Monday, 5 October 2015

Purple Merino Dress

I know I haven't blogged for ages - I got stuck writing about my Frocktails cape (so much to say about that one!) and then we had a couple of trips too, and not-writing-blog-posts became more of a habit than its opposite. Anyway, to ease myself back in to blogging, I'll start with something simple that doesn't need too much of a description: this basic merino wool dress.

The pattern here is KwikSew 3463, which I picked up for $1 in a second hand shop a few months ago when the weather was chilly.  The pattern is really for a tunic and leggings, both in a stretch knit, but a tunic is just a shorter version of a dress, isn't it?  The shape is very simple, but when the fit is right I think this is the sort of pattern - much like Tilly's Coco dress, or Sewaholic's Renfrew - that can quickly become a TNT.

I sewed the size M based on the body measurements chart on the back of the envelope, and lengthened the sleeves by 2cm and the tunic by 24cm. From memory I think that was the full length I could cut from my fabric; I had just 1.18 metres of this 160cm wide medium weight merino wool from The Fabric Shop.

I sewed the dress primarily with my overlocker, but the neckline is sewn by folding over the seam allowance and then twin needle stitching the folded fabric with some enclosed clear elastic for stability. And the hems on the sleeves and skirt were ironed in place using medium weight Sew It, the cheap Lincraft version of Steam-A-Seam.

You can see in the above photo that I've sewn the wrong size - the shoulders are too wide on me, and the armhole is a lot too low.  When my arms are down the sleeves sit well though - none of the angled elephant wrinkles I've seen on some poorly drafted sleeves - and the neckline is a lovely shape too.

On the back view I think you get a better sense of the overall fit of the dress - it's just a bit big and a bit long all over, though the pattern is generally a good one.

I have worn the dress a couple of times as I love the fabric colour, but I don't think it looks very good on - I've hemmed the dress a bit too long, making it dowdy, and I need to take in the seams on the sleeves and upper body.  I'd probably like the look of it more with a slip underneath, but the dress is already very warm by itself, so that's not really an option.  

I'm thinking about turning the dress into a top and elastic waisted, lined skirt, but last week the weather flicked into hot here in Sydney (35 Centigrade or 95 Fahrenheit) and I've already got too way many works in progress, so for now I'm just going to put this away for the year with the rest of my winter clothes.

I'll be back soon - thanks for reading!

See you soon

- Gabrielle xx

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