Wednesday, 25 July 2012

W.i.P. - My Hen Night Dress (4)

On Sunday afternoon I worked on the second toile of my hen night dress. Before we go into the details, let's have another look at the first.

It was way too short, the shelf-like front bodice was pulled up somewhat by my chest and it seemed as if I could go down a size overall. So I did. I cut the pattern for my second toile a size smaller but with the pattern piece for large chests to ensure the same chest circumference. Further, I manipulated the waistband and the back bodice to be 4cm longer and I cut and slashed the front bodice to add space for my chest in a curve - from about 1.5cm toward the middle easing into none in the side. See the top pattern piece in this picture.

Finally, I distributed the gathers differently, letting them go further down the side as to smooth out around the fullness of all my chest and not just the front. That looked odd before.

The results were a bit of a mixed bag.

Negatives first: I ended up with a bodice that I could not pin down on me because it was too tight. No seam allowance left. It was impossible to take good pics and I had no one around to take them for me. Sorry, you must take my words for granted. Despite allegedly allowing for the same amount of chest as the size larger without the extra pattern piece, the second toile looks as if it has way more fabric which makes the gathers look odd on my chest and hollowed out in between them. The neckline is looser and less flattering than the first toile's, too.

Positives: The length is perfect now, hitting slightly below my natural waist as to allow for a seam allowance for the skirt. The shelf is not being pulled up by my chest any longer, rather the seam sits nicely under it giving it a great silhouette. Finally, it was a good idea to spread out the gathers, I might even go for another centimetre there. See?

So I will take my changes and apply them to the pattern pieces of the first toile. I think the lengthening of the waistband (and the weight of the skirt) will make it sit better on my waist and less loose than the first time around. Also, I think the pulling up of the shelf was a big contributor to the way the waistband pulled up and away from my stomach, too.

I might have to add another alteration to the front bodice to get rid of that vertical fabric pulling which always originates from the point at which the gathers stop. Hmm, any ideas? Just go for gathers all the way round? I'll mull over it this week but I'm confident that I can cut into the 'real' fabric this weekend and make my dress!

And now for something completely different to reward you for all that dress talk - 23 stacked hexies.

On Sunday and Monday evening I finally took my seam ripper to a tank top dress I made last summer which I fell out of love with. I want to salvage the double-layered scalloped skirt by turning it into an elasticated skirt. Huuuge step take, I tell you. More to follow another time.

Also, a parcel chock-full of gorgeous fabric for the baby quilt has been delivered this morning. Yay. I'll wash these now and press them in the evening. (Finally some sunshine and higher temps!)

Happy sewing!

Stats for the Week

Finished Projects - 0

Ongoing Projects - 7
EPP hexies - 23 finished flowers and tons basted hexies
Polaroid blocks - still need to make a tote!
Hen Night dress - let's make the dress!
EPP parallelograms/stars
Kirby pillow - needs borders, batting, quilting, and backing
Repurpose last year's scalloped skirt dress to a skirt - add elastic
Viking Baby quilt - fabric will be washed and pressed in the evening

Planning Stage - 5
Wedding Anniversary quilt
Wedding clutch
ET Phone Home EPP project
Moe Moe's Star quilt
Chair cushions for my sister

Linking up with W.i.P Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


  1. I admire your patience with dress sewing! I tried some very simple dresses for my 2 year old and that completely put me off garment sewing hehe!!

    Nice work on all the hexies! That's impressive!

  2. WOW you are quite the seamstress good for you for making a model pattern first before you cut up the real thing!! You are well educated in clothe making---awesome!!

    The hexies are very nice:)

  3. I don't think I will ever be ready to try sewing clothes!
    I also have not learned how to make hexies yet.

  4. Thats so cool making your own dress, i tried to make pajama bottoms once and could have got 4 people in them!
    Gorgeous stack of hexies too :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! If you're a no-reply commenter I'll reply on the blog so please check back.