Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Liberty Dress

This project was inspired by its fabric (2m x 1.35m), of course. Karen in her blog explained about Liberty Tara Lawn cottons and I decided that I absolutely needed a dress made of it for my holiday this summer. I ordered from Liberty's and it cost me 80 Euros with shipping costs, but it is a wonderful fabric. The only drawback is that some patterns, like this one, are in fact repetitions of a small illustration, and the overall effect  is a little bit weird, so be careful to see the whole picture before you decide among the mountain of possible patterns they offer. Everything Karen said is true: it is a very thin fabric but it does not show though. It is a sweet cotton, wonderful to work with, and it barely wrinkles. I think it is completely worth it.
I was in love with this pattern at first sight, and I thought it would render beautifully with my Liberty cotton. It is from Patrones magazine, which we can buy in Catalunya. I am lucky enough to have it in the library bus that visits us every month.
I copied the pattern to the muslin, which was necessary in this case: expensive fabric+ new pattern. In the first fitting I saw that I need to lengthen the waist and modify the pattern for large bust. I followed the instructions in Armstrong's book:

The modification was successful. In the past, I would have used a bigger size, or added some fabric at the side seams or even in the back zipper (OMG!!!), wherever I could get some extra space for my big boobs, haha... but of course that means you loose the equilibrium and right proportions in the rest of the bodice.

Another process I learned along this project (man, I am on fire!!) was the invisible zipper application. I only had to buy a special leg for the sewing machine and watch a video in the net. That simple. Problem is, my zipper is not invisible at all. I think it is even beautiful in this design, but I really have to know how to make it disappear.


The sleeves a seamed in the middle and were perfect at first fitting. Good! I love perfect sleeve caps. I had some doubts with the flounces at the sleeves, design wise, but my image advisor said they were nice, and in fact I think they add some movement and life to the design.

I also took special care with the neck. I applied some fusible interlining to the facing, and machine stitched it to the right side of the dress, following the interlining as a guide. I trimmed carefully the hem to 0,5 cm and cut slashing lines to the stitches. Then I pressed it upwards and stitched the facing to the hem allowance. When I turned it down, the curve of the neck was just perfect. I secured it to the dress with a picking stitch.

I have some doubts about the inferior flounce. Although I like it being almost invisible, as an extension of the skirt, it is more visible in the magazine design. This might be due first to the different hemming method. I simply zig-zagged the bottom of the dress and left it raw, instead of making a small double folded hem which would have added flare to the flounce. 

I decided to encase all the seam allowances in themselves and topstitch them, since the thread is invisible in this pattern. That makes the dress perfect outside and inside, and easier to iron after washes.

I premiered it for a special occasion and received several compliments, both for the dress and for the fabric. I felt like a princes with that light and beautiful fabric flying around me, and after a long day of working with kids, sitting with them on my lap, the dress had barely a wrinkle.

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