Saturday, 14 May 2011

RW day 2 - The Pre-loved dress

Roswell Week Day 2
Item (s) completed The Pre-loved dress
State before Roswell Week - half sewed, not fully taken in 
Reason for abandonment - couldn't decide what to do
Time spent as an UFO - as before, about 6 months..
Time used to finish - 1 hour
"chump" factor felt for not having done it sooner - Medium. Well it didn’t take very long, but mainly because I gave up on making the neckline higher. It wasn’t so much the work as the decision that was necessary.

Here is me wearing it on the lovely Meadows in Edinburgh. It was a little chilly and the wind kept trying to blow it over my head hence the slightly tense pose!

I bought this dress in the same Shelter shop as the tropical dress just after I got my sewing machine. It was one of those amazing charity shop trips where you just walk in and want the whole shop! This was the dress that made me walk in; I could see it hanging up through the door and I just loved the vivid colours and print. The dress itself was slightly underwhelming, as it has clearly been very heavily worn before. It was a basic empire line babydoll tunic, but the scoop neckline had become very very stretched and misshapen. The dress was about only 2 sizes bigger then me, but with the excessive ease and stretched neckline, the top of the dress was about 15 inches larger than me, even including my substantially larger than b cup upper half! When I put it on the neckline exposed my entire front torso and hung down below the bottom of my bra.   Clearly something had to be done. As I started this before I considered having a blog, there isn’t a before photo, but hopefully you can picture it from my description!

The main problems were the width of the bodice, and the neckline in general. In addition, it was very short, so I didn’t want to cut the skirt off and reattach as I didn’t want to sacrifice any length, as I know from experience that I don’t wear tunics. Therefore, my method of taking it in, as most of the excess was in the stretched front section, was to fold the front so that I took about 10 inches out at the empire line in a massive single pleat and made the scoop neck into a curved v. I just sewed the pleat in along the empire line seam and down the edge of the fold across the bodice, so that the width remained further down the dress. I had partly sewed this already, but I had stopped because the neckline was still a bit low, and the waist still a little baggy. I couldn’t pull it in any further without distorting the sleeves to a stupid level, and there was no fabric spare to raise the neckline. I can understand why I left it, I think I thought inspiration might strike me at a later date. But it didn’t. After considering several other half-baked schemes, I made the call to just wear a vest underneath it. I therefore took a further tuck out of each side to make the waist fit better and finished the sewing up.

I like it a lot; I don’t really have any problem wearing a vest underneath, as the fabric is very thin and it makes the whole thing seem slightly less see through! It is slightly short, but it’s ok for summer. I also noticed when I wore it that the previous owner, who had clearly worn the dress a lot, had fixed a ripped hole in the back with a matched pieces of thin fabric so that it looks like part of the pattern, so well in fact that I hadn’t noticed until I caught it with my hand when wearing it. This dress has definitely been well loved in the past, and I am glad to continue its life!

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