Tabatha’s April Challenge 2012 – Week Three
Before I begin to tell you what I’ve been up to this week, let me first of all say a big thank you to Chris of Sycamore Stitches, who nominated our blog for a Liebster Award.
Now I am required to also present this award to five other bloggers with 200 followers or less. It is difficult to know how many followers people have, but here goes:
1) Tracey Todhunter from I Made It! – she is my crochet guru.
2) Caffy from Bundana begins Dressmaking – I admire her determination to go from beginner to advanced seamstress in as short a time as possible. She is certainly dedicated!
3) Catherine from Cyberdaze – she has a great sense of style.
4) Liza Jane from Liza Jane Sews – brilliant sense of humour – I always enjoy reading her posts.
5) Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy – I discovered her blog through the Sew Colette challenge!
Thanks again, Chris!
Wednesday 18th April
Having spent Little Tweedie’s naptime on the internet, once again I had to sew in the evening when she was in bed. In the two hour slot I faffed around searching for lining for my Colette Truffle dress, which is next on my to-do list. I didn’t decide on which fabric to use for the lining, but I did find plenty of leftover scraps big enough to use for making a toile (which you will see in their full glory below!). I’ll admit, I didn’t actually envisage any problems with the fit, having just made the Licorice dress without any alteration, but I suppose the fit is more challenging in a tailored dress like the Truffle, and I want it to be spot on for a special event in a few week’s time. I made a toile of the bodice, and quite frankly, the fit was awful (sorry for the poor quality of all the photos in this post – must remember to use my real camera instead of my phone!):
After spending some time trying to figure out what alterations to make, I decided to jack that in and put the knowledge gained on my pattern cutting course to use: using my bodice block to recreate the pattern from scratch. So that’s tomorrow’s work sorted!
Thursday 19th April
During Little Tweedie’s naptime I drafted new bodice pattern pieces. I sewed up the second toile (bodice only) in the evening and was thrilled to find I had done it successfully!
Friday 20th April
I didn’t do any sewing today as I had friends round in the day and then wanted to spend Friday evening with Mr Tweedie!
Saturday 21st April
Today I sewed for about four hours, making up for yesterday’s lack. I decided I had better draft some skirt pieces to match the new bodice pieces, as of course the original pattern pieces wouldn’t be suitable now. Once done, I attached the skirt pieces to the bodice and could immediately see that I had been too quick to celebrate on Thursday night: having the skirt attached made a big difference to the overall fit and I would need to do some further alterations.
I decided to start by altering the front of the dress, which needed nipping in under the bust and taking in at the waist and hips. I could see that the skirt back was looking a bit dodgy but wanted to get the front right first and then see how that would affect the back. I altered my pattern pieces again, ready for a third toile, and cut the fabric ready to sew the next day.
Sunday 22nd April
I didn’t sew today because I was feeling ill, which was a bit disappointing because I felt impatient to see how the next toile would look! I’ll have to catch up on my hours again next week.
Monday 23rd April
During Little Tweedie’s naptime I sewed the third toile. The front was vastly improved, but as I predicted I still needed to work on the back.
I asked Mr Tweedie to chop into my dress at strategic points, pinning in extra fabric to give my hips and bum more room, and pinning away excess fabric on the neck and shoulders. I then spent a couple of hours in the evening drafting the pattern pieces for a 4th toile, which I hope will be the final version. For this version I wanted to also check that the front drape looked ok (I had to redraft this too!).
Tuesday 24th April
Today I sewed up my fourth, and I’m happy to say, final toile (Little Tweedie was at nursery, so I sewed more or less all day). I decided to use proper calico this time instead of all mismatched and random scraps! The fit is good on the whole. There’s a bit of wrinkling still around my bum, so I’ll adapt the back skirt pattern piece slightly, but I’m not going to re-toile now. The toile is pretty close-fitting, but this is what I wanted because it’s going to be evening formal wear rather than comfy day wear.
Can you believe I spent a whole week working on this?! Fourteen hours! I must admit though I have really enjoyed the process. It’s good to have challenged myself and used my pattern cutting knowledge, and I’m going to enjoy wearing this dress when it’s finished, especially knowing how much work has gone into it. I’ll be making up the final version this week, using red silk dupioni for the main fabric from Calico Laine and a lovely cotton floral lining from Remnant House: