This is the one I've made before - once for myself and once with my friend Nicole.
I'd forgotten how much I hate putting it together. Which is just as well...
For such a simple sack of a dress, it sure is a pain in the ass. This time I made such a fuck up of the cowl attachment that I had to pick it out 3 times and then serge the pieces together and top stitch the serged edges down about .25 of an inch from the cowl seam. So much for stitching in the ditch.
If you looked at the guts, you'd probably say it looks fine. That's cuz I wouldn't let you look for long.
It's still not done, if you can believe it (10 hrs later), because I've had to rip out the hem. Finally, I rolled some wooly nylon for the bobbin (you can only wind this by hand but it does tend to help even out hems on stretchy fabric). My new machine is not adapting as quickly to knits as I might have imagined. The tension is challenging, despite much testing. Even at 3mm, the stitch looks much tinier. Tiny stitches on knits tend to get wavy and ugly. I'll have to come back to the hem tomorrow. I've been really struggling with headaches lately and the last few days have been a bitch. There's just no more juice for sewing today.
I've been very critical of my sewing lately. I sense I've got to park the perfectionism. I mean, I'm only as competent as I am. If I don't intend to stop doing this craft (and I don't), then I'm going to have to manage occasional mediocrity. I don't know why I'm so much more forgiving of my knitting than sewing. Is it that I have so much time with the garment before completion that I come to terms with it?
What's interesting about this dress is that it's very flattering, bad sewing technique aside. It drapes beautifully. I made the 10 and it fits well what with that being my size from the vantage of shoulder width. Given that my rayon jersey is mega stretchy and the dress has a lot of wearing ease, it's just the right size.
I did two things differently this time and I think they're going to stand this garment in good stead:
- Last time I made this, I didn't own a serger. As I do now (and it's got a little spot built into the presser foot wherein one can feed in stabilizing tape like that clear stuff that's almost impossible to maneuver on a regular machine), I stabilized the shoulder seams in a jiffy and with the optimal material. It was so easy! (I do love my serger.) I also used this on the wrong side of the armscye to stabilize it. I folded over the serged-with-stabilizer edge and topstitched it before sewing up the side seams. Looks good and feels firm.
- Then I stabilized the (very inclined to wave) hem by fusing some interfacing to it. Note: You have to fuse the interfacing from the bottom of the hem to the point at which you'll sew or it won't provide the integrity you'll have spent that extra 30 minutes to achieve. I intend to sew a 1.5 inch hem, so I used 3 inches of interfacing width.
Today's questions: If you've made this dress, did you find it fun to sew? Or was it really unpleasant? Do you hate sewing rayon jersey? (I'm starting to feel really pissed off by it. Modal, double-knit, tencel - they all sew very nicely. Even though rayon jersey has a great drape, it's SO tricky to stitch.) What's your fave knit from a sewing perspective? And finally, do you sew with headaches? What are your strategies for managing the pain while doing finicky work?