This time last year I was bursting with joy over the brilliant challenge started by @sewsarahsmith, @rocco.sienna and @sewing_in_spain. so this year I had to enter again and it just so happened that the challenge garment was on my #2018makenine list.

Image result for sewtogetherforsummer

The Diane von Furstenberg Wrap dress is the inspiration and I wanted to draft my dress myself as that’s one of my learning goals this year and that vintage pattern is a ridonculous price if you can even find it. I know there are substitutes but in my head, it looks like a good place to start pattern drafting. I was feeling a little fear and suffering a sewing slump after a string of fails, but I had to push on.

I want to make a real improvement to my fit this year and I feel learning to draft patterns will help me understand construction and therefore fit a lot better. So I set about trying to draft a wrap dress. I have gathered an array of tracing paper over the years but I found that some were too opaque, some were too flimsy (I’m looking at you Burda tracing film) some were too stiff. I sound like Goldilocks! I decided to try Swedish Tracing paper and I was not disappointed.

Swedish tracing paper

The texture of this is different to other papers, it feels softer than regular papers and does not tear or crumple as easily. I heard that you can even sew it together so you could actually make your muslin out of it. I didn’t go that far but I may in the future.

paperdress
I tried Swedish tracing paper and I’m a convert

In the past, being both impatient and a cheapskate, I never used to do muslins. I always put down any fit deviations to my own failings as a seamstress, however, I know that I have to test drive this baby as it’s all up to me whether this fits or not. I decided to try a wearable muslin and used this fabric that I bought in Albania last year.

bodice first fit
First-fit of the bodice

As always the first cut into the fabric is scary, and when its a self-draft it’s moreso. The bodice fits the dress form apparently, the fabric looks wonderful.

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After adding the additional contrast facing

Slight adaptation as I realise that I don’t have enough fabric for my band, I had to do a quick adjustment and I found some leftover Ponte knit that I made a couple of tops with. The green picks up the foliage I think so I decided to use that. Note to self: when random fabric buying, two metres is not enough.

Gathers and pleats
The pleats I put in to bring the contrast band and ties together
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When you realise you do care about pattern matching.

The finished article with contrast ties turned out reasonably well and as you can see by my face, I am quite pleased with it.

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Cheshire Cat much!

I love how my muslin came out, there are definitely a few issues to iron out. Size is a bit out and I need to work on the band with sufficient material next time. However, I’m loving this dress.

Did you take part in #sewtogetherforsummer? How did it go for you?

Elaine x

2 thoughts on “Sewtogetherforsummer my SMYLY time.

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