This is my entry for the Tessuti Gridlock Competition. They chose the fabric and it was up to everyone else to decide what to make with it. This dress has been troublesome from the start. When I first saw this competition I had no intention of entering – I am such a beginner! But then the more I saw the fabric the more I liked it. Then when it arrived and I started to play around with it I began to hate it! It’s a bit of an odd blue, it’s pretty heavy but with LOADS of stretch which was affecting the fit. I just really wasn’t inspired by it at all….
But, dammit, I had bought the material and there was no way I was not going to make something. So I persevered and after an inspiring shopping trip ideas began to form. My thought was that this fabric is not fancy enough to create a pretty or sophisticated dress. So I made a dressed down day dress….
This is completely self-drafted! (Yay!) I based the bodice on my block. The other side of the fabric is really pretty so I wanted to use it in the dress. I’ve only included a little at the shoulders but I like how it breaks up the blue pattern. The pattern I made wasn’t a problem but getting the pattern placement correct was a little tricky for my small brain. I had to cut out a couple of pieces twice to get it right, but it was so worth it.
The skirt is a circle skirt. I used the instructions from by Hand. I followed their instructions for a 26 inch waist exactly but when I tried it on it was crazily big! Granted I actually have a 25 inch waist but even considering this it was waaaaay too big. I double checked what I’d done and I had done it right! The only way I can understand it is that the fabric is so heavy and stretchy that the weight of the fabric stretched it? Either way, I had to cut it down. I decided to add seams to line up with the seams at the bodice.
I didn’t line the dress, as I used the stretch in it to my advantage and I didn’t have any stretchy lining! So instead I bound all the seam allowances with bias binding – wow! there were a lot of seams…… I kinda regretted giving the skirt so many seams at this point!
Since I wasn’t lining the dress and I thought the fabric was too thick to use as facings I used bias binding to finish off the neckline, armholes and the skirt hem. I used a dark blue on the arm hole and hem and hid the binding on the neckline. I used the amazing tutorial by victory patterns for this, as I’d never done it before! I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out.
Finally I put the zip in. Thank you to everyone who helped me out with my zip problem! I could go on at length here at how amazed I was about how kind you all are to give me advice and how pleased I was to be a part of the online sewing world. I couldn’t believe so many of you helped me! For those that didn’t see, this is how my zip looked at first – bad! very bad!After reading through all of your wonderful comments I realised that even thought the jaquard fabric is heavy the zip was mega heavy! Also, as Geniknits and Debbie pointed out, I think I had stretched the fabric whilst putting the zip in – I used a walking foot for the whole of the dress but couldn’t when using my zipper foot. So in the end I decided to stabilize the zip by using a couple of layers of silk organza I had lying around and hand picked the zip to avoid the pulling issue. My first hand picked zip by the way I wish I’d taken a photo at this stage as it looked soooo much better, but still was not perfect, and I’m a perfectionist don’t you know? So, in the end I ripped it out and put this lighter, but still chunky, zip in. What do you think? I like it, and the blue from the zip tape matched the bias binding I never realised the weight of a zip could cause so many problems, so thank you everyone for helping me learn!
Oh also! I nearly forgot, this baby has pockets! Hidden side-seam pockets! Oh yeah, I’m proud of those babies.
Phew, I am so glad I’ve finished this dress. Even though it looks simple it feels that a lot of work went into it and I’ve learnt a few more good techniques that I’m proud of! I’m not sure I love it but I am surprisingly proud of it and don’t think it looks too shabby I have no grand ideas of winning the competition but I enjoyed the challenge!
I still have some fabric left over, I hope there’s enough for a small jacket, I think it’s a good fabric for jackets.
Check out the Tessuti pintrest board for all the other amazing creations! Some are gorgeous!