My first lovely surprise was when I realised that it was all perfectly cut out!! Result!!!
Then I realised that a size 12 wasn't really a size 12 by my standards- so some upsizing was required. I decided I needed to add 1.5cm to all the seams on the width, but keeping the length the same. I had this beautiful Liberty snowdrop print that my mum bought me that I wanted to use -it has a bit of a vintage vibe and I think it will be a perfect winter shirt dress! As usual with Tana Lawn though I plan to line the skirt as it is a bit lightweight. This sew was a long one by my standards- weeks long!!!! Mainly because I made quite some errors on the way that I needed to correct (grrrrrr).
First up was cutting out. I thought I had TONNES of fabric, but wow that skirt needs a lot of fabric- and wanting the pattern to all be at least facing the right way etc - meant I needed a lot. The only thing which really puzzled me was the skirt that is a circle type - in 2 parts, joining centre front & back. So if the pattern is the right way up at the front, its on its side on the back - but what else can I do?!
I was getting on just fine, until I did the waistband. Well it was a good 8cm from meeting in the middle!! Even though I d already made it 4cm bigger than the pattern.... I had enough fabric for a second one... JUST. Luckily the bodice fitted fine- it has gathered fabric pretty much on all sides so I could just gather it slightly less than the pattern intended. Oh and I made it doubly complicated by putting in some piping. Sewing piping along with gathered fabric and a lining is not fun (its only the second time I did piping so clearly I need some practice. I didn't get it perfectly even, I re-did some sections but decided this was good enough.
Then the fun started. I couldn't for the life of me work out the instructions for part of the front centre bands (where the buttons go). Having made 2 previous shirt dresses, I just relied on instinct. And I don't know what happened but the top side ended up about 4cm smaller than the other side. They started off identical and I have NO IDEA what I did wrong!! I didn't have enough fabric to re-do it so I had to unpick, cut it off straight and patch it with another piece. I had to pass on the v bottom, and just sewed it straight. I was worried I had re-worked the fabric too much so I sewed through a square (like on denim) to re-enforce it. The join & the square bottom is on the pic below:
And then I sewed a button hole in the wrong place. ggrrrrrr. Unpicking a button hole in this fabric was not fun - I was really worried that I would put a hole through it, but I did manage it. Lucky the fabric is so patterned as it doesn't show (I wouldn't have gotten away with it on a plain fabric.)
I then had fun & games with the hem. How on earth do you end up with a straight hem with so much fabric ? I never have an issue getting a hem straight when there isn't much fabric but with such full fabric I had an issue. I got it looking even on the hanger, but then it was totally off when I put it on.... I got it ok in the end & finished with bias tape, but there must be a method for this - tips please? Last time I did a full skirt I made no changes to the length so I just took it up equally all the way round.
I'm making this sound like a disaster.... it isn't . I actually adore it!! But it took a lot of effort and I learnt some new stuff too. I really like some of the details on this dress- the front buttons, the waistband that sits just above the hips, the full skirt and all the gathered sections on the bodice- its super comfortable but really quite elegant- well by my standards!! Here are a few pics