Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Trapeze Sundress - Weekend Sewing Project 1

Having had a good look at my new book, Heather's blog, Erin's blog and the flickr site, I decided to make the trapeze sundress, but actually make it shorter, so it's a top (thank you for that idea Erin).

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly what I have in my fabric supplies. I have far too may small bits of fabric ie 1/2m or less. I have only just started buying 1 - 1.5m as a minimum, so that I can make more projects. Obviously for dresses, trousers, blouses you will need between 2-3 m, so I'll only buy fabric for that once I have a project that I want to do.

Secondly. Being the enthusiastic person that I am, I just HAD to make something immediately from the book! Clearly I have no self control!

I did buy the slate morning glory Amy Butler fabric with a top in mind. I can't remember what size cut I asked for but once it was washed and ironed it measured 110cm long. I folded it in two, selvedge to selvede and placed my pattern pieces on it. This is where I made error no 1, I cut out a medium size, thinking this was 36", no, it was 38"! Oops. So always reread sizing from book! Anyway, I did cut it all out fine. Not too much fabric over. Heather has diagrams of how to lay your pattern out on the fabric, but I had to do my own thing, as I was making a top, not a dress.

photo courtesy of John Gruen/ Heather Ross

Then I got sewing, which is when I realised that I should have bought some new thread! Mistake number 2! I did have grey thread in, but more would have been better. I had 3 spools of grey thread, all very similar in colour. By the end of the project I had used the lot (2 of the spools were very small) So next time I'm in town, I'll be loading up on new thread.


I need to do an inventory. I like Gutterman thread, it doesn't seem to break, although I am buying their polyester thread, that's all my fabric shop sells. I tend to only buy natural fabrics, so I'm never sure if I should buy polyester thread! What is your favourite thread? BTW Have you noticed Sylko no longer exists, I think it's now Coates. Sylko is the thread I remember my mum always using, so it evokes nice memories, of rummaging in her sewing box and attempting my own things, when I was allowed.

photo courtesy of John Gruen/ Heather Ross

So if you look at the photo in the book, it quite clearly shows 3 pleats at the front of the dress, as does an illustration, but the pattern only asks for 2 box pleats at the front and one at the rear, as does the errata. No where does it say that you can do 2 or you could do 3, and show it both ways. So what I think is, do it whichever way you prefer the look of. If you check on flickr and in the book you can see it both ways! I went with the pattern and did 2 pleats at the front and 1 at the back.

(more detail!)

The other thing I noticed that differs from the photo to the pattern, is the decoration around the bodice bit, the fabric that the straps come out of. In the pattern it says to sew a few rows of equally spaced stitching around this bit. But the dress in the picture does not have this stitching. Again, it's up to you. Although the stitching would reinforce the straps being held in place.

front view, 2 pleats

After I had made it, up to the point of attaching the straps at the back, I tried it on, and realised that it was far too big. Duh! So I took it in along the 2 side seams by about an inch or so. Much better! Clearly if I had made the small, it would have been fine. Although the back is slightly too droopy, so I'm hoping attaching the straps can sort this out, ie hoik it up!

rear view, one pleat

TIP: So what I would say is try it on at an earlier stage to ensure fitting, before you do the top stitch after attaching the bodice to the main body of the garment. Less unpicking if you do need to alter the sizing!

(I will attach photos of the finished top ASAP - when I finish it tonight.- Apols for delay, finally took photos!)


*karen said...

Lovely top, it looks good. You are so right about the pleats, even though I didn't mention it in my notes. I found that confusing and had to do my own thing. And I find that the sizing for the majority of the adult patterns in the book tend to run big.

Liz said...

I like how you made it into a top instead. I think it is way more flattering. Great job!

Sarah said...

I love the way this turned out I have to try it. I have it almost done as a dress and then hid it away because I wasnt happy with how it looked. I think I may just need to cut it off.. looks much more flattering for sure

craftyclaire said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments - Claire

Liz said...

Claire: the size 3 measures 20" around the chest and the length is around 16", hitting just below her knee. Hope that helps!

Carrie said...

oh that looks great! I actually bought that same fabric for the sash for the kimono dress!!

house on hill road said...

adorable, claire!
i have been wearing mine non-stop this week on our vacation. i'll definitely be making more!