Monday, 17 September 2012

A Zipiphany

Pattern: Peony from Colette

Fabric: Cotton/lurex stripe from John Lewis. Sadly, the lurex stripes don't show very well on the photo.

Size: 8 (US sizing)

For about 6 months I had planned to make Butterick 5708 to wear to a friend's wedding. I finally embarked on the project and it was another nightmare Butterick Retro pattern. That is two that have failed now due to awful fit. I won't be trying these patterns again in a hurry. I had been so sure of what I was going to make for so long that I couldn't envisage anything else and spent hours trawling through patterns feeling glum. Then I found Peony. I had assumed I wanted something a bit fancy but Peony made me realise that simplicity could be just as beautiful. Phew - job done! Oh, except I then couldn't find the right fabric. I don't know exactly what I was looking for, but I certainly didn't find it online or in Mason's. In fact, I did about 5 laps of the shop and started attracting strange looks from the staff before I just gave up. There ensued a fraught trip to Milton Keynes (never again!) which did luckily result in me buying fabric in John Lewis. I nearly bought something else entirely but changed my mind due to the cost. I can't believe I almost didn't buy this fabric. It's all my favourite colours combined AND has lurex stripes for a bit of glam.

I had done a lot of perusing the internet looking at other peoples versions of Peony and the overriding message was that it was a joy to make, but you must, must, MUST make a muslin to get the shape of the bodice right. I am so glad I took the advice of my fellow sewists because I really did need to do some big adjustments to the darts. It's different for each person and body shape, evidently, as every blog I read seemed to tell of different alterations. I tried mine on a hundred times moving things around and eventually settled on moving the waist darts down and out and making them narrower. This gave me a lovely fit. I don't know about the theory behind it, but it worked, so i'm pleased.

This is another fantastic pattern. They just come together so easily - no guess work due to the really clear instructions and illustrations. I skipped around the house declaring I had a sleeve much to the bemusement of Big Minx. I had expected I would need a few tries before getting the sleeves set in neatly but no...first time!

I must have put the zip in four or five times before I was satisfied. It's not entirely invisible, and there is a weird bump at the bottom that sticks out but otherwise I'm rather pleased! I found this fantastic tutorial and will always use this from now on I think!

Despite having done a muslin, I found the dress was a bit baggy once finished (the problem with trying something on yourself - must get a mannequin!) but really didn't fancy unstitching it all, so did some clever unpicking of side and waist seams to bring it in and I'm glad I did as it fits so much better.

I would definitely make another Peony and there are so many options with this dress that I bet it would look entirely different.

Oh, and I forgot to say...there are pockets again. :-)


And here's a bonus shot of Peony in action at the wedding itself. With me is the gorgeous Elena from Tea for Two Diary wearing her incredible homemade creation! Much dress and talent envy.

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