In my last post, I asked people to guess what I was sewing from this picture:
Those funny organza strips went into making underarm gussets for wiggle dress I made for a client last week.
Pretty cool, huh?
The dress pattern is from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing. I've made two other patterns from this book, the Bow-Tied Blouse (here) and her Pencil Skirt (here and here). The wiggle dress I made had shorter sleeves like the dress on the book cover.
Fitting this dress on my client was relatively easy. I cut a size 10 on top and scaled down to a size 6 at the hips. The muslin looked a hot mess at first. I've been following the LCD fitting technique I learned in a Peggy Sagers workshop (LCD - adjust length then circumference then depth) and when I pinched 1.25 inches off the length of the bodice (where it looked bunchy between bust and waist), it all worked. The only other alterations I made was to take in the side seams at the hip about 1/4", peg the sides at the hem by 2" overall, and take in the princess seam under the bust at the second fitting.
I used a lot of the skills I learned from Susan Khalje's Couture Dress Craftsy Class and advice I got from Rhonda Buss while making the wedding dress.
The dress is underlined in black cotton batiste, which kept the soft drape of the wool but gave it a bit more support and structure.
I added organza selvedge strips to the back opening to keep the bias cut from stretching and hand-picked the lapped center zipper down the back (most of the zipper was inserted during Cora's piano lesson):
I attached the lining to the sleeves by hand with a slip stitch and understitched the lining with a pick stitch:
I added drapery weights to the back vent and thread chains to help the lining and dress move well together:
I bought 5 yards of this wool/wool blend fabric from a woman who was destashing on Craigslist before moving out-of-state. The lining is an Ambiance Bemberg lining I purchased from EmmaOneSock.com about a year ago when it was on sale.
This dress made me think about couture vs. home or industrial sewing. I used a number of couture techniques, but I also used quicker techniques when I thought going couture wouldn't add significantly. Here are some of the places where I decided to go the home/industrial route:
- I didn't hand baste the pieces before sewing (although I probably should have done this with the princess seams as I had to sew the second one three times before I got it right).
- I serged the seam allowances instead of binding them in some way (I love the way a bound seam looks but I knew my client didn't care enough about this to pay for the extra time).
- I attached the lining to the dress at the neckline by machine and understitched by machine with only a few hand stitches where I thought they were needed (time/cost issue).
I'd like to take a course soon on industrial sewing techniques so that I can learn more about that side of things. I want each garment to involve making decisions about technique based on the fabric, the style, the client, the cost. What matters to me in this case is that I am happy with the way the dress turned out, I don't feel like I cheated in order to save time, and my client loves it!
What about you? Do you enjoy couture techniques? When do you use them and when do you not?