This dress combines three of my favourite things in sewing: polka dots, sateen, and collars.
As soon as I saw The Fabric Warehouse’s post about their new sateens in stock, I was scheming. The next day I took my scooter (a piece of crap that Mr. Guy did up for my birthday; it now works most of the time) across town, trying not to get swept into parked cars in the strong Wellington wind. I narrowly avoided buying other fabrics (like a black sateen with cherries on it – that can wait until next time), hopped back on my bike and did the same windy trip back home – pulling out on a lady right at the end of a trip and giving her a nasty shock. I’M SO SORRY LADY!
It went straight in the washing machine (as with most fabrics I buy these days) – then, not having the courage to put it in the dryer, had to wait until the next day.
Once I got going, the dress got made… remarkably fast. In fact, from starting cutting at 6pm, it was completely finished (except for the actual hem) by 10.30.
Obviously, it went together very smoothly. I added a collar (why WOULDN’T YOU) which I have had cut out for yonks, for some reason. I just raised the neckline of the bodice to match the collar I already had. This, unfortunately, made the neckline CRAZY high, coming half-way up my neck when I’m sitting, haha. In the future I will change the neckline of the dress as I don’t really feel that comfortable with high-cut boat necks, especially as the front is the same, if not a bit higher, than the back neckline.
I haven’t included information about adding a collar, as there are already dozens of tutorials for drafting a peter-pan collar out there. Mine actually gets sewn in to the shoulder seams so it doesn’t extend all the way around – this is because it was originally cut out for a different pattern (Burda 7494) which I made once, but the skirt was cr-AAAAZY on ones bottom. Like Julia Bobbin, I found the skirt to sit like a tent. Like her, I also planned to just extend the box pleats down to princess seams but.. erm… never got around to doing it. And speaking of the cats mother*, I must admit that I am in total awe of Julia Bobbin. Not only gorgeous, and a very talented seamstress, she just seems like the kind of person I’d be trying to be friends with. But probably failing because she’s so cool.
* My mother-in-law uses the phrase “she is the cats mother”, which is in response to people using pronouns instead of people’s names. It is very school-teachery and I LOVE IT.
I also lengthened the skirt (from the original version 3 cutline) by 3″, and I much prefer this length. It hits juuust below the knee which is much more work appropriate.
Speaking of work appropriate – does anyone else wear crazy stuff to work? I was walking into the hospital on Thursday in this dress and my red Watson jacket, noticing that everyone else was only wearing brown and grey – I stuck out. Most of the time I love this, but sometimes feel like it’s a bad thing and I should just… blend in. Sometimes I love wearing scrubs and a scrub hat for just that reason (although I do have my own, personal scrub hat with pansy’s on it rather than using disposables).
The seams are finished with my overlocker; the whole thing has a rather professional finish, in my opinion. Like my last three versions, I did the facing last to tidy up the top of the zip. Using my pinking shears to trim the neckline seam right back means the neckline sits properly, unlike my last ones where the facing tends to roll out – why have I forgotten all these tips I had previously learned??
Because of the sateen having some stretch, it has a fair amount of ease, which I am enjoying. So far I’ve worn it with a belt, as usual! I never got around to removing some of the width from the skirt pieces, or moving the darts on the pattern so they line up. Should do that now but… well, I’ve put the pattern away and moved on to something else.
Pattern: By Hand London’s Anna dress, stash.
Fabric: Polka dot sateen from The Fabric Warehouse, 2.5m at $18/m = $45. I only used about 1.7m so will be able to make a skirt too, woot.
Notions: white invisible zip, black thread, from my stash
Total: $45 if you count all the fabric, ~$30 for the fabric I used.