Wednesday, 22 April 2015

One Shoulder Pleat Skirt Dress

Apologies for the delay in this post, I've been on holiday, skiing in France for the last week! Very strange to be skiing in bright sunshine and not have to wear thermals, but stranger still to come back to sunshine at home! But anyway, it's good to be back and get the chance to update you on my little easter project. Before I went away I mentioned that over the Easter weekend I would be hitting the sewing machine and getting all creative again (read it here).

I had decided that I wanted to make myself a dress to wear to my friend's wedding the week after. (The same friends I made the wedding ties for here). I'd done a couple of sketches a few weeks before and settled on a one shoulder pleated skirt number.

After going through the huge fabric stash I have in my loft I chose a navy blue satin for the bodice & a gorgeous floral burnout for the skirt. Now looking back, I realise that this is the first time I have ever made a one shoulder, boned bodice. And I'm not gonna lie, getting this one right was hard.

To start with, I think I was a bit optimistic when I chose the close fitting dress block with waist shaping, to begin with. As it turns out, as much as I like my figure... I'm not that shaped at the waist!

So, I drafted up everything and pinned my paper pattern together & slipped it on to get a rough idea of the shape. Obviously you never get a perfect look at the shape as paper doesn't drape the way fabric does, but I always do this when I'm making garments for myself and then amend my pattern from there before cutting any fabric, even if it's for a toile. So, I put my pinned pattern on and to my horror (!) it was tiny! The sides weren't even close to being able to be pinned together!
I needed to add 9cm into pattern to get it to close!

**I blame this solely on the Cadbury's Easter Egg I demolished with the Ginge a few days before!**

Once that was rectified and I could actually get into the pattern I drew on the shape I wanted the bodice to be, with the help of my lovely assistant designer i.e. my Mum!
You can see the shaping below on the pattern in red.


I transferred these amendments to my block and made my first pattern, which I then toiled up.
Again there were lots of amendments to do.

I ended up:
* Reducing the shoulder strap width
* Curving out & reshaping the front & back necklines
* Dropping & reshaping the armholes
* Pinching out of the princess seams at the top
* Reducing the bust ( seems I make up for my lack of bust in the waist area!)

Luckily my second toile came out much better, and the pattern just needed reducing at the front princess seams again. I was pretty relieved there was nothing else major to do, as I reaaaaallllyyy wanted to get this all finished over the weekend!

The sewing process went pretty smoothly to be honest, so nothing to report there. 
One thing I did make sure to do was cover the ends of the boning with silicon end caps so they didn't end up sticking through the fabric & scratching me as I was wearing it!

And here's the finished product!

Excuse the squinty expression on my face, the weather was lovely and sunny that day, so not being used to nice weather my eyes couldn't handle the brightness! I'm really happy with how this dress came out, and it was so comfy to wear all day (and night!) at the wedding. If you put all the time together I reckon the dress took me about 2- 2 1/2 days to create from sketch to finished product - not too bad! This has definately given me confidence to continue experimenting with my pattern cutting & sewing, I have so much fabric stashed away who knows what will come out of it!

Happy sewing!

Em x