Oh my! This has been quite the challenge but through perseverance things are starting to improve and I am saving this dress! After washing – this fabric didn’t shrink! I got so lucky! I can’t beleive it. It did run a tiny bit so now there are some pink spots in a few areas. I guess this dress will be a dry clean dress (breaking my rule of avoiding those types of fabrics). That said, where we left off last time – I was facing shrinking the fabric, a clown-ruffle skirt, and a super gapey neckline. What to do?
For the skirt, I tore our the gathering seam and ironed the fabric flat again. then I cut open the side seam and laid my pattern block down along the seam with the zipper. I was able to convert the curve of the zipper into the curve of the pattern block and then I retraced the skirt and added a half inch seam allowance. I then did the same for the back piece and cut out both sides. From there, I sewed the new sides together again and reconnected it to the bodice. At this point – this is when I noticed I didn’t wash the fabric. Post-washing, I ironed out the dress and tried it on again. It still fit and looked much better with the adjusted skirt. I then sewed a few parts of the seam a second time to balance out the skirt and improve the fit. It was starting to look better but you can tell there’s still a lot of work to go to improve the bodice.
As I write this now, I think I realize that I should start finishing all of my modifications to the bodice before I attach the bottom. That seems like it could make this easier however I have to admit that I don’t know how to totally try on the fit in the same way without having the zipper in place or other things that would tighten up parts of the dress. Thoughts for my next project. Anyway! It became time to figure out what was going on with the neckline. I think I accidentally cut it dangerously wide at first and there were times where that made some of the adjustments I could have made more challenging. I cant believe I’m writing this but I basically figured it was time to add in princess seams again. Next time I may just plan to use these from the start. Oh well.I drew them out on the fabric again and slowly cut into all my hard work.
And sewed them in again using lots of pins and careful sewing.
They turned out surprisingly well and like last time they totally got rid of the grapes of fabric around the neckline.
Haha you can see the college sweatpants I was wearing on the doorknob here.
From here, it was time to adjust the arm holes, prepare some bias trim, and level out and hem the skirt.I added a little side slit to make it easier to move. Then I started to hem the dress using the new technique I learned to sew invisible hems!! This was so exciting!! The trick is to fold the fabric so that the triangle stitch goes only into a tiny edge of the eventual seam. You can kind of see it below. I also tried to make a video of my progress. It is hard to record and sew at the same time.
This took some practice on a few scraps but then things started to look good!!
I ironed the seam after this to smooth it out and then it was time to finish the sleeves!
You can kind of see the bias trim in the photo above.
Last but not least, this was looking a little basic so I added a tiny frill to the shoulder.