Navy and Lace

After the moderate success of my blouse, I wanted to try a dress. So traced my modified pattern onto a new sheet, and sliced both front and back pieces at the empire waist line. Then I extended the neck of the front piece diagonally, so that two front pieces could overlap.

Using the modified pattern, here’s my faux wrap dress!


The fronts are a faux wrap – they don’t really open. The waistband and ties are made following this tutorial, with the obvious exception that they are attached to the middle of the garment rather than the top of pants. For this reason, I just made the waistband out of simple rectangular strips, no curved waist shaping. The skirt is a rectangle, as wide as my hips plus ease, with pleats on top to fit the waistband.

I couldn’t find a zip, so added snaps along the side, spaced about 1 inch apart. They are sewed on to extension plackets.

I like it, though the fit isn’t perfect. Mostly it pleases me that I’m getting to the point where I can fit clothes to my body while sewing as well as in knitting!

What I’m actually proud of is that I figured out how to make a continuous lining for this wrapped style. Because the front neck edges cross each other, I initially thought I would have to line each piece separately. But I really wanted the lining to be a separate, individual layer inside, so here’s what I did (sorry, no pics):

1. Sew lace all round RS of neck, matching raw edge of neck with bottom edge of lace.

2. Cross the bodice fronts and adjust to desired position. The raw diagonal edge of  the top layer is visible.

3. Pin the two layers together, placing pins on top of the sewing line of the lace on the top layer.

4. Turn it inside out so that the WS of the garment is visible.

5. Very carefully , going one pin at a time, remove a pin, flip the raw edge which shows on the RS towards the WS, and pin along the same line again.

 6. Sew along the pinned line, removing pins as you go.

 7. Trim excess overlap on the WS.

 What now remains is, in effect, a v-neck front cut out of a single fabric, rather than two overlapping layers. So now a single layer of lining, cut in a corresponding V-neck shape, can be used.

 Pattern: Sew U top, now modified beyond recognition.

Fabric: An ancient, nearly 15 years old navy charmeuse I had lying around. Actually, I remember buying this with my sister when we were both in college, with the vague idea of having silky trousers stitched. We got the fabric very cheap since it was a remnant in one of Delhi’s giant wholesale cloth dealers. Oh for Delhi’s wholesale textile markets! Where clothes – export rejects, the upcoming season’s offerings from multinational retailers which have not yet been released to the world – are sold by the kilo, and fabric shops beg you to buy their remnants at ridiculously low prices just so they can find space for incoming materials!

Anyway, nostalgia apart, this also explains the sedate tones of this material. It was bought in the 90’s, when fashion law decreed one must pair chintzy florals with combat boots, or dull and grungy navy blues, browns and greys. However, it is pretty good quality – it has a heavy and silky drape, makes an elegantly subdued and oddly satisfying sound when cut with shears, and needed only a quick whoof of steam to close old sewing holes in a section which had to be redone.

Overall, in terms of finish, fit and usability, I would rate this dress 7 out of 10, which makes me quite content. And yes, I will try to take progress pics next time; my comfort level with sewing is growing, so I can actually spare brain-space for thinking about the blog’s needs at the same time!

As for the knitting, it’s still going on, I promise! But since it’s so much slower than sewing, I don’t have any update posts. And, errmmm, I may have discovered that I had one full skein less then I thought, so some adjustments may be taking place.


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