After a wee bit of the kind of pinning that only comes when female relatives drop by, my step-mother and I worked out what changes needed to be made to my dear little dress. Kath put the strappy-joiny bit into place, then worked out where the zip needed to be. I carefully unpicked what I had done, drew the new centre-back seam and machine basted it. (Yes, I remembered to draw it on the pattern piece too for future reference).
I had to be very careful with the zip once I’d taken it out because I had cut the top off it. This dress really is about how many things one person can do wrong in the same garment. I seem to be going for the record here. My zip is still not quite perfect, and I’ve come to realise belatedly that having a proper zipper foot for my (borrowed) machine may help matters. I have one that kind of does the job, but it’s not strictly for a zip and only goes down the left side (heaven help you if you have pinned it with the intention of starting on the right side). There’s really nothing for it but to purchase one in the near future.
Once on, it was certainly tighter! But it still gapes ever so slightly on the right hand side where the back curves down to the zip. Fortunately that problem only occurs when I am standing up straight with my shoulders back. My friend Bel put me onto the fact that bad posture is actually a “THING“. Problem solved!
I’m still not quite sure what material this is, but my mum thinks it may be viscose based on its chief failing: it will not stayed pressed. I ironed and ironed and ironed (different temperatures, more steam, less steam) and PING! back to a soft fold once again. I toyed with the idea of a thousand tiny slipstitches around the neckline, then went the sewing sacrilege route and topstitched. It doesn’t look TOO awful and everything sits better now – gaping at the back is minimised and the lining doesn’t get to think about peeping out.
I finally felt ready to hem it, so I hopped on my bike last Thursday to see Bertie and get her to pin the hem. While I was there she said ‘go through my buttons to see if there’s a match’ and lo and behold, five perfect buttons popped out. They have ticked all the boxes really. They are a shade lighter than the blue so they don’t disappear into it and their shape quietly echoes what is going on with the pattern without competing for attention. I am now completely relaxed about their inclusion and am ready to let go of my feelings about that aspect of the pattern (but if you’ve googled the pattern by all means learn from my mistakes over here). At first I had a yellow button on the back but once the other buttons were in place I replaced with another button that jumped out of the Meister button jar.
Now I’m just working on a petticoat. The one I have is a tad too long, so I’m working out what to do with it – a layer of polka dot ruffle peeping out below the hem? A layer of blue with the geometric roses appliqued on? Perhaps I will just have to deal with the fact it is two inches shorter than I want it and move on… either that or I’ll fit in a few other projects (like oh, I don’t know, moving house and Louis’ birthday and Christmas?) before I do the decent thing and show you WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ON?