Upon my last expedition to Goldhawk Road with Jane, a blatant copy of sorts was afoot, when she happily showed me where she bought the teal crepe she used to make her Francoise dress. After hearing how it worked well with thermal tights (we are such goddesses) I felt that it could well be possible to wear a cute dress – above the knee- in winter- & still be warm enough.
But somewhere along the way between deciding I would buy a length of this fabric (£12.99 per metre) & asking for a proper amount, I sort of, er, didn’t ask for enough. In my head I thought a metre would be plenty, as this fabric was pretty wide. Yes, I can get a shift dress out of a metre of fabric, but not the sleeves. Doh!
Anyway, I discovered this when venturing forth to cut out my Laurel. Sleeves, even short sleeves, were out of the equation. Some mad brain computing later churned out the alternative Laurel – the pinafore (or jumper?) in teal with purple lining.
Now when I made my LBD I sewed this in an evening. Exactly, or almost exactly the same. Not so this time. I attempted to add pockets – which I lined – but were nothing beyond the pockets provided by the pattern. Apart from that, I did nothing different. I used the same tutorials as they are pretty darn excellent, for lining a sleeveless dress by machine. Although, the final time I inserted the zip (yes there is a story here) I attached it by hand.
So what’s the story? Firstly the crepe is more of a challenging fabric to sew if a crisp finish is desired. I am not 100% pleased with the pockets – they look decidedly amateur & I didn’t achieve brilliantly square edges. But that is the fabric I am sure. It’s reasonably thick & bouncy. Doesn’t hold a firm fold.
The zip though? I usually tend to opt for lapped zippers, & was anticipating this not being straight forward so I remembered to interface the zipper seam edges (ie centre back) before attaching the zip. Despite this look how it has a tendency to bulge through sewing. I even basted the zip with perpendicular pins to counter this fabric jokery.
But this is not the reason why I had to unpick the zip more than once (I think I took two attempts to get it this far). Sadly I was all ready to try the dress on to hem it, when I discovered that one of the shoulders had twisted. Aaaargh!
SO I had to unpick & start again. On a positive note the zip went in a lot better.
I also forget that some of Colette Patterns dresses are a bit short – this is no exception. But hey ho. I should maybe add a note to my pattern piece for future memory lapses.
I’ve only been wearing it with jersey long sleeves, but really do need to see whether it works with a button-up shirt. I will have to report back to you if it’s a goer. Anyone else a fan of the sleeveless dress= pinafore/jumper? Could an aging badger pull it off, or would the collar be just a little bit too Lolita?