A new dress...!
This is drafted from the Japanese pattern book Pattern Magic, by Tomoko Nakamichi. Since mine is the Japanese version I don't know its translated name, but it is the design on p49. There is a bit of a story behind this thing...
This is the second version of this dress I have made; the first was an unmitigated disaster. I was planning a three quarter length version using white chiffon (polyester-y stuff, so it was cheap, thank heavens) which I decided needed underlining as well as lining, because the seams would have shown through the fabric otherwise. I won't bore you with the whole saga, just cut straight to the climax which was me heaving the whole thing in the bin during a bad case of sewing-rage one night. I don't want to talk about it because it is still a painful memory... and if you're wondering... (wails) yeees! I do regret chucking it out! After only a short bit of mulling it over, I realised how I could have solved the problem I was having and now wish I had not been so hasty, but as fate would have it the bin was picked up by the rubbish truck the very next morning while I was still in the "never want to even look at it again" mood. Oh well. C'est la vie. I suspect I would have had plenty more issues with it to be honest, so maybe all was for the best...
This version is completely different. I've had this teal silk jersey in my stash from about eighteen months ago, and I envisioned a quick, stretchy, Metalicus-like, pull-over dress with a full-ish skirt; no zips, no underling, no lining required. Far less fuss!
I made a petticoat to go underneath, why? Partly because the design has an extremely low neckline. And also; well the dress in indoor or calm weather circumstances looks like the above, but in a stiff breeze like today...
Lol! And just so you know, stiff breezes are veeeerry common where I live, and especially during spring. Yaas, just one of the reasons why hairstyles here are very much au naturel... The design is completely open at the front, and whilst it would be a simple matter to sew up the front skirt seam I decided I like the idea of the contrasting colour to be a strong part of the final look.
Now, I've mentioned this before, but it is worth saying again; Pattern Magic is not for the fainthearted who need step-by-step instructions. You need to have pretty solid sewing knowledge on how to construct and finish a garment before you have a go at these designs. The designs as they are in the book give no clue about things like facings, closures, tips on construction, even details like sleeves (to sleeve or not to sleeve, that is the question) are often left up to the individual seamstress/seamster. So for the sake of clarity I will give some details below as to how I finished off this garment... so you can skip this if you want.
Dress; drafted from Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi, teal silk jersey
Petticoat; my own design, of yellow swimwear fabric (polyester? spandex?)
Sandals; Pedro Miralles, from Soletta shoes
I drafted and cut the front neckline edge facings as part of the fronts, and folded them to the inside of the dress so the shoulder edges sat wrong sides together...
I also drafted and cut the back bodice partly on a horizontal fold, with the fold at the back neckline... so the facing of the back bodice is part of the back bodice also. It finishes about halfway down the back bodice. This saved having to finish off the back neckline, and also allowed me to enclose the front shoulder edges within the back shoulder edges in a nice clean close-in seam... see, the neckline has no seaming showing! (self high five)
I felt pretty chuffed when this bit worked out OK.
I drafted a sleeve using a Tshirt I already had; that green internal stitching you see above is the sleeve set-in. The only topstitching on this garment are the sleeve hems. These were simply twice folding in 1cm and topstitching with a zig-zag stitch. The bobbin thread is black while the topstitching thread is blue; and yah, I'm okay with that.
The petticoat is self-drafted, based partly on Tshirts I already had, as well as pinning and fitting to myself. The bright yellow stretch fabric I used for the petticoat is actually swimwear fabric; so theoretically, on a hot day I can just flop in the pool in it! It is a lot thicker than the turquoise silk jersey. After experimenting with a few finishings for the neckline and armhole edges, I eventually settled for serging the edges to stabilise and then folding to the inside once and topstitching slowly with a wide zig-zag stitch, being careful not to stretch the fabric at all. All the other seams are overlocked.
The lower hems on both dress and petticoat are not finished because these fabrics will not unravel or fray. I just cut the fabric as straight and as smoothly as possible.