We are sewing to the theme of Halloween over at The Sew Weekly so I’m super excited to use this challenge to sew up a dress from the Pattern Magic Stretch book (Japanese). No, no this is not a costume I will wear this lots and l o t s; on a bright day I can throw on black and be happy and on the darkest days I can wear the brightest colours and feel happy too.
So, if you have the book this dress is on page 18-19. The dress was super easy to draft up. I scanned the line art from the book and placed it in Adobe Illustrator and re-drew the diagram, I then scaled it up to my size and printed it out on brown paper on the big digital printer at work. I do this with all downloaded patterns so I don’t have to sit there sticking pieces of A4 paper together to make up the full scale pattern. This option is a total time-saver.
I made some minor changes during the cutting stage so the dress didn’t look too sack-like adding more shape to the waistline for when I want to wear the dress long you see, this Avant Garde dress has four armholes! The second set sit at your hips, you can see this on the photo above. Wearing this dress long obviously requires some sort of undergarment, I’m wearing a lycra spanx dress that sucks all your bits in. I guess the second set of armholes can act as fake pockets too.
I invested in some good quality fabric for this dress-Premium Ponte De Roma 85% Poly, 11% Rayon & 4% Spandex. It’s perfect, it’s nice and heavy too so it hangs just right and I’m confident a bum imprint wont stretch it’s way through the fabric after a long sitting- so with that little investment I wanted to make sure that all of my finishings: hems, facings etc were to the best to my sewing ability. The thing with stretch fabric is that rippling that can occur when sewing the pieces together. I did some research and made adjustments to my overlocker and used cotton tape on the shoulder seams, and those hip armholes, I didn’t want to risk it and have that rippling effect spoil the garment. I could of used ribbing to sew a band around the hip armholes but was thinking it would jut out and look strange and mess with the lines when I wore it long so I chose to do a facing instead, I turned the facing under lightly pressing down making sure not to scold the fabric. I then loosely hand stitched the facing down picking up tiny bits of the fabric hoping that it didn’t show on the right side, it’s not too bad, my question to you is, can you use some sort of vliesofix fusible web that stretches and moves with the fabric for this process and not have it show on the right side? what would you’ve done? I guess lining the dress could be an option too? The facings okay I’m just wondering if it could be better, store-bought quality better!
When I tried this on—using the shorter version, the back was shorter than the front I knew this when I cut it out I didn’t want to cut off the excess just incase- lucky I didn’t, I needed an extra 25cm so back to Spotlight I went. I used the remainder of the cotton tape on that back joining seam fearing that ripple effect, it certainly helped. I also purchased a twin stretch-knit needle for my machine using up the Gutermann Polyester thread on all of the hems. I sure am happy with the professional looking finish on it.
Here is last years Halloween dress which I still wear to this very day. Love it!
I’ll call this one Lilies from Bat for Lashes new release-The Haunted Man, it makes me cry.