I started this dress – from a new pattern I bought ages ago – last Sunday afternoon, but cutting it out took me so long I didn’t get it anywhere near finished before it was time to cook the roast. I decided to use the Serwa fabric I bought for the very popular Sophie Kingo African print girls’ dresses as it’s somehow understated yet very African andvery stylish.
I didn’t get round to picking up the dress again until yesterday afternoon . Of course, I had the same issues as I always seem to have with dresses – the sizes just didn’t add up. Once the zip was in place on the left hand side, I realised the bodice was just too large. So, I repositioned the zip. And repositioned it again. After two repositions – and by 10.30pm – the zip gave in. I couldn’t see what the problem was, and what with it being too cosy (read dark, or vice versa) my initial pride at having put in my first ever concealed zip vanished. I (annoyed) put the dress aside, called it a few names under the sun and decided I’d instead lie on the settee and watch Save the Last Dance. Please don’t judge me.
So, this morning I decided I needed to get the dress finished. It had gone on long enough and I worried if I didn’t get it done it would end the way of another dress that really annoyed me once and languish in our ‘blue room’. I unpicked the zip (again) and repositioned (again). Then – with the July sunshine streaming through the window – I realised the teeth had somehow been damaged and the zip was a goner. Luckily I had a spare in my sewing box, so I started again – for the fifth time. This time it was positioned correctly (or rather, even if it wasn’t I just told myself it was fine. I couldn’t deal with unpicking and resewing it for a sixth time); I just needed to increase the seam on the other side of the bodice and I’d almost be there.
After than kerfuffle it was time for the armhole finishing. I had contemplated adding little cap sleeves – which would have been another first for me – but I thought with the print and the gathering it would be a bit too much. So I decided to follow the instructions for the armhole facing – using bias cut strips of fabric. However, the instructions were shoddy, and once I’d done it the way I thought it could work I realised it didn’t really and the facing just wouldn’t sit right. So it was time to unpick another part of the dress and try again. This time I went off-piste and did it my way (I was done with this dress), which meant I then had to do some snipping, extra sewing and more snipping to make it work. But in the end we got there.
And with a quick machine-sewn hem for a change I finished it. Just before dinner tonight. Complete with two new firsts in the sewing history books for me – pockets and concealed zip. I LOVE it. I hope you do too.