Last week I had a back in two colours and a front in two colours, and was ready to join them and hope that they matched. Happily for me, they did. I sewed the left side seam and then, while the dress was still one relatively flat piece, top-stitched round the edge of the blue section, from centre back to the front.
|The topstitching crossed the seam line . . .|
|. . . and ended 'under' the curve of the brown fabric|
Next, I sewed the right side seam and set in the zip, before sewing the shoulder seams. This meant that I was hand-picking a zip into a tube rather than a completed dress, so had more access from the top.
Reinforcing the bottom of the sleeves with tape had worked really well on my second version of this dress, so I took the idea a step further. This time, the strip of tape is machined into place, following the lines of the sleeve hem.
|Inside and outside views of the sleeve reinforcement|
As an aside, one thing which I hadn't considered was just how frequently I would have to keep swapping between blue and brown thread on my sewing machine - hardly onerous, but faintly annoying!
Anyone who reads this blog regularly (thank you!) will know the agonies of choice which I usually face over buttons. This time, it was pleasingly straightforward. Even though the buttons at the back are almost entirely on the brown fabric, I had found some vintage buttons in my stash which were a perfect match for the blue, and I liked the idea of the contrast.
|An easy button choice for once!|
The shoulder pads are bought ones, because I wanted to get the dress photographed today, but I will probably replace them with a set made from the pattern.
I must admit that I'm not totally sold on the end result. I hadn't taken into account the fact that the 'curve' of the front contrast piece is very flat at the bottom, and a prominent horizontal line at my widest point is not a feature that my figure is calling out for.
|Not the best look|
But, the idea of changing the pattern by extending an element round the dress was definitely worth pursuing. I recently read this obituary of Janet Kennedy, the main designer for Clothkits in the 1970s and 1980s, in which the writer mentioned that Kennedy's training in sculpture informed her ideas for patterns which flowed round a garment. This reminded me of something I wrote about my Big Stitch piece back in 2017 - that for home dressmakers the choices are all-over pattern or plain fabric; cloth printed specifically for a garment is nowadays limited to ready-to-wear. So I'm looking on this as a learning experience, and hope to create more pieces with a look that's 'in the round' in the future.
In the meantime, here's some more pictures of the finished dress, including some seated shots.
|Dressing it up with gloves, handbag and my Vogue 7464 hat|
|The handbag disguises the horizontal line|
|Front view, standing|
|Front view, seated|
|Side view, seated|
The gathers in the blue section at the neck make it hard to display a brooch properly, but eventually I managed to get this vintage bakelite number at an angle where it didn't vanish into the folds.
|The finishing touch|
And finally, the all-important Stashometer. The blue was a far bigger remnant than I needed, so the stash had a net gain from this project.