Last Gasp of Summer Dress (II)

Thar' be minnows


Well, I didn’t actually think this dress would make it to a three-part series, but sewing’s been slow. Largely because summer has been having a last gasp, so instead of sewing I’ve been out wading in the creek, dutifully snapping photos while my hubby and Syo (Tyo’s gone camping with a friend) hunt minnows with their nets. They are getting disturbingly good at it. Today we saw two guys fly-fishing, which is incredibly elegant to watch. They weren’t catching anything bigger than we were with nets, though. (Mind you, they were staying dry… not sure if that’s a bonus or not, though, given the heat. I was very happy to have my feet in the water most of the time.) We stumbled upon a geocache, as well, or rather, a geocache box that appeared to have been swept downstream and spilled all over. The creek is odd, a Provincial Park in the middle of the city, the illusion of unspoilt nature—a sliver of mountain stream—with freeways arching overhead and houses only a stone’s throw away, just barely hidden by the banks. And, of course, plenty of trash. And bones, mostly bovine. I can’t resist picking those up and seeing what I can still identify.

Bodice with seam-binding for stay tape

So—I got the bodice constructed. I decided to stay the edges of the top by stitching some random pink seam binding down. Syo was helping, so I let her do one side, since I figured the stitching wouldn’t show anyway.

Erm. Oops. Stitching on slippery seam-binding was probably a bit advanced, I admit, even with all the pins. I had to redo it later. She also doesn’t like the Featherweight as much as the Janome, but I didn’t have the Janome threaded. So she threaded it herself. I didn’t realize she knew how to do that. She also stitched the little back loops for me, but got bored halfway through turning them and spent the rest of the time dressing my half-ass dress form in this awesome blue fun-fur I found at Value Village last week.

I managed to understitch the bodice without mystery weirdness. I do not have a good track-record with understitching, so this was good.

I went to attach the waistband and realized that, either through some error of tracing (not at all impossible) or just the extreme cross-grain stretchiness of this clearance mystery fabric (which I would swear is pure cotton, but anyway), my waistband piece was over an inch too short for my actual bodice waistband. Oh, yeah, I had cut the waistband piece on the straight grain, for print-interest. So no stretch at all, there. Easing was possible, but did not create a good look—Lonsdale is supposed to be sleek through the bodice, not poofy. Rrrrrippit. Recut on the cross-grain.

Piped waistband

I didn’t like how the waistband just sort of disappeared into the pattern, so I decided to pipe the waistband. I didn’t have quite enough white piping left over from whatever it was that I last made white piping for (wait, it was the airline stewardess dress, of course), so I had to do a little splice, but hopefully it looks all right.

Pockets! (Any matching of the prints is purely coincidental)

The pockets are cute and fun. Tasia mentions staying them as an option in her sewalong, which I decided to do by my favourite method, fuse-tape. I should’ve used that on the bodice, in hindsight, and saved Syo and I both a headache. Not sure what I was thinking there…

Even more miraculous, I then managed to understitch the pockets! Around a curve! Will wonders never cease?

Of course now I kinda wish I’d piped the pockets. But then I’d wish I’d piped the top of the bodice, too, and that way lies madness, so it’s probably just as well it’s only the waistband.

I had enough fabric to cut the skirt full-length-extra-long (what, you thought I could resist the maxi?), that is about an inch longer than the longest length drafted—which in theory makes up for the height I removed in the bodice. Belatedly I decided it really should have a lining, so I dug around and found the last of the cotton batiste (or whatever) from the lining of my tunic and Syo’s dress and managed to squeeze an under-layer only a few inches shorter out of that. Yay!

Oh, and I did remember to include the swayback adjustment, about 1 cm taken out at centre back, tapering to nothing at the side-seams, from the bottom of the bodice (above the waistband) and the top of the skirt (below the waistband). I even remembered to lengthen the hem of the skirt to make up for the amount taken out!



Filed under Sewing

11 responses to “Last Gasp of Summer Dress (II)

  1. looks like it will be lovely – can’t wait for full pictures.

  2. can’t wait to see the finished dress!

  3. the print is fun – I think I saw something like that here too – next time I won’t leave it behind!


  4. Scruffybadger

    That fabric totally looks perfect for Lonsdale and I’m really looking forward to seeing it modelled! And I’d have to join you in observing how annoying it is, being a fellow lover of piping, to realise what perfect piping opportunities have been missed once it’s too late! However for me i think thats also been related to chopping in and out of sewing time and not being able to do the construction in long concentrated spells But the waistband piping looks great!

  5. Ah, I didn’t do the Lonsdale and now yours is so lovely- I live a life of regret once more…..

  6. Its looking nice. Just really liking that fabric.

  7. You have to enjoy the summer. It’s so short.
    I can’t wait to see this finished!

  8. Yay, maxi dress! Can’t wait to see it. And your coincidental print matching is awesome.

  9. I’m enjoying watching the progress on this–makes seeing the finished item that much better. I am also trying to stay in the summer sun (and water) as long as I can.

  10. Looks great! I’m straggling through the end of summer myself. I decided to skip out on the Lonsdale because I couldn’t muster up enthusiasm for a dress that would require a strapless bra (I’m not quite flat enough to be comfortable without a bra of some kind). You’re quite brave to let Syo sew your things!

  11. Ooh, the piping looks neat!

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