Pattern: Self drafted version based of Colette Truffle
Fabric: 2 1/2 yards of rayon shirting (it has a really nice slubbed texture that isn’t shown in these pictures) and 1 yard of white cotton lawn
Notions: No, eliminated zipper
Time: once the first muslin, the drafting, and the second muslin were finished… 5 hours.
I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump since my last wardrobe challenge ended. It’s strange not having a clear plan to sew from – I get so easily paralyzed by all the creative directions that I could take and I’m not nearly as productive as I’d like to be. I gave myself a week to just be but finally it was time to get moving again.
Since receiving my copy of the Colette Sewing Handbook, I knew that I wanted to make Truffle. It’s feminine and fun while still maintaining a crisp and tailored look. I traced off the pattern in early January before I even had an idea of the fabric I wanted to use. However, the muslin showed that I had a lot to fix – a small bust adjustment, taking in the upper sides while letting out the waist, and shortening the bodice back length were the biggest issues but certainly not the only ones. I tried my best but I quickly become frustrated by the amount of work and decided to scrap the original pattern and draft my own instead. My patternmaking classes are starting again in February (I took a leave in November for our trip to Vietnam) and this was a nice exercise to get me familiar with the process again. The neckline could still be lower and wider but all in all I think I did a pretty good job at recreating the look.
Since I decided to leave out the back zipper I needed to leave about 2″ of ease in the bodice so that I could slip it over my head without help. I go back and forth on whether this was a good idea. I find that dresses without zippers get more use in my wardrobe. More than likely it’s the added ease and not the lack of zipper that sways me! That 1 1/2″ to 2″ gives me enough room to move around but I still feel gussied up because I’m in a dress. However, looking at the photos, I do wish that the bodice was more fitted and I don’t think the rayon helps. It definitely has a tendency to sag at the waistline whereas the muslin had enough structure to stay “up”. Or at least that’s what I think is going on. It’s certainly not something I had thought of when I started the project.
The sewing process was pretty uneventful. I started with french seams on the bodice lining but when it came to the self fabric the rayon shirting was fraying like crazy so I pulled out the serger. My serger has been on the fritz (I think there might be a short in the pedal) but it pulled it together long enough for me to put the body together. Since I eliminated the back seam, I needed a way to finish the armholes so I grabbed out Lynda Maynard’s The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques and tried out her baby french binding. I’ve wanted to try it since I took a class from her last summer and I’m so glad I finally did. It’s similar to a turned in bias binding and although this particular go around isn’t perfect but I can see how easy and clean it could be.
So my forced creation turned out to be a success but it did nothing for my slump. Now that it’s finished I’m back to wondering where to go next.