I think I’m having a dress thing at the moment because I've made myself another dress -
It’s made from Kwik Sew 3521 and it's what I call a real party dress - a classic shape with a fitted bodice, scoop neck and full skirt.
I made it up in a beautiful silk charmeuse bought from Gorgeous Fabrics. I love the big ‘flower garden’ print and because it has a black background I’m thinking that this could take me through the winter party season as well as summer: an all seasons dress. Now, silk charmeuse might seem like delicate stuff, and it's a bit slippy to sew, but it turns out that it’s quite resilient – this dress has already had a glass of wine spilt down the front (well, I did say it was a party dress) and it came out of the washing machine, on the silk programme, none the worse for wear.
I rather like Kwik Sew patterns – their instructions and illustrations are nice and clear and they sometimes do things a bit differently from the Big 4 which is interesting to try. With this pattern the bodice has what I think is called an edge to edge lining, which I rather like because it saves fiddling around with facings and has a nice clean look inside. If you are using a lightweight fabric, like this silk, they tell you to stabilize it by fusing some interfacing, cut 1” wide, around the wrong side of the neckline and armholes of the lining pieces.
I did, however, make some changes. I lined the skirt as well as the bodice to give it some fullness. I used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one and I sewed quarter inch twill tape to the seam allowances at the waist to stop it stretching out. I also used a technique for sewing sleeveless dresses that I’ve never actually seen in pattern instructions but I learnt from Connie Long’s great book Easy Guide to Sewing Linings. You trim an eighth of an inch from the lining fabric around the shoulder, blending to the original line near the underarm. When you sew the lining to the fashion fabric you keep the raw edges together and then the outer fabric rolls in slightly and stops the lining showing on the outside.
So, I’m all set to party and would be checking the post for invitations but our local post office workers keep going on strike – I had a big grumble at them on Tuesday because I was waiting for several things to arrive and they told me triumphantly that they had a backlog of millions of things to sort through – I'm hoping that at least one of them is a party invitation for me!