AKA - When bad fabric happens to good people.
Well, my Colette Patterns Peony dress is finished. There aren't any modelled photos because I don't love it enough. I do like the shape and colour, the fit is ok (more of that later); but as for the fabric - there are no words! I mentioned in my last post that this fabric is a bit stiff, and after working with it for a while, I grew to despise it. On Monday it came very close to being binned, but then I had the good sense to google "how to soften stiff fabric". Basically the solution was to soak the offending item in a basin of water with loads of fabric softner for 24 hours, wash it, and tumble dry it. I did exactly this, and it did make a considerable difference, but it's still not great.
The fabric is cotton poplin from Croft Mills, the colour is called Claret (it's darker in real life), and it was £5.50 a metre. Here's a link, so you know to avoid it. I used just over 2 metres, at least it wasn't too expensive. But the thing is, I also ordered some polka dot poplin from the same site, and it is much nicer.
As for the pattern, I had read that a lot of people had issues with fitting the bodice, especially the bust dart placement, as the darts were a bit low. So I went with a size 0 at the shoulders, and a size 6 from the underarms down. I left the bust darts at the size 0 height, which was spot-on, but shortened them a bit. I also took the front waist darts in a bit. I did a FBA of 1.5cm, but I think it was a bit generous, and it was only after I'd finished it that I remembered that Colette Patterns draft for a larger cup size than most other patterns. I lowered the neckline by 5cm and used the size 0 bodice length, but ended up adding 2cm to the length.
On the back I lowered the neckline by 4cm, and made the back waist darts 1 inch longer. I also took 1cm off the centre back on both sides, which didn't seem like much at the time, but I went with it. I wore the dress on Friday night to go out for my dinner, and I think I could take a bit more off the centre back. I'll take the zip out, and re-do it at some stage, but at the minute I don't want to look at it!
I am very pleased with the sleeves though. They fit perfectly, and are very comfortable. Also sewing them in was a breeze. I pinned, then hand-basted them, and sewed them in with my machine on the slowest speed. And both were perfect on the first go! No puckering, no having to unpick bits; so I was pleased with that.
All of that said, I really like the shape of this dress, and will most definately make another one when I find a lovely fabric. But I will be revisiting my toile first to tweek the fitting issues.
In other news, the snow finally melted on Friday (a whole week) - serves me right for buying a house up a hill. A mile and a half down the hill, there wasn't a flake left by the middle of the week. And I have also started the toile for my Sewaholic Thurlow trousers, but there isn't much to see yet.
Have a great week,