Monday, October 24, 2016

Lessons in Prewashing...

I had high hopes for this beautiful navy knit from Paron's Going out of Business Sale in NYC's garment district.  The Italian viscose has a lovely hand with about 20% stretch.  It's wrinkle free = perfect for travel.

From the start, I intended to use the fabric for an office appropriate dress with out of print Vogue 8663.

 But the finished dress was solidly in the boring camp (even for office wear), too big and doesn't at all do justice to the lovely fabric.

Accessorizing with a silk scarf belt makes the ensemble a tad less forgettable, don't you think?  But still quite blah....

Although I am usually a Vogue size 10, I cut out a 12 based on the finished measurements.  It turned out to be too big in the bodice.

I turned to Pattern Review for assistance with the pleats.  After marking with chalk I basted them in place by hand.  I also topstitched the pleats down (not in the pattern direction).  In spite of my prep, the center pleat shifted.  I unpicked it and re-sewed it as a dart.  Better but far from perfect. 

I applied Sewkeyse knit stay tape to the neckline, sleeves and hem and then folded over twice and catch stitched.  I prefer the look of hand finishing to machine or even twin needle.

I wore the dress twice before sending it out with the laundry. (One of the many peculiarities of NYC living is that many of us don't have in-unit washer/dryers...) I forgot to specify that the dress needed to be air dried and it shrunk...A LOT.  The new "dress" is tunic length and barely covers my bum. On the upside, it fits pretty close to perfect in the bodice...

To keep the faith, I am reframing this experience as a wearable muslin and intend to make the dress again with the following modifications:
  •  smaller size (8 or 10)
  •  lengthen the bodice 2 inches
  •  use darts instead of pleats in the bodice
  • cut the back bodice and back skirt on the fold
  • construct a full lining
Guess who will never again forget to prewash her fabric?

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