because we missed it…
Before I start my post, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Sew Weekly Reunion 2013! As long as you finished your project, you are a contributor to the Reunion and you are all so awesome!
Now it’s time to celebrate because you have sewed at least a challenge theme item, some of you three items!!!, and met the deadline! Woo hoo!
This is going to be a busy week on the Reunion blog with posts planned Monday to Sunday, sometimes with two posts a day. Besides creations from Debi, Sarah, Veronica and myself (2011 TSW style), 3 fabulous and inspiring projects from contributors will also be featured on the blog. No, you do not know who you are yet but we’ll be grabbing a couple of photos, your blog write-up and featuring them on this blog (off course with a link back to your blog or flickr for all the amazing project photos) through the week (2012 TSW style). All projects submitted will also be slowly revealed according to color categories. Winners of the color challenge and the swap challenge will be announced the following week. So, if you are ready, let the reveal begin….
Fabric: 2 metres of geometric chiffon from stash and remnant black crepe back satin from previous project. 2 metres of red lining fabric.
Notions: Invisible (side) zipper from stash, thread
Pantone Challenge colors: Samba, turbulence and vivacious
Pattern: Vintage McCall 6230
Time to complete: Around 17 hours
First worn: Yesterday
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: Approximately US$25
It is not often that I am motivated to sew with chiffon because it’s so much more time-consuming to sew with and cutting it usually meant that at some point I will be pulling my hair out. This Reunion, undoubtedly, gave me a nudge to sew with this fabric again.
I practically ransacked my fabric stash for the Pantone Fall 2013 colors and eventually narrowed down to this geometric chiffon from Spotlight which has been sitting in my stash for at least a couple of years. I vaguely remembered that it was the last 2 metres available. I’d originally shortlisted three 1940s patterns from my stash but it was the yardage requirement which eventually determined the project I would sew. Why the 1940s? It was actually during my year-long participation in The Sew Weekly which made me realize that this has to be my favorite fashion era. Some of my favorite Sew Weekly mades like the 40s sweetheart Dress and Jason Wu Bow Dress (below) were also from vintage patterns of the 1940s.
I normally buy fabrics in 3 yards or metres just to be safe but fortunately for me, this fabric was wide and sufficient for McCall 6230, a vintage pattern from 1945.
The back bodice was a one-piece centre fold, which made it easy for me to decide on the print placement. It has a small back opening secured with two inverted bias ties. The front bodice had 3 pieces, the main front bodice which was cut on the bias, a shoulder yoke on one side and a side yoke on the other. Once I finished sewing the bodice, I loved how the back looked but hated how messy the front was.
I also didn’t like the fact that most of the gathers on the bodice was lost in that print. Knowing that I didn’t have enough chiffon left to cut another main front piece, I went with plan B. I cut the main piece using a remnant piece of black crepe back satin and used chiffon for the yokes.
Hello gathers! I was happier with the results this time but faced another issue. I cut the skirt yoke, which joins the side yoke according to the pattern piece, but when I sewed it, I realized that the printed pattern was a mirror image of what it should have been. Why? Why? Why? I know, I should have double-checked. My original fabric placement plan was to have all the sharp ends of the triangles meet at the waist. You can see that the side yoke is doing as planned but the sharp edges of the skirt yoke are pointing in the opposite direction. I would also have to sew the skirt yoke using the fabric back where colors are slightly less vibrant. By now, I had run out of fabric to cut another piece. Boo hoo.
Nonetheless, it is still a pattern and dress I adore. Asymmetrical design-checked, matching bodice and skirt seams-checked, matching bodice and skirt darts- checked, matching yoke seams- checked. What’s more, I adore those gathered sleeves which flatter like no other.
Beside the skirt yoke pattern piece, the shoulder seams for this dress was extremely wide. I looked ridiculous in it after attaching the sleeves. Not surprising since most dresses of the era made provisions for shoulder pads. However, I have really broad shoulders and have never encountered this issue while sewing with 40s patterns.
I had to unpick the sleeves, cut and readjust the ample shoulder/armhole area before reattaching the sleeves again. Each sleeve is made of 2 identical pieces sewed in the middle and gathered. Bias fabrics are then sewed on the reverse to hold those gathers. I planned and cut these such that the left and right sleeves looked identical and the front and back are mirror image of each other. I really had a lot of fun with fabric placement for this project.
While the front of the skirt was one huge piece of fabric gathered at the yoke, the back of the skirt consisted of a centre back piece and 2 side back pieces. I chose to have the same fabric print repeats itself thrice there. The entire dress, with the exception of the sleeves, is lined.
All in all, besides that skirt yoke, I’m happy with this project. And though this chiffon frayed like crazy, having finally sewed it was rather satisfying.