Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Frustrating sewing days ...

I had a frustrating weekend of sewing compounded by the fact that it was so hot I couldn't think. My house is normally very cool in summer, but this weekend was hotter than normal. My sewing room is under the house so it's the coolest place to be. Kbenco has a similarly styled Queenslander to mine. These houses are raised so that the cool breezes flow under and keep the temperature down, but when it gets this hot nothing helps. Last night I finished work at 8pm and it was 33 degrees celsius by the thermometer in my car.

But onto the sewing. I worked on another Enid Gilchrist dress. I drafted this pattern up a while ago and checked it against my TNT sheath but did not bother to make a muslin. I'm familiar enough with EG sizing to know what fits. The body of the dress fitted reasonably well, pretty much as I'd expected given these vintage patterns. I just needed to tweak it to fit my shape and it was fine. The one thing I didn't check was the shoulders. Dresses of this era were worn wider on the shoulders than I find comfortable. In fact, I find them downright restricting. I had to shave about 3cm off the armscye to get it anywhere near comfortable. The collar thing didn't work at all, so I took it off and recut the neckline to a lower shape. I basted the collar on and found it damn near choked me, so I took it off and cut it in half. It still nearly choked me.
You might also be able to tell from the first shot that the collar is standing up away from the body. So I took it off again and walked away for the rest of the day. I've been pondering this since Sunday and have now decided to completely redraft the collar bit into a shape that actually works for my body. I will do that when I get home from work tonight.
This fabric is the abstract puffs woven from Gorgeous Fabrics and it is one of the most wonderful fabrics I have ever worn. It has an almost sateen finish and just the right amount of stretch for a fitted dress. I cut the black collar bit in a crepe back satin I had left over from another project which goes better in real life than in this picture. I've lined this in black silk because I still have about five miles of it. Hopefully I will have pictures of the finished dress in a day or two.
For those who are interested in these things, here is the page from the Enid Gilchrist book showing the design I drafted from. Take a look at the interesting darts on the front piece. Sadly, these design elements are completely lost in my busy fabric, but they actually are in the right place for me which doesn't happen very often.

7 comments:

Gorgeous Things said...

Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear it's so hot! I hope it cools down for you soon. If I could, I'd send some of our snow to you. Your dress looks beautiful!

gwensews said...

That is a gorgeous dress. I will gladly lend you some of our cold weather!

Faye Lewis said...

It is so amazing to me that it's summer there. I've been wishing for spring/summer. Your dress is so lovely, and you are so smart to be able to draft like that.

Handmade said...

Dress looks great - thanks for the heads up on that fabric - always good to get a recommendation from someone "in the know". I bet now though it will sell out!

Angelia said...

Beautiful fabric for a dress!! sorry the collar is being such a pain! Hopefully you'll get a cool spell real soon.

kbenco said...

It is hot here too, but at our place the underneath of the QLDer is my husband's shed.
I almost bought an Enid Glichrist pattern at a second hand bookshop this week, but I decided it was too much work for me. You are very clever. I am interested to see how you sort out the collar.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What an interesting design! You've got to show us closeups of the darts when you work out the collar.