So, those sewing UFOs I mentioned before? Well they’ve been taken care of now, but not to any reasonable level of satisfaction. Thankfully, the fabric I used for the three projects I mentioned was cheap enough to be toiles, so no great loss there.
The pattern was self-drafted and based on a directions from a site I can’t remember anymore.
I’m quite confident this wouldn’t have turned out so annoyingly if I had used decent fabric, as I’ve made something similar before that turned out fine. But this fabric was pretty terrible. The grain was uneven, and the print was not aligned to the grain in the piece that I had. And because of the style of print, I had no end of skipped stitches going over it. Most of the work was done with an overlocker, so that handled it fine coming from the wrong side of the fabric, but I went through several different needles and types of hem trying to hem it neatly. I didn’t have enough fabric to make a band for the bottom hem that I could overlock, otherwise that would have been the best solution. I ended up using a blind hem which is not what I would have preferred for a t-shirt. By the time I got to the neckline I was so frustrated I just did a lazy fold-over.
It’s more than likely going to be a home t-shirt if it doesn’t end up in a donation bin first.
The A-Line Dress
This was based on this DIY maxi from Cotton & Curls.
The instructions themselves were perfectly fine, but the fabric from The Remnant Warehouse foiled me. It stretched badly after the prewash, and I would have had to dry it perfectly flat, and not even on a line to avoid any distortion. I was so skeptical about how it was going to hold up, that I re-laundered it before hemming to ensure that it was straight. I feel that it’s a little too sheer to wear without a slip or something underneath, but otherwise, it doesn’t look too bad on.
It’s completely nursing-unfriendly though, and I’m not likely to get any use out of it at this late stage, especially as it’s getting cooler now. So I can either hold onto it until that won’t be a problem, or if I could be bothered, there is enough fabric for it to be reconstructed as a nursing-friendly t-shirt or tunic dress. Which is a shame, because I do like the length. However, as it’s solid black I may be able to do some fiddling about at the opening section to try to keep what I can of the length.
As for The Remnant Warehouse, I’m not sure if I’d purchase fabric from them again. It’s hard enough to buy fabric online sight unseen, even with swatches, but I’m just not confident about the quality, and the product descriptions leave much to be desired. You can get more information by calling them, but they essentially just go up to the physical product and describe it for you, and you may not be able to get specifics on fabric weight other than what they can tell you from visual inspection. Should I desire to make this or similar again, I’ll be picking up fabric similar to what I use to make my Chrysalis Cardis from l’oiseau online, or Fabulous Fabrics in Perth.
The Maternity Dress
Reverse engineered from Joe & Cheryl.
There weren’t instructions with this DIY, but I drafted my pattern pieces based on the pictures. However, the poly I used was pretty rubbish for this. There is terrible static cling, so I would have to wear a slip. And the zip I added to the front V to make it nursing-friendly just doesn’t seem to make that centre seam sit right over a baby bump. It may look better sans bump, but I’m doubtful.
Admittedly, the problems with this dress are likely because this was the first time I’ve used facings, the fabric could probably have been a slightly heavier weight (and not poly) and the zipper modification was probably ill-advised. That, and I’m a complete n00b at trying to hem that angled hem at the bottom. Looks like I should have mitred the inner corners or something.
After further consideration, this dress could be salvaged if I replace the partial facings with full facings (partial lining?) at the top part of the bodice. The whole section would likely sit better, have more support near the zipper, and provide an extra layer of coverage for nursing purposes. Something to think about once I have the bandwidth for sewing.
That said, I’m unlikely to make this dress again because it’s a pain in the butt working with 4m of fabric to cut out the pattern on the floor. But it does seem to resemble this The Katie Dress 2.0 from Mitera , which looks better than the original inspiration for this sewing project in any case. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but definitely has the versatility and aesthetic that I’d like my wardrobe to have. So perhaps I’ll add it to the wish list for after I’ve had a wardrobe cull. If I can get down to seasonal capsule wardrobe volumes I may be able to justify that price-tag.
After all that effort, I can’t really call this project completion run a success, but it was certainly educational. Certainly unsatisfactory as the items, while home-made, actually look home-made. Moral of the story, don’t cheap out on fabric for things you’re pretty sure of for the construction, but definitely make toiles of weird things you’re not entirely sure about.