Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Peony In Progress

I've recently been working on a 'Peony' dress by Colette Patterns. It's not one of their latest patterns but it's a beautiful classic shape and really versatile -again one for both summer and winter wear. They were having a 'Black Friday' event so lucky me purchased it in PDF form with a 20% discount.

I seem to have developed a preference for thick woolly tights with skirts or dresses and wanted something really warm and cozy -think part dress / part blanket!

I was looking for some lovely soft brushed cotton (maybe yet another plaid project?) but wasn't able to find any that fit the bill. Instead I happened upon this great 'fisherman knit' fabric. I'm not sure of the content as it's marked 'Unknown' but the texture is knitted. Just the thing! Or so I thought...

The fabric recommendations are lighter in weight than the fabric I chose so I knew it was a bit of a risk. The first problem I encountered was in the cutting -very hard work and blister inducing when doubled! I also had to overlock each piece as it was cut to avoid it fraying.

Unfortunately the nature of the fabric also had an effect on the structure and drape of the dress. I had to take in the back when fitting though this is pretty standard for me (even when the packet measurements are perfect) I also felt that the sleeves needed a little fitting to avoid an unflattering overall bulkiness. Then with a little bust dart tweaking the bodice was looking great. I love the neckline. The 'Bateau' shape has a real vintage feel.

I got to work constructing the skirt. I anticipated issues as there are two gathered sections in the skirt front which I thought would cause problem with such heavy fabric -I was right. The resulting skirt shape is quite unflattering as despite being very slight, it exagerrates and rounds my stomach giving an almost maternity effect. Not ideal! I just wish that I had realised this before inserting the zip and finishing the waist seam with the overlocker ...so ...much ...unpicking!

So back to the drawing board with this one for now. I'm thinking about cutting a shorter circle or half circle skirt which will avoid any gathers / bulk at the waistline and give a 'Skater' style result.

With a little perseverance I''m sure that this dress will be a winter staple for me so I'm determined not to let old habits resume (throwing it into a drawer never to be seen again!). Moral of the story -being adventurous with fabric choices leads to big ol' construction headaches!

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