Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pansy Dress

This might have been my ideal dress at age five or something, but regardless of how critical I am about my finish product (usually a lot) I'm always try to be happy about the accomplishment. The way I see it, I’m bound to eventually make things I’m proud of if I keep working at it. In the meanwhile, I'll enjoy the process.


 As I find myself nearing a turning point in my life, with all the excitement and anxieties this brings, sewing is just as, if not more, important to me. The pleasure of getting lost in a project – the “flow” – or what Gretchen Rubin would call “challenging fun” -- the kind of pleasure that requires substantial efforts, but that also provides the highest pay-off. The importance of creativity in our lives: what Alice Walker is talking about when she writes about “feeding the creative spirit” (“In Search of Our Mothers’ Garden: The Creativity of Black Women in the South,” 1974)... Regardless of what happens in the next few months, my sewing machine will always be there for me when I come home.

The fabric is a cotton lawn from Goldhawk Rd., London, with a bemberg lining. The pattern is self-drafted based on my bodice block and the skirt is a gathered rectangle.

What did I learn?
  • I finally tried Tasia’s method forhandpicking a zipper and I’m hooked. I was initially concerned that the result would appear too home-made, but the greater control your hands give you is well worth the extra time.
  • I figured out a way to apply frills to form a jabot without making any cuts in the front of the dress, and without unsightly seams under the frills. Curious? I’ll show you how soon.
  • I also nailed the exact proportions for the sleeve frills – and made sure to keep the pattern.
  • Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that zigzagging the edges of the frills is usually better than baby-hemming (see bellow) because it emphasizes the undulation rather than rigidifying the frills. (This is what happened with the petals of rose blouse for example.) As long as you chose wisely the width and length of your zigzag stitch.
Photography by Jillian Rubman

14 comments:

  1. I love the fabric and the dress itself is super adorable. LOVE IT.

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  2. Oh, you look so pretty and dainty in this dress! Well done on drafting something truly lovely - the colours really compliment your colouring and your hair looks as gorgeous as ever!

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    1. THank you! Maybe it's less the colours of the dress and more the skills of the photographer (and the quality of her equipment) that complement my complexion! My friend is pretty skilled. :-)

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  3. Beautiful, it looks very professional and those colours really suit you. Wrt edging the frills-your machine might actually have an edge-stitching function-i.e. on mine, stretch stitch when used with the right foot, gives overlocker-like edge-stitching quality!

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    1. Thanks for the tip, I'll look into that. :-)

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  4. The dress is gorgeous. You matched the flowers so well. And the finish on it is superb! I can't see any faults with it really.

    I can't seem to figure out how you bound the waist part without the stitches showing through. I'm stumped :)

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    1. Thanks Melizza! Actually, the bias at the waist is only sewn to the lining. Maybe I'll do a short tutorial on this in October.

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  5. Adrie, tu es encore plus belle que ta belle robe!!

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  6. That's an amazing self-drafted dress and the fabric is soooo pretty - as are you. I'm also at a big crossroads in life. It can be very unsettling, can't it, but hopefully rewarding.

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  7. What a beautiful dress! I can't wait to see how you've attached the frills. I love it!

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  8. I had to comment, albeit late, to say how much I adore this dress!! SO pretty, I love the frills, the front frill and the fabric. Super pretty, you do nail a good frill, don't you?!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! Comments are moderated on posts older than 20 days, so they won't appear immediately. :-)

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