My newest client, who got in touch via this blog, lives on the other side of the world so I’ll never even see her 😥 She asked for a copy of a dress I made for myself that I blogged a while back. We exchanged a few emails to get an idea of how this would work, discussing fabrics, a deadline, payment and measurements – but mostly measurements. I sent a couple of pictures like this one.
Then off I went.
The main worry was making the dress too small. The black fabric I picked has the tiniest amount of stretch and I used the Winifred Aldrich close-fitting dress block (which, as you may know, isn’t all that close-fitting) to design a sloper on which to base the dress pattern.
Making the inside of the garment nicely finished is very important to me, even more so when sewing for a client who might only have RTW garments to compare to, but on this occasion I abandoned my usual French seams. The dress will probably have to be adjusted by the client and while contour darts can quickly be narrowed or widened, letting out a French seam can be a bit of a nightmare. Not only are there two stitching lines to unpick, but the inner seam is likely to be closely trimmed.
Instead, I left the seam allowances untrimmed (in case there are places where the garment needs to be made bigger) and bound them Hong Kong style. The white binding is consistent with the colour scheme of the dress: can you guess what it is yet?!
The dress has a ‘loop and button’ closure but not of the delicate, bridal variety (this is meant to be a utalitarian garment). I’ve only done loops once before so thought I might do some desk research to enable me to do it as professionally as possible. The buttons on the left side are placed exactly at the centre front, as for a shirt with buttonholes, but the loop side edge therefore has to move back and it’s really the loops that are placed at the centre front of the right side. But which part of the loop is the exact middle? The outer edge? The hole? And as for the rouleau strips: how long to make them in relation to the button size?
Well, maybe there’s a magic formula somewhere but I realised I’d have to make some samples and take measurements from those that worked!
I did pick up one helpful tip (from here, as usual) for sewing loops. Use sticky tape when aligning the strips with the raw edge of the garment as there’s less movement than if using pins or tacks.
Oh, and place the stitched side of the strips up so when the sewing is done and flipped over, the stitching doesn’t show.
No need to peel off all those bits of tape: this whole section will get cut away.
It was hard to ‘let go’ and put the dress in the post. I guess I feel it’s not quite ready as I haven’t seen it on the client. And I no longer have control, if that makes sense. But we posed for a photo together, the dress and I, with the ever-present Blogstalker looking on.