This August I’m sewing along with Tasia at Sewaholic.net. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I are all making her just-released Lonsdale dress, which happens to also be a summer essential – happy day! Here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.
The Lonsdale Sew-Along is speeding along. This post will likely be my only progress post as the dress will be finished in a matter of days.
After a happy weekend filled with a little bit of sewing, I caught up to Tasia’s most recent Sew-Along post. The sewing was quick and easy, even with the few changes that I made.
I took a bit of a detour by adding spiral steel boning to support the back of the dress. When I made up the muslin, I decided I liked the bodice best as a halter. I knew the ties were important for supporting the back of the dress and omitting them meant that I needed to find another means of support. I learned how to add boning to a bodice while watching the videos for Gertie’s online class, and I felt that this technique was a perfect solution.
Although Gertie recommended sewing in pre-made, store-bought boning channels or making channels from satin ribbon or silk organza, I ended up making them out of strips of the fashion fabric as I didn’t have any of the other on hand. Susan Khalje recommends cotton bastiste or something similar in her shop. Here’s to hoping that my cotton falls into the “something similar” category and that I never notice any problems.
I placed boning channels on both of the side seams and also on both back bodice pieces just posterior to the notches for the loops. The latter were placed to support the same region of the dress that the straps and loops traditionally offer support. I offset them towards the back center so that they would also be able to support the zipper.
Another reason for offsetting this second boning channel was so that I have the option of making the straps convertible. I can imagine adding a small button hidden just inside the lining (just underneath where the loops would have been) and adding small buttonholes to the straps. If the buttonholes are placed correctly, the straps should be able to come straight down the back and also criss-cross across the back if I want. I haven’t worked all of this out yet since I want to see how the dress wears before I start stitching buttonholes all over my straps.
As a side note, because I’ve changed the way that the straps tie, I was able to shorten them considerably.
I also took a bit of a detour when it came to the waistband. My intentions are to use a coordinating grosgrain ribbon so that there will be a bit of a contrast at the waist. I like all of the images of belted Lonsdale dresses I’ve seen around the internets, and I hope a bit of texture here will give me the same look. Though I haven’t done it yet, I will also be adding a waist stay to the waist to support the boning I’ve added.
It seems crazy that we’re almost through sewing this dress. Even with all of my detours, it’s been a speedy process. Straight stitching, no darts. As long as I remember to finish my seams as I go, I imagine the skirt portion will come together just as smoothly.