Sunday, 5 August 2012

Vintage Duvet Dress

One of my goals for a long long long time has been to do some dressmaking, and beef up some more sewing skills. With recent inspiration and admiration for fellow graduates Andrea Bonnell and Sam Budgen (ladies who invited me to Birmingham), I was set to start cutting and stitching away. 

 From the selection of dresses, I chose View 3- the sleeveless option. There is also a zip on the back, which I had not realised at first.

The pattern I chose was most like the type of dresses that I wear and was part of a large donation to my textile resources given to me last year from a family friend. I wanted to make something that would be of use to me(dresses are a high priority in my wardrobe), and with a lack of income and eagerness to learn new talents this weekend was the perfect opportunity. What was a great use also, was a lot of old bed sheets that were close to being thrown out which I cunningly saved to use as scraps. So my choice of fabric for my first attempt at a dress is a very old, slightly stenchy old duvet cover. Perfect for any mistakes and drawing all over the fabric.

So yesterday afternoon, I shoved on the Olympics in the background and got pinning, marking, cutting, stitching and altering.

 The Dress

Noteworthy points about the dress:

1) The dress is sleeveless, however the armhole facing had not been ironed down by this point which is why it sticks out on my right arm in the picture above. However, this happy accident looks kinda fab in a nice frilly shoulder detail and shall be adapted for any future creation!
2) The hem on the dress is very poorly and quickly stitched after being taken up about 7 inches from the original length.
3) I had no interfacing to hand without going out and buying some which would have made the dress better quality finish.
4) I hate doing zips. For this dress, I tacked the zip on and machine stitched it. I need more practice with zips.
5) For this dress, I would need to add a nice hook or button at the top of the zip to close the dress.
6) After first trying on the dress, I took up the length and also took it in at the waist by an inch on each side and also gave it more shape so that it fitted by body better (See pictures above).
7) I want to change the shape of the bottom of the dress and bring it in a little tighter 
8) It is a bloody good first attempt at dressmaking and I am beyond proud of myself!

 The details of the sleeveless dress and the collar of the dress.

Close up of the armhole facing (which should be hidden in the inside of the dress) which when hanging out of the dress doesn't look bad (provided I neaten it up)

Sexy paisley brown print, and the sleeveless shoulder.

The back with the zip. A hook/clasp/button is required at the top.

Whilst I am immensely proud of this dress, the finish isn't 100% and the fabric is a bit worn in places and has an old odour about it. I might trying dying it, but otherwise it will be hanging in my wardrobe to remind myself that I don't need to hit the high street to treat myself a new outfit.

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