I finished! I'm delighted and I feel I can now conquer the dress world - I have freed myself from the tyranny of purchased patterns! It's actually quicker for me to draft my own than to make the 2+ muslins required to bend the commercial pattern to my will (and stumpy frame).
I just know you love statistics as much as me (har har) so here are some handy facts relating to the dress.
The price per metre of fabric (bargain basement).
4m & 6m
The quantity of fashion and lining fabrics respectively (and I have some fashion fabric left over).
The number of layers of fabric in this dress to guard against V(E)PL (visible ENTIRE panty line).
The inner to outer ratio of the ruffle lengths.
The number of components in this dress (16 bodice pieces, 20 skirt pieces, 2 sleeves, 10 ruffle sections, 4 fusible interfacing strips, 1 zip. I must hate myself.
The total cost of the dress, excluding thread. (The zip was a pretty expensive addition, huh?)
The number of weeks to make this dress, spending only a few hours a week (life gets in the way of vital sewing time).
|Sorry for the cheesy close-up, but look at the ruffles!|
I used a purchased ribbon as a belt because I ran out of patience to make the matching fabric belt. If you're interested in the details, I put a concealed zipper in one of the side seams, which starts at the underarm. Attaching the lining to the inside of the zipper tape was the only hand-stitching I did. I used some cunning contortions to sew the lining around the neckline and armholes by machine, and again to sew the seam allowances of the lining and outer together along the waistline. I thought the latter would be wise, otherwise the weight of the skirt could pull the stretchy bodice lining down and make my hem wonky in a weeks' time. It also hides all my unfinished seams inside the bodice (overlocking would add too much bulk here).
If you're interested in further geekery, here's how I managed the four layers in the bodice:
1x stripes + 1x lining basted together and sewn as one for the outer
2x lining basted together and sewn as one for the lining
... meanwhile, I let all four layers hang freely for the skirt. The skirt has french seams throughout, which were dull as hell to make.
I really want to knit or crochet a yellow cardigan to go with this dress.
Overall though, I think it's a dress win. Not too bad for such difficult fabrics, and I've always wanted a dress like this. Also, it's really comfortable and I've had a big lunch at a lovely party in it today, and I can still breathe!