Last night, delighted at my productivity, I ran to my husband and declared the maxi dress finished. Well, except for the hem since the bias-cut skirt needed to hang for 24 hours before any hemming. I then hung the dress up and got ready for bed. Just before turning off the lights, I realized that I actually hadn’t tried on the dress since adding the skirt portion. I figured it wouldn’t keep me up too much longer to slip it on.
Little did I know.
The zipper was ghastly. I’d sewn it in as carefully as I could, but I hadn’t thought about the difficultly of sewing something on the bias to something on the straight grain. It was a puckering mess. It was then that I remembered that Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch had written a tutorial on inserting zippers into bias cut skirts. The bedroom light stayed on as the zipper was unpicked.
The rouching was also far from flattering. My attempt to keep it from being a saggy and baggy mess had worked and looked great when the midriff was just part of the bodice, but it looked out of place upon the addition of the hip skimming skirt. Too much poof. The bedroom light stayed on as the side seams of the midriff were unpicked.
Hopefully Sunni’s tutorial will help me get the zipper in properly. But, before that, I have to do something about the rouching so that I can get the side seams back together again. Right now the midriff is still sewn in at the top and the bottom, where it meets both the bodice and the skirt, but the sides are free, which gives me full access to adjust the ruching. My instincts are to pull the bias-cut midriff section taut across the underlining and pin random, smooth pleats in place at the center (as I’ve shown above). I could then prick stitch where I’ve pinned to keep the rouching in place. The piece is still anchored at the top and bottom because those seams wouldn’t change, but the bulk of the excess fabric would end up in the side seams and not across my belly. I can’t imagine that this solution is truly sewing well, which is the goal of my hobby and this blog. My guess is that the proper fix would be to prick stitch the rouched fashion fabric to the underlining a million times. The more stitches, the closer the fashion fabric is held to the underlining, the less poof there is in the midriff.
Overall, things are still on the up and up. The fabric is lovely, and I like the lines of the dress. The wonderful thing about sewing is that nothing is permanent until you cut. And, sometimes, even after you’ve made a wrong cut, you can still figure out a fix (I’m looking at you, linen sleeves). But, I’m going to step back and give this dress a bit of space before I launch into another round of sewing that might need to be unpicked. Instead, I’m going to relish in Tasia’s guidance during the Lonsdale Sew-Along and my monthly sewing class for the next few days. A little bit of hand holding from good teachers is always welcome and appreciated.
Also, if anyone else is attempting to cut and sew something on the bias for the first time, you should check out this article from Threads Magazine. Though it didn’t prevent me from having any problems, it was still wonderfully helpful.