Sunday, 12 March 2017

Self Drafted Olivia Dress

When you know how, the changes to my Rosalie pattern to make Olivia were pretty simple. This time last year I would have had no idea how though, and I would have been pretty mind blown to hear I'd just drafted and realised my second dress.

I used the same block as a starting point, and decided on armscye/bust panels as I loved them so much on Rosie. I SORT OF wish I'd done princess seams from the shoulder down, just to learn a little more about moving darts and try something different, but in visual terms I am definitely pleased with my panelling again.

Where Rosalie is a bit spooky, Olivia is a bit classy. I've opted for sleeveless this time, as Rosalie is quite possibly all the sleeve a girl will ever need! This also gave me chance to practice lining arm holes, which (shhhh!) I'd never done before! There are many different methods, but the one that worked for me was learned from Lisa Comfort's Sew Over It How to Line a Dress vid. The trick here is to make the shell and lining up as normal but WITHOUT sewing up shoulder seams. The two are then attached around neck and arm holes, understitched, the lining then turned in. You do something a bit funky with the shoulders, pulling one inside the other then sewing, making sure you match everything up perfectly before pulling back through to the right side. I could give you an in depth tutorial but just watch the vid ;) For my first attempt it worked pretty well!

The other major change is the skirt is now A-line instead of straight/pencil style. To do this I used a slash and spread technique on my paper pattern. Basically I closed up the waist darts which added kick to the skirt. I made a toile and ended up taking some of that kick out!! It looked good, but just not entirely 'me'.

Really happy with the amount of flare in the skirt now though! Love that shape over my hips and managed to avoid a billowing skirt affair!

The only problem is the back skirt. I hate to point these things out, but I guess it's how we learn! There is some unnecessary bagging in my lower back. Used slash and spread to take the darts out of the back too, but in doing this I have created bagginess! I thought in toiling stages that this wouldn't matter as it would somehow just add to the flare??? I don't know. The waist is pretty snug on me though, so I don't know how I could really add any shaping in to the lower back. Does that make sense? Can anyone help? It's a real shame as I absolutely love the hang and shape at the front. I'm sure it's possible to fix but it's really really hard working behind yourself!

Olivia's neckline is a little different too, the curve looking a little more square? I think? Either way, I think it's great. I took a little out of the back neck too so the zipper didn't sit so high.

Fabric choice is a stable velvet affair, with little diamonds embossed? etched? What's the sewing term?? Sort of quilted but not? Don't stroke it the wrong way or it will make you feel sick. Actually you know what, don't stroke me at all unless you want a fat lip.



Location: Wicker Arches, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Black Saint, Witch

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