I have some kind of compulsion to clear out my blogging queue (at least mostly – there are probably garments I’ve forgotten about) before the year ends, hence this sudden flurry of posts. Plus I have a good place to take photos, and a bit more time on my hands than sometimes (she says. Today’s my last full day here, and I have two different events in the evening, as well as needing to finish packing).
Here is my current favourite garment. I sewed it up before leaving for Uganda (clearly – I don’t have a sewing machine here, and am not fast enough to do this much by hand!) and have a lot of love for it.
I have not kept track of what the pattern is; it was a Vogue one, but I don’t have the packet in front of me, and honestly I wouldn’t recommend it particularly. Much as I love the dress. There were two views – one with gathers at the shoulder, and one without – and perhaps the one without would be a better fit, but I chose to go with the gathers, and it gaped like mad. I’ve never made a wrap dress before, and I understand that gaping is a common problem, but this was actually ridiculous. I’ve taken out a 2″ dart at each shoulder, which helps, but I still feel like there’s a little too much fabric in the bodice, and at the moment I’m holding it shut with safety pins each time I wear it. (It would be snaps, but I left them behind in Wellington – and I also think when I’m here in Uganda I want the snap to be a little higher than something I might be ok with back home). The skirt is great though. It’s a half-circle plus some overlap, I think (could be 3/4 circle? I didn’t measure it properly, but it’s definitely not as full as a full circle) and somehow, I have no idea how, it sits very flat over my abdomen and makes me look skinny, which I’m not particularly. Nonetheless, in that aspect it’s one of the most flattering garments I’ve ever made. I think in future I might try the version of the pattern without gathers at the shoulder, and see if that sits neater in the bodice – if it does, I will be a lot more complimentary about this pattern. (And tell you what it is…)
(This is me, who lives in the windiest city in the world, contemplating making more wrap dresses…)
The fabric is a rayon crepe from The Fabric Warehouse – source of many of my favourite fabrics, especially rayons. It’s clearly a designer offcut, as my sister found the same fabric on a shirt in a shop (I think I commented on another post that that had happened – I got confused about which post was what). I think a lot of what I love about the dress is the fabric. It’s incredibly fluid, almost watery – obviously this makes for something a little hard to manage in the sewing, and by default I cut fabrics like this single-layer on the carpet to minimise shifting while I’m trying to cut it out, but it also gives the fabric such a good drape for the wearing. I think this may be part of the magic waist minimisation properties.
I can’t get over how slim I look in it…
The pattern doesn’t actually have waist ties – instead it has snaps, and an optional belt – but I adjusted it because if I make a wrap dress, I’m doing it properly. It took some thought, and I accidentally put the hole to fit the ties through in the opposite side from intended, but it now wraps properly.
I normally choose to tie at the side, but the ties are long enough to wrap the whole way around and tie at the back if I prefer. Options!
And, of course, it has pockets. It took a LOT of thought to work out pockets that wouldn’t just flap around, on a wrap dress, but I think I have success. I did side-seam pockets, but I placed them right at the top of the skirt side seams, so they’re attached into the waist seam as well. I should have taken a photo of the pocket piece – it’s more-or-less the same shape as a yoke pocket would be, just it’s closed over at the front. They are exceptionally successful pockets – they lie really flat, and hold my phone or keys or whatever very neatly. Honestly, these are some of the best pockets I’ve made. The white lining does poke out just a little, but it’s the same fabric as the ties and the binding, so I am of the opinion that it doesn’t really matter.
And a few detail shots – hand-rolled hems, binding in the place that hasn’t been discoloured by living in Uganda (it’ll need a thorough wash once I get it somewhere else), and the fabric detail.
Just one photo from my trip – today I met a chameleon called Alexander!
(He had a friend called Bob, who was considerable larger, but I didn’t get any photos of him.)