Today I want to show you a dress I made a while ago. September 2013 according to my notes; yikes I didn't realize it was so long ago!
I've been wearing this dress quite a lot because it is sooo comfortable and totally wrinkle proof and that is all thanks to the fabric. At first I thought it was some microfiber ponte, but now that I have handled many more neoprene/scuba fabrics I think this one might be a skinny, very fluid scuba. In any case it has a lot of stretch which is super comfy but wasn't always good while sewing as you'll see below.
The pattern is Vogue 8685 and I made view F with the wide skirt and elbow-length sleeves. The original pattern has a much wider neckline but I prefer mine closer to my neck, so I raised it significantly; basically I made it just barely big enough to put my head through. I also lengthened the sleeves (by 4cm), but I actually wear them old them folded just above my elbow. I probably should cut them and se a proper hem at this length. All the seams are topstitched because I love the look but also to keep the bulky seam allowances from folding every which way they want. I also skipped the back zipper, yoohoo!
The skirt is quite wide so I didn't have to do my usual blending to a larger size for my hips.
The very stretchy fabric caused problems in two places: the hip yokes form a point when the front and back are sewn together and for the life of me I cannot get that to lie smoothly.
I trimmed and graded the seam allowances to minimize the bulk, I topstitched ever so carefully to avoid any stretch. Even hand basting wasn't helping! In the end I actually sewed the few centimeters around the point by hand! And still this is the best I could do... It is visible if you know where to look, but nobody notices except us sewists, right?
The second problem was with the neckline. To finish it I just used a strip of fabric cut at the crossgrain and folded widthwise. The fabric is too thick and the edges don't ravel so I didn't try to fold the edges to the inside, I just left them exposed. It took me three tries to find the appropriate length of the strip that would not ripple or gather the neckline. In the end I went with a 45cm strip for the 48cm neckline circumference. I'm happy with the result but as you can see in the photo the strip does stand up and away from the body. Again one of those things that only we notice, right?
I leave you with a full 360° view of the dress. Forgive the high boots at the end of June; we've had lots of rain and highs of 18°C (63F) so it would appear that our summer was a weekend back in May and now we've gone straight to fall... (that stain on the skirt on the back view is water from my bike seat, I had just come back from the office and I wanted to take advantage of the fact that the rain had stopped to take these photos)
I also wrote a review of Vogue 8685 at Pattern Review.