So here's some stats:Pattern:
TNT dress pattern (I know y'all are so tired of hearing that one!)
100% wool flannel from Fabric.com
100% polyester charmeuse from Fabric Mart
22" zipper, rayon hem tape
Pretreating the fabric:
I prewashed the wool fabric using Shannon's technique...well not all of it because I did not have any Euculan available. So I skipped that step but I did everything else she said to do and I hung the fabric to dry overnight on the shower rod in the bathroom. A good pressing and a lot of steam and this piece was ready to go.
Now I don't usually wash wools because I am concerned about fulling and felting issues but in this instance because the wool was a tightly woven piece I decided to give it a try. I was very happy with the end results and will try this technique again with the Euculan next time!
The front of the dress has a pleat ~ a newly added design feature that was not included in the original pattern. I have no magazine or catalogue inspiration for this dress. I was doodling and put the pleat on the front of the dress and thought why not. So I made it work.
To get the pleat I placed the dress front 3" from the center front of the fabric. I carefully measured to make sure that it was 3" from the top to the bottom of the piece. After I cut the pattern out, I cut small notches into the top of the pattern where the pattern piece ended. I did the same at the bottom.
After the darts were constructed, I made a box pleat on the backside of the garment, carefully folding each notched edge to the center of the pleat. I pressed one side of the pleat and then the other. Finally I sewed the pleat down across the neckline. I used a triple stitch and sewed the pleat flat...approximately 1/4 inch from the outer edge of the pleat. I stopped stitching
I definitely used directional sewing on this because I didn't want to get that ruffled edge you get when you sew the in two different directions.
The other change I made was to the sleeves. I split the pattern in half added a seam allowance and belled it out slightly at the end. Then I stitched the center seam leaving an opening of 3". I made a lining using the new sleeve shape and attached the lining to the hem ala the Nancy Ziemen method mentioned in an earlier post. To accommodate the opening, I sewed the hem and up the side of each opening up to about 1/2" from the point. Then I sewed the side seams. After turning the lining into the sleeve, I added a few catch stitches to the inside of the opening where I wasn't able to sew it all the way with the machine.
Add the lining to the dress, insert the sleeves, hand hem the dress fabric, machine stitch the lining and walah, new dress.
This one will have a jacket constructed from the same fabric since the original piece was a little over 4 yards and even after prewashing there was enough to get a jacket and dress from the fabric. But the great thing is that the dress can be worn alone or with another jacket while it is waiting for its counterpart to show up.
(okay why am I holding the fabric on the dress up this way!)
I just may wear this dress to work tomorrow because it is just so darn comfortable!