Project Sewn // Week Two // Sundress

If you happened to get a little preview via your blog reader yesterday, I hope you enjoyed yourself…while I was having a heart attack on the other end! It’s the stuff of nightmares, accidently hitting the ‘publish’ button on a post before you’re ready. And of course it was the actual Project Sewn post I was working on! Anyway, suffice to say, it was the end of another big week and I was not on my game come post writing time…
 This week’s Project Sewn theme was a Sundress. An awesome theme. Who doesn’t love a sundress? I know I do. Though living in the sub-tropics they come with certain criteria. Easy to chuck on, must be lycra-free and the more holes the better…got to have good air flow.
I was kind of relieved to begin this week’s challenge with a clearer idea of where my sundress was headed. I was inspired by this fabric, a luscious silk floral that I won two meters of from Tessuti fabrics last year. Still pinching myself. And the print being so perfectly springtime, it was always going to end up as a floaty and flirty something. I recently made up the Victory Pattern’s ‘Satsuki’ dress(not yet blogged) and thought it would make the perfect base pattern for my sundress. I love the commodious kimono sleeves and the loose fit cinched in only by the waist tie, making it all ‘tight enough to show you’re a woman, loose enough to show you’re a lady’. Is that how it goes? The plan was to give it a major sprucing with cut-outs in the front and a strappy lattice of triangles in the back. Okay, it’s out, I like triangles.
Okay so I had the ‘what’ figured out, but the ‘how’…guesswork and a whole lotta trial and error. I started by deciding on the dimensions for the front triangles then re-drafted the front neckline (left) to include the cut-outs, changing it from V-neck to round neck in the process. Working out the seaming vs cutting lines here was a little tricky and this template (left) was my third attempt. The next step was re-drafting the back neckline to a deep V, and then both the front and back facings (middle). A proud moment considering less than two weeks ago I would have been all ‘re-what-ing?!’. The original pattern includes facings, which I think makes for a beautiful finish so I knew I wanted to keep using them here. I just figured that backing the front cut-outs with facing, rather than say, folding the edges under or similar, would make them sit nice and sturdy and there’d be no need for top-stitching, which I wanted to keep to a minimum.
Aaaaah the back. Now this architectural feat of construction that is the triangle lattice was more fiddly and time consuming than anything. I made the straps from pieces cut on the grain, not bias since I didn’t want this part to have any movement. Then it was a matter of lying it all flat and piecing it together. Like assembling an Ikea cabinet without the manual. The most brainstraining bits were making sure the triangles ended up a similar size, figuring out which order to place the straps in and then sewing them on, one entire side at a time to sandwich them between the back facing and the back main piece. Lastly I bound the neckline to join the triangles together in the front and hold the lattice up in the back. But first I bound the whole thing in stretch bias and it wouldn’t hold the back lattice up. Then I did the whole thing in non stretch binding and the front sat lumpy. By which time I was running out of scraps to make more binding! I literally used the last few pieces to make two separate bindings, a stretchy one for the front and non stretch for the back. Presto!
 I’m enjoying leaving the overlocker out of things for the moment and went for French seams again. And used rolled hems all over. Well that, my friends, is it. And I officially have no more to say about this sundress except that I love it just so! And maybe, hopefully, you LOVE IT TOO! In which case you should definitely hop on over to PROJECT SEWN and wield your voting wand

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