Issue 6 of Love Sewing Magazine includes the fabulous Eva Dress pattern by Eliza M. The pattern is designed for stretchy knit fabrics which I finally have the confidence to tackle after making a few pairs of knickers. The use of stretchy fabric allows the dress to fit curves, making it look vintage and wiggly!
This dress was actually the first time since school that I have used interfacing fabric! I was slightly put off back in the day when the fabric school provided us with didn't seem to take kindly to ironing (!) and didn't iron on to the dress fabric! Since starting sewing again this year I have been a bit scared to pick it up and have a go again because there seems to be so many different types and I haven't wanted to ruin my garments.
Obviously this dress needed a neck and arm facing so I couldn't really avoid it this time. I found that just half a metre was 60p in Hillsborough fine fabrics which was a pleasant surprise. After ironing it on to my fabric I next zig-zagged the edges of my facing. I learnt the hard way that is was better to have the interfacing facing me while sewing otherwise the presser foot on the machine stretched the knit fabric and it lost it's shape.
Once sewn into the dress around the neck and arm holes I worried that the neck facing pulled the outside fabric and stopped it laying flat (the facing now being non-stretchy as the interfacing is not stretchy). I wondered if maybe not attaching the iron on interfacing to the facing in the first place could have avoided this? I also read there was such thing as stretchy iron-on interfacing fabric so maybe that would be a possibility next time.
When tacking in the zip it became very clear that the back of the dress was going to be much too big. There was gaping at the neck and bagginess around my bum! I lined up the zip so that it took in more fabric and trimmed off the excess at the end. The neckline sat much better but there was still too much fabric around my waist and bum. I decided to have a go at altering darts for the first time as I knew I wouldn't be happy with the fit otherwise.
I wasn't too sure what I was doing so it was a bit of trail and error. I set my machine to long stitches and changed the colour to white so I could tack in some potential new darts and try them before I committed. I made the darts longer (making the widest angle of the dart slightly lower than it was before and larger so more fabric was taken in). My first attempt didn't quite take enough in, so I tried a second one and was amazed at how much better the back of my dress fitted! I duplicated this dart on the other side of the dress making it equal and took out my tacking.
I was so happy with these darts I am thinking about maybe altering the ones on the back of my Megan Dress as the lower back is a little baggy! I find it really hard to see what the back of my garments look like while making so am contemplating getting a mannequin for Christmas :)