Okay, I have two things to admit to you all. One, I still have a bunch of garments I haven’t blogged yet – most of them from before I moved (2m ago), and I think the number is now 5 or 6. It’s hard to get around to take photos with the shorter days, and I think I probably need a tripod for the days where Mr Guy doesn’t want to take them. The second is that I have been doing more drafting and it is so much fun, I don’t even want to go back to patterns. I know something awesome will draw me back but for now the only plans I have for using patterns is togs and a coat.
I’m not sure if it’s obvious in the picture, but I am so chuffed by this dress. The entire bodice and collar was drafted from my new bodice sloper. After the success of the skirt sloper, I decided to tackle the bodice sloper again. Again, this was done by following along with Suzy Furrer’s “Bodice Sloper” Craftsy class (affiliate link, yo).
This time it took me three goes to get it right. Halfway through when trying to do the armhole I got stuck with the same problem as last time – the height between the shoulder and underarm looked too short, and I couldn’t draw the armhole in such a way to get enough length. So frustrating! But I read through all the other members comments where others had had the same problem, and I ended up remeasuring my front waist-to-neck a few centimeters longer. I started again using this measurement and it worked a lot better.
My sloper v2 from the front
Apologies – this is my moulage, which has no ease. The finished sloper has ease added to it and I used that to draft. The moulage is just to make sure the fit is perfect.
Thinking I’d cracked it, I happily started on a boatneck pattern. Then came disappointment when I tried it on and the neckline/shoulders didn’t fit at all – I realised that the shoulder on the sloper was too long (you can see pulling at the underarm in the picture above, and the shoulder was about 2cm too long). It was lucky I started with the boatneck version which made this VERY obvious and meant I couldn’t just ignore the problem!
So off came the extra length from the shoulders, and the armscye was redrawn. I also straightened out the curve from the waist to low hip and now I am very, very happy with the fit.
On Saturday I followed along with several of the drafting exercises – turning the darts into princess seams, moving darts around, and trying out two types of collar (using the collars and closures class) – the camp collar I’ve used for this dress, and a shawl collar on a v-neck. As I said, it’s so fun following along with the exercises, making up a muslin and having it fit perfectly! Gah.
So the bodice is completely self-drafted. The skirt is not, as I couldn’t be bothered with the whole slashing-and-spreading thing so I just used the pleated skirt from a Simplicity pattern. Ultimately it would have been easier for me to draft it myself – I find it really difficult to line up pleats with darts when it isn’t marked already for me. And in the end I’m not 100% pleased with the shape of the skirt, but oh well.
You can see it’s sleeveless, because I haven’t started the craftsy sleeve class yet (I’ll try and get measurements done this week). If you see any pulling around the armscyes it’s because I was clever and added seam allowance, but then didn’t take any out when I decided to finish the armholes with plain bias binding. Which I decided to leave visible
Me: “Should I leave the bias binding visible like this, or tuck it under?”
Mr. Guy: “Well what does the pattern say?”
Me: “it doesn’t! I made the pattern!”
Mr. Guy: “Well… what does the pattern say?”
Me: “Leave it like it is because it kind of looks like leather and leather is cool”. So there you go – visible bias binding finishing off the armholes and hem.
More drafting details:
- Rotated the shoulder dart into the waist dart, and the armhole dart into the bust dart
- I used the “high figure point” (nipple) as my guide for both darts and backed them off by ~1″ each
- Front center extension = size of buttons (15mm) plus seam allowance (10mm)
- Drafted a facing to match the front, and a back neck facing
- The back has a waist dart, and I didn’t sew the back shoulder dart (instead coming in 20mm from the shoulder)
- Drafted the collar – now this collar is interested! It’s on the bias, and is all cut on one piece so the bottom/straight edge is a fold rather than a seam. The underside is interfaced. I really liked this way of doing it (having it on the fold), so much easier!
- I finished the facing edges with folded over Hug-Snug. I haven’t yet formed the attachment to this that others have but I think I just need to play with it a bit more, and probably get a bunch more colours
- Seams are all overlocked. I messed up with the side seam and not overlocking it early enough and then couldn’t overlock it after I’d inserted the zip (duh) so I ended up covering that side with bias binding.
- Invisible zip in the right side seam, because I have the front skirt cut on the fold. I used this tutorial to insert the zipper along with pockets and it worked really well (other than me forgetting to finish the edges first)
- As mentioned above, the armholes and hem are finished with plain folded over bias binding from my stash (a few years ago I bought a box of vintage bias bindings that I’m getting through)
I’m not sure I entirely remember buying this fabric, although I have a dim recollection of getting it at spotlight, maybe earlier this year? I seem to have bought 5m of it, which is unlike me (usually I buy 2-2.5m only) but as it’s quite narrow it was a good thing – and I still had leftovers which I’m halfway through sewing into a top. It’s a plain tabby weave cotton, slightly stiff, but perfect for this style.
These photos are in our backyard – did I mention that we bought our first home? We have a massive back yard with enough room for Mr. Guy to have his lawn, and for me to have a big veggie garden and multiple fruit trees (I’ve planted 8 so far and have three that need to go in soon). The big tree behind me is a magnolia tree – I’m so looking forward to this flowering! And the flowers underneath were a total surprise for late winter – the daffodils smell amazing! Here’s hoping for more similar surprises come spring and summer.
Jessie in particular loves the lawn:
And our cat Travis enjoys sitting on the top of the spa that came with the place, and will enjoy the sun we’ll get in summer
Pattern: Self drafted
Fabric: Polka dot cotton from Spotlight, probably ~$40
Notions: Buttons, thread, interfacing from stash
Have you tried drafting before, or are you interested? I have been meaning to try for a while (obviously seeing as I bought the bodice sloper class over a year ago) and had tried on a few alright-fitting pre-bought patterns but it is SO EASY to do with this sloper! At the moment all I’m bound by is my imagination – next I’m going to do a shawl collar dress and try drafting a button-down shirt, before turning my gaze to a knit t-shirt (I’ve emailed Craftsy asking for Suzy Furrer to do a knitwear class, as well as an outerwear class and menswear).
Edit: I’m also more than happy to hear any feedback that you may have on the dress, if there’s anywhere you think I could improve the fit. This is better than I’ve ever gotten before and I can’t see much wrong but there may be something I’m overlooking. And this goes for any post, I’m very happy for constructive criticism.