The fabric is stunning, its quite a heavy, stretch wool which is a 1.4m square repeat - black on one end, purple on the other with grading between the 2 in-between. I spent quite a lot on this, so I really didn't want to mess it up!
I wanted to make the fabric the hero, so I wanted a simple shift pattern with no details at the front other than darts, so it doesn't interrupt the fabric. I was originally going to use the pattern above, but I m not super happy with my previous makes using it (they were right at the beginning of my sewing journey so it may just be that I wasn't very good at fitting back then!) but in any case I bought a new pattern. Really glad I did, this one was perfect...
t was really tight to get the dress out of the piece of fabric. I didn't have a big enough piece left for the sleeves so they are 'striped' with sections that I had left sewn together - I think they work quite well given they were a creative solution to the problem! This is a photo from the inside of the sleeve...
Here is how much fabric I have left. I really did use pretty much every last bit!
Its a very simple pattern that could be sewn very quickly, but I spent a lot of time on the fitting of this dress. I loosely sewed it together so I could really get the fit perfect. I took it in quite a lot vs the pattern as given it is stretchy, I wanted a snug fit. The pattern as is would be perfect for me in a non stretchy fabric.
I had a bit of an issue with the back- my own fault! The pattern is for the back to be in 2 pieces with a seam & back zip. I didn't want to do that as I didn't want a seam down the fabric, so my intention was to do a side seam zip instead. So I cut the back out as one piece. Only I forgot the take out the seam allowance for the back seam...so the back was much too wide. I tightened it around the shoulders so it fits well there, then I decided to put additional darts in down the back. Its got 2, but they looked too far apart (largely because I didn't put the back seam/zip in) so I put an additional 2 darts in. I was wary about doing it, but I pinned it & measured it up carefully and it looked ok & I went for it. It turned out very well and made all the difference to the fit.
As it happens, I realised I could get it on & off without a zip because of the stretch. So I got out of doing the zip!! I was a bit worried about it as I didn't want it to hang funny down the side because of the zip. I ve done lots of good side zips before, but never on a thick, stretchy wool like this. So happy to have dodged that! This is not a fabric to unpick... trust me! you can't even see the stitches to unpick them (I tried a bit on the sleeve, but ended up just cutting off the old seam & doing a new one - luckily I had a lot of seam allowance to play with because of the stretch phew!
Here is a closer look at the dress details. And because I used my overlocker the inside looks very neat so here is a photo of the inside, just to show that off ;)
Done with the details... Here it is, my Chritsmas dress. So happy with it. Its very warm, really easy and comfortable to wear and I think it looks fab!