My goal for May was to make at least one item of clothing using a Silhouette pattern because I've purchased quite a few lately. I decided to start with the very simple Swing Dress
Sizes at Silhouette Patterns are based on finished garment measurements.They also include pieces for B,C, and D cup sizes. So after reading the back of the envelope, I decided I wanted my finished garment to measure 37" at the bust because I was using a very stretchy knit.
When using one of her patterns, Peggy Sagers wants you to trace your chosen size so you can go back and change it up until you can achieve a perfect fit, so I copied Size 2 ( for D cup) knowing I wasn't going to be happy with a 39" waist or a 47" hip. I also knew those numbers had more to do with style than fit so they didn't bother me.
I made a muslin but only down to the hip area, using a knit very similar to the good stuff I'd be using.
I then decided I needed a lot of shaping at the waist,so I would need to curve the sides, the front and back at the waist line. I decided I'd have to use a center front seam for this , so I draped my muslin on my body taking in the required amounts at those waist points and transferred these changes to my muslin. It took a couple of tries before I was satisfied.
I then transferred the alterations to my pattern.
I lowered the neckline using my French curve and copying a favorite neckline on another garment.
I added 4" to the length realizing the pattern looked awfully short.
I cut out my dress and basted all the seams and tried it on.And it was too short !Urrgh!
It was cute but not particularly flattering. The trouble was with the swing at the side seams . I once again draped the seams to the way I thought looked better (I turned it into an A-line) , transferred the change to my pattern , cut away the required amount from the side seams . This was much better.
I added the sleeves which I changed to 3/4 length and finished the neck with a self fabric binding.I even added a band at the bottom (so not great) to add an inch and a half. Here I'll show you .
|The Swing Dress Turned A-Line|
A close-up of the hem.
I know it ain't pretty !
And me in this very simple but time consuming little dress .I'm going to a dinner tonight and I'm wearing my new dress in spite of the hem.
Next I decided to make a top using the pattern. When I bought this slubbed rayon lycra , it told me it wanted to be 3/4 sleeved,long, close-fitting and shirred at the sides. I literally could not change it's mind.
I used the above pattern and this time straightened the sides so it hugged my hips.
I shirred the sides using clear elastic. Then I just happened to see this top on Coldwater Creek.
I decided to add two lines of shirring to front and back.
This time I used two rows of stitching and gathered them because I felt I'd be able to control the gathers better this way.Here's a close-up of the inside seam and front area. I covered the front shirring with a strip of fabric.
Here is the finished top.
Next up ,I wanted to use up some cotton knit in my stash so I made a nightie using the Swing Dress pattern with the A-line sides and I changed the bust dart into sunburst darts at the neck. I also added an inch to the side seams to make it roomier and used sleeves from another pattern and added darts at the hem of those too..
I'm happy with my three pieces from the same pattern. It makes it seem more worthwhile to have used it more than once given the time I spent with the alterations.
I'm really greatful to Peggy Sagers and her generosity in providing sewists with so much free information on her bi-monthly,Monday night webcasts. I've learned a lot about draping from her and my clothes are fitting me better than ever before.
I hope you found time to sew this weekend!
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