I really didn't mean to start this dress. I thought I might wait for the sew-a-long on the Sewaholic blog.
The blouse and dress I promised to make for my mother are still in the pattern drafting and alteration stage, but the Lonsdale dress was calling me so loudly, that I decided last night at 9pm after the younger two went to bed that I would start.
The fabric is a cotton with some stretch and a lovely drape that I bought from my local fabric shop. She sometimes stocks ends of bolts from RTW designers, and this is a Karen Millen piece and I found the colour irresistible. I had 2.60m at 144cm wide, which I hoped might do if I cut the bodice lining in a different fabric. I also cut the front skirt piece on a fold to help save fabric and I omitted the pockets, though I had just enough fabric left to cut them if I wished.
Needless to say, no muslin, but based on the finished measurements on the pattern envelope. I decided on a 12. However, I tissue fitted the waistband piece and got a fright when it wouldn't go around me (too much MIL's apple tart for tea!) I then cut a size 14!
I sewed all the bodice pieces last night, and tried it on for fit this morning.
There was some gaping at the top edge and when I fit the bodice closely, I could overlap the back by about 5cm. This is a fitting rather than a pattern issue, and because I decided I preferred the bodice very close-fitted, I took in the side seams.
I ripped out the side seams and re-sewed them, sewing with a much larger seam allowance at the top. When I went back to compare the pattern piece, it equaled to a size 8 at the top out to a 12 at the waist.
This felt to be a much better fit on me.
The waist edges were left uneven, but as I am also short-waisted, I decided to sew the waistband higher, though the pattern pieces have shorten/lengthen lines marked. A lot of this could have been prevented if I did a muslin, ha! The construction of the neckline is a neat design, and needs lots of close clipping so it doesn't pucker.
So this is where I'm at, terrible pictures and all!! It is not finished, but not bad for 6/7 hours work.
I have to understitch the neckline, turn up the hem, stitch the lining to the zipper tape, and sew the lining waistband to the outer waistband. These last 2 steps are explained differently in the pattern instruction sheet. I chose to sew the lining at the waistband differently.
I'm very impressed with this pattern, it's the first one I've tried from Sewaholic. I love, love the pattern instruction sheet, the best I've come across which suits my style of sewing. When I skimmed through it first I thought it could do with more detail, but reading it, this is the perfect pattern sheet for me. It's not too wordy, each step has a drawing to clearly explain it, and I could visualize the construction method and steps quickly and easily, and then decide if I wanted to sew it in the same or a different order.
After my burst of energy in getting this sewn, I hope I won't be finishing it the day of the party! I will get some better pictures in the next day or two.