Birthday dress: take 2

Birthday dress

Birthday dress

It’s done! It’s done! I’ve shrunk the dress!!

And a HUGE thank you goes out to Dana for lending me the amazing dressmaker’s doll, without which this would not have been possible.

I have managed to achieve a brilliantly snug fit, without it being too tight or too loose. And for the kind of fabric I’ve used (fairly stiff) this is exactly what is needed for the garment to sit properly and look like it’s made for me. I’m SO happy!!

Tonight is a double birthday party. My boyfriend and a good friend are celebrating together tonight. And in order to look nice, I decided to wear my birthday dress. Thing is, from April (my birthday) to october (these birthdays) I’ve lost 10kg! So I had to take out quite a bit of fabric.

Mini tutorial. How to “shrink” a dress: With the dressmaker’s doll, this was a piece of cake. I put the dress on the doll inside-out, and using some white (or any contrasting colour) thread, I basted (hand-stitched with very loosele-spaced stitches) down each side, evening out the excess fabric into the new, slimmer shape. Before going in with the thread I used pins to make sure i’d block out the fabric evenly on each side (instead of pulling it all to one side!). Worked like a charm.

I then tried on the dress (right side out) to make sure I’d gotten everything (I had) and sat at the machine to put in 2 long seams down each side of the dress. Easy peasy. I also decided to remove the side slits I’d put in, and to re-hem it at a different length. So I sewed all the way down (inside of the slits, so they were cut away with the excess fabric), flipped the dress, put it back on the doll and hemmed it. Simple stuff. And the result is in the picture. A gorgeously fitted dress!! I may post pictures of it after the party tonight.

Let the good times begin!!

Pink dress: Sleeve time!

Pink dress, inside out, sleeves pinned to place

Pink dress, inside out, sleeves pinned to place

Yes ladies and gents. It’s SLEEVE time!! (Again)

This time I will do this completel by hand, and then head to the machine. So any little bits that don’t want to overlap perfectly will end up in the underarm (for one) and I will be able to twiddle the sleeve’s shape all the way to the end. Hurrah!!  It’s going to be a bell sleeve, so this is quite spcial.

The dress itself is more or less made on the very simplistic pattern of my blue jersey dress. I took measurements, laid the fabric out flat, and drew the measurements out.

This was easy with the back piece. The front piece needed several darts. See my colleague is much better endowed than I am (I’ve been called “planche-a-pain” (breadboard) in the past) and adding the baby bump to that, there was quite a bit of fabric that needed to fit _around_ her person. So a bit more calculating and measuring for the front piece. Which came out significantly curvier than the back piece, of course. (See pic)

Pink dress (cut)

Pink dress (cut)

Tonight comes the challenge of sewing on the sleeves, fixing one pair of darts, and making the all-important grey-and-pink tartan belt, which is going to pull this look together 🙂 I hope I manage. For now I’m struggling with repeated BSDs (Blue Screen of Death) and a document that needs re-updating. The full-time job isn’t particularly crafty… Which is why the rest of my life is!

I’m wondering if I would have the time to make myself a dress on thursday night to wear on Friday for a Birthday party. But I don’t think I can pull it off, despite my increased abilities. I think I will stick to shrinking the dress I’d made to wear for my own birthday back in april. I’ve happily lost nearly 10kg since then, and will need to amend the dress accordingly! Exciting times!