Ok, so now that I confessed that I let The Old Man design one dress and that I realized that I’m not the only one after reading your comments on my last post, I can go further in my confessions. In addition to cooking for me, cleaning my wounds (a not-so-funny story in the streets of Port-au-Prince) and driving me around, The Old Man keeps a Pinterest board of LADIES outfits, for me. Yep. I said it.
I know…. Now, let’s move on to the dress. This is the second linen dress on which I worked with The Old Man. The selected inspiration dress was an Asos ponte knit number. Try to explain that ponte and linen do not behave in the same way and you will get a blank stare back at you… So I decided to keep the technical challenges for myself and try to make it work in a Tim Gunn’s manner!
As it is extremely difficult to show the seamlines in the pictures, I hope you will get a closer idea in the dressform shots and the inside-outs. As for my previous linen number, I used my now TNT sheath dress pattern Lekala 5166. This time I kept the center back shaping. I made the dress longer (OBVIOUSLY) and tapered the seam at the hem up to 1″ on the front and back side seams. In total that represents 4″ less in the knee area so adding a back vent was mandatory if I intended to do more than standing straight in that dress. I created the underbust seam and I closed that section at the princess seam to just keep a pleat under the bust. My other modification for the front was to extend the bottom of the side dart into a pocket. For some reason I find these type of pockets visually interesting as well as practical. If you remember I already used it in my Reiss inspired coat last year. So instead of a 1 piece front you get a front and a side panel that acts also as the pocket bag.
After the pattern work, the construction was fairly simple :
- the upper front pieces sewn at center front on the SA
- on the main front a attached the pocket facing and then added the side panel and then attached to the rest of front,
- Attach the upper front and the front together
- Sew the back darts
- Join front and back at shoulder seams, do the same for the front self lining and back facing
- Insert the invisible zipper (still with the Fashion-Incubator technique), sew the center back seam (and the vent)
- Attach the facing all around the neckline and armholes. Turn out the whole thing like a sock. I hope you are all familiar with the all-in-one facing technique. If not, I think Salme patterns did a good job at illustrating the concept.
- Sew the side seams in 1 step, from hem to facings
- hem, topstitch the vent and done!
You can see that I left some of the process regarding seam finishes out. I mostly used seam binding as you can see on the inside out post!
I really like this dress and I wear it quite often even though it is a bit formal for the everyday look at my work place. Thus, it’s great for these I-have-a-meeting type of days. However the décolleté is a bit on the osé (bold?) side…
Overall it was a great experience and I officially awarded TOM with a special advisory title on my sewing. I know it’s been a while since my last post, but in the mean time I’ve been to NY (brought fabric that you will see very soon), to Guatemala, sewed 2 pencil skirts, currently looking at relaxed wide linen pants and worked on a special project that you should be able to enjoy soon if things go according to plan. Yes, I’ve been busy…
My last word are on press cloth, I will admit to be a wild presser. I press everything heavily and I try to pretend that I don’t see the shiny marks that I am creating… But to be honest it’s bothering me more and more. Recently I read this post on Sunny Gal Studio’s blog and I think it’s time. Time to stop being lazy and start using a press cloth! In my 14 years of sewing, I had to fight my laziness many times : stop ignoring that you have to “set in” a sleeve, stop cutting double layer for silk, stop thinking it’s ok not to finish seams, etc…. Overall this is how my sewing improves, gradually and in steps. BUT I know very little about press cloth. Do I need more than one ? Is a piece of muslin ok ? Does it depend on fabric ? I will have to do some research…
What is your favorite source of information when it comes to press cloths ? And I would love to hear what was the latest step you took to take your sewing to the next level!