Drumroll> the dart tucks. I still don't know what a dart tuck is or what one is supposed to look like, after four attempts at carefully following the instructions and leaving it overnight and coming back to it fresh for a fifth try I was ready to throw it out the window. I imagine this problem was nothing to do with the instructions and everything to do with the fact my front bodice piece was enormous following the FBA.
|My Adjusted Neckline|
|I still don't know what a Dart Tuck is but I am sure it's not that.|
After all the stomach knot inducing stress of the neckline and mostly those dart tucks the sleeves were actually nowhere near as intimidating as I thought they would be. The page of instructions explaining it really helped. You can see from the picture that my sleeves aren't set in perfectly they look a little bit puffy if you ask me; I think know why that is though I am pretty sure I put my stitching line in the wrong place meaning that the gathers were visible on the outside rather than hidden inside. Do you know what though? I like puffy sleeves so they stayed that way.
|Slightly Puffy- But it was my first try.|
I have worn this dress out a couple of times but I won't be making another one, as lovely as the dress looks on its designer and on many of the other sewing bloggers, it is one of those styles that just isn't me. I knew when I started the project that it wouldn't look good as it was but even with the adjustments I made on me the Megan looks matronly and that is a shame.