I made myself another dress!
We’ve got a family funeral next week and when I looked in my wardrobe I really had nothing suitable, whilst wearing all black isn’t so necessary these days my smarter summer dresses tend to be light and floaty or more suitable for weddings and I certainly didn’t have a simple dark jacket.
I had a look in my stash, wondering if a dark jacket would tone down one of my summer dresses, this is what I found…
…a whole outfit, just waiting to be made! The white rose fabric is scuba, I bought on a whim last year in Fabworks in Dewsbury and then wondered what on earth to make with it. Scuba is a funny fabric, I’m still not sure about it as it is so synthetic but I felt the design was perfect for a smart, simple dress. It’s not quite black, more of a dark charcoal grey with a tiny touch of brown. The plain fabric is some beautiful cashmere I bought in Armley last year, I was planning to make a winter dress out of it, but I decided it would make a wonderful summer jacket for cooler days (of which we get quite a few here in the UK!!) and as it’s dry clean only then I think a jacket is probably more suitable anyway. Colourwise it matches perfectly.
I had a rummage through my patterns and found one I think I picked up on the swop table at the last Sew Down Dewsbury, Simplicity 7667 was just what I wanted, a shift dress and a simple style of jacket. I even found an invisible zip of the right length and colour in my stash! It was all meant to be!! All I had to buy was some lining for the jacket.
I decided to tackle the dress first. It went together very easily but took a bit of fiddling to get the fit a bit better. I cut out a size 12, grading it to a 14 over my hips. Scuba is very stretchy and this pattern was for woven fabrics, but I didn’t cut smaller as I didn’t want a figure hugging dress. I stitched the two darts in for the bust and then just basted the sides and shoulders together to check the fit. That was a good move as there was alot of excess fabric round the armhole. I tried putting an extra dart in the side, that didn’t help, after much fiddling I decided to increase the size of the dart in the side seam, so I undid the basting, increased the dart, basted again and it looked much better. Still not perfect, but better than it was and the best I could do without an assistant!
The invisible zip went in well, I always have to get one of my sewing books out for these as I don’t use them that often. With hindsight I should have started it slightly lower down the seam. I also lowered the neckline by about an inch as I find higher necklines really uncomfortable.
The pattern uses the dress fabric to face the neckline and armholes. I thought the scuba would be too bulky, so I used some lining for that, I understiched it but even with it stitched down at the seams I could see it was going to be a pest, sneaking out at inoportune moments. Having hand-stitched the hem up I decided to just lightly stitch the facings down by hand, it seems to have worked with not much visible from the front.
I’m really pleased with my dress, it’s super comfortable with all the ease from the scuba but I think it looks suitably smart but not too sombre so I should be able to wear it on other occassions.
Just got to make the jacket now!