Hey there everyone
I have another story to share with you, this is no ordinary dressmaking tale in the life of willowwears. It is far far from the norm for me, in the fact that this little number has been created (by yours truly, no other) based on a dress I saw in a film, oh yes indeedy. I did not see a pattern in a book, magazine or on the tintyweb, I watched Life As We Know it and took a fancy to a dress Katherine Heigl wore in it. So, without a pattern I was well and truly on my own, quite literally left to my own devices, ideas were popping into my head in the middle of the night!
I haven’t yet got the ability and knowledge to design a dress freehand, however this was the closest I have ever got. I created my pattern by tracing bits and pieces of patterns I have used before. Putting a round neckline together with a lower back was a challenge in itself, then there was the short bodice and long skirt, darts, facings for the neck and armholes; My brain was working overtime. Without any idea if this would all work together and fit properly making a muslin was a must, which to my surprise was a success first time.
The fabric I chose is red embossed Scuba and black plain Scuba from Abakhan Fabrics in Manchester. I saw it online first but decided to take a trip to the store for a browse. I am like a child in a sweet shop every time I go into that shop, I have to stop myself from squealing. The construction of my dress was extremely easy (good job, as I was without instructions). I started with the bodice, princess seams and side seams. I then moved onto the skirt, sewing both side seam and matching this up against the bodice to create my darts. I have to confess I had a light-bulb moment wondering if this was the correct thing to do, then I thought, who cares if it isn’t how it should be, this is mine, all mine, I can create it any way I want.
I attached my facings around the neck and armholes before inserting the zip, at which point everything came to a grinding halt, four times I tried to get that bad boy into the dress, I am more than familiar with matching seams on a concealed zip but my red fabric is quite thick and stretchy, even after securing the zip at the seam beforehand, it felt the need to move every time I sewed it in. Finally it was in, I tried the dress on for size and strutted my stuff in front of my husband, he was suitably impressed until I turned around – “your seam doesn’t match” he said “that’s not like you to leave it like that, it’s a millimetre out”. Now, there comes a time when even the perfectionist in me has to walk away from a garment and admit defeat and this was one of them. As for my husband, I haven’t seen him for a few days, goodness knows where he is………..
Finally, came the vent, hem and a touch of hand sewing and my first willowwears design was complete. I have had quite a few exciting moments in my four years of sewing, my very first vogue dress being one of them (smiles). This is no exception (extremely exciting to be exact!) To have an idea and be able to wear it in a matter of weeks without buying a pattern is a massive achievement for me, I still can’t quite believe it.
Lovely! And that seam matching looks pretty darn good to me.
It looks great. One thing I do on a dress like that is put the zip in the side seam. I start it about 1/2″ down from the armhole. the top is already lined up because of the armhole or sleeve, and even if it weren’t, no one is the wiser.
Well done! Looks great.
Beautiful! I feel your pain about the zip — but you’re probably the only one who would notice! And your hair is almost long enough to cover any imperfections! My tip about zips (not that I’m always successful) is to hand baste them in before stitching. That way you can watch each stitch. Still, some fabrics are uncooperative!