Somehow I haven't posted for about three weeks. I don't know how it happens! We had the school half-term hols last week, and so far this whole week has been spent doing some (boring) accounts for our company, but that's finished now, so back to sewing. Actually I have made a couple of dresses in the last few weeks, and have another couple of things planned and strewn across various tables, making the place look even more untidy than usual.
One of the dresses I finished was Vena Cava V1228. I wasn't sure the shape would suit me, as I'm short and tend to look swamped and shapeless in clothes that aren't very shaped themselves. This time I made a muslin and I quite liked it so I went ahead with the dress, and cut it out in a lovely Liberty Tana Lawn I have, called Chilterns. It has a special place in my heart as the village we live in is in the Chilterns (not right in them, but you can see them from the window!) I didn't want to ruin the fabric so I was playing safe (talking about wasting fabric...I've decided I actually detest the red dress in my last post and every time I see it hanging in my wardrobe I feel hatred towards it - what a waste of a lovely fabric that could have made a wonderful, summery shirt).
I really did enjoy making this dress up; it was very straightforward. It has kimono sleeves, so no sleeves to sew on (apart from the cuffs, but that is okay). There is a horizontal pleat at the front just below the square neckline, and one in the middle of the upper back. There is a concealed zip in one side. I had never put in a concealed zip before, but it was easy with the concealed-zip foot, though fiddly at the top and bottom of the zip. I hand sewed the top and bottom in...I don't know if this is the usual thing to do but I couldn't see how one would manage to take the zipper foot either all the way up or all the way down.
All the seams are french seams, except where the cuff is attached, but that is folded back on itself, to cover the unfinished seam, and slip-stitched in place (and then turned up again). I did make a change to the sleeves, of which I'm quite proud, as I'm usually not very innovative with my sewing and tend to just follow the pattern without even considering I could ever do anything differently. In the case of the dress one is supposed to actually sew the loose end of the shoulder tab permanently at the seam where the cuff is attached (after hooking it over the sleeve fabric) but I thought it would be crazy for future laundering, as what you would have is a long sleeve, which is supposed to be turned up at the end (and the turn up is not sewn into place ) and then the whole thing ruched under the shoulder tab. There would be no way you could ever iron it properly, or dry it properly. Instead, I sewed a popper on to the end of the tab, and the inside of the cuff seam and now I can easily undo the whole thing for laundering, and no one would ever suspect!
I see that some have said the neckline is too low on the dress, and that it's difficult to find a bra that doesn't show at the corners of the neck. I found that a balcony type bra solves this problem for me. I don't have a large bust - maybe that makes a difference.
I really really like this dress a lot and just can't wait for the warmer weather in which to wear it. If it wasn't such a distinctive shape I'd make another.
Roll on spring!
(sorry the photos aren't too good. I will try to do some better shots tomorrow).