This might be the first time I have finished something in less than one month. I started the Fall Silk Dress on November 20th and I finished it on December 10th...no way! It actually was a Quickie Dress Project, for me anyway, I know some people make a whole dress in like a weekend. The whole process was pretty darn painless with one or two exceptions. Most of the grief could have been prevented if I heeded my instincts but then where is the fun in that, right?
I am finally starting to learn from my past sewing experiences. I realized that I should probably apply the sleeve facing and finish that facing edge before I actually make the sleeve into a circle and apply it to the dress. Don't laugh, I have actually done this. Like the homo sapiens that came before me I adapted, learned and applied this knowledge. It made the sleeve assembly quite a bit easier....though it did not in any way facilitate sleeve insertion.
I did have to draft my own facing since the pattern calls for the sleeve edge to be hemmed, I wasn't too keen on this. Inserting the sleeve was another matter entirely. The right side may be the best sleeve insertion I have ever performed, it went in perfectly the one and only time I tried; I love that sleeve. The left side not so much, I think I finally got it passable on the fourth attempt and it still isn't as perfectly awesome as the right side, though it is probably only me that notices it.
While the sleeve insertion was time consuming I always sort of expect that I am not going to get it in quite right the first time so ripping out basting stitches and re-basting isn't too frustrating. My real nightmare was finishing the neckline, I'm still suffering flashbacks from it. The pattern calls for the neckline to be finished with a self bias strip, what an epic disaster that was. I didn't even take pictures it was too demoralizing. I applied it, tried it on and wanted to cry! It was hideous for too many reason. But basically, I applied it all wrong so it pulled & distorted the neckline hideously and the diagonal lines didn't match up so there were dashes going all akimbo...not a good look. I ripped it out and then had the bright idea to use some Extra Wide Bias Binding, quilt binding to be precise, the results of this were just as disastrous...a disaster that I recorded for posterity's sake actually.
I tried it on and for whatever reason it didn't lie flat but flared out. It looked like the top of a funnel around my neck. It didn't even look like it was part of the dress, more like a noose. Finally I determined to just use a facing, something that I considered doing at the outset but decided against for unclear reasons. In the end, through this trial and error situation, I have a new found appreciation and love for facings.
There was a point where I thought this dress might find itself on the Epic Failure Pile. Fortunately it never got that bad, though one more neckline fiasco might have ushered it that a way. Happily I got it faced and hemmed in a few hours and was able to wear it to brunch the next day. I had such a good time though that I failed to have my picture taken in it. I'll get some snapped and posted here pretty quick.
I have already begun making another one, using a Wool Challis from Gorgeous Fabrics. I highly recommend this pattern (McCall's #M6355) to anyone looking for a simple and easy dress pattern. It was quick, easy and I like the fit. It is my understanding that one can never have too many dresses in fun fabrics.
Stay tuned, more to come on my newest dress project and pix of my finished Fall Silk Dress.
(PS. I meant to post this like last week but somehow failed...)