Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"...if you dress for it."
2015/16 Project #3
True Bias Mini Southport Dress w/ Lining

"You can have anything you want in life
if you dress for it."
-Edith Head

Last Saturday, SC's piano teacher hosted a "jam session" for the kids to practice playing with some other musicians.  SC picked "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and practiced all summer.  She was very nervous at first, but after a few trial runs, she did a great job staying at a steady tempo so that the three others (guitar, bass, drum) could play along.  It was a neat experience.

For the performance, I decided to make her a new, fun dress.  She had previously picked out a leopard print cotton from the clearance table at Hancock, and after looking around a bit, I decided to make the Mini Southport Dress by indie designer True Bias.  The clearance table fabric was a very loose weave, making it very thin, so I changed the design to add a full lining for both the bodice and the skirt, but it was simple to do.  I chose a 100% cotton fabric in beige/nude that didn't allow any light through.

First, for cutting, I had to relocate my "helper."  Then, after comparing with SC's measurements, I decided to cut a size 8 at the shoulder and chest area, and then grade out to a 10 for the waist and skirt.  I also cut the pattern pieces for the bodice front, back and the skirt out of lining as well as the leopard fabric.

To make the lining, I basically followed the directions for the bodice twice, once with the leopard, and then once with the lining.  Then, when the directions called for using bias tape around the neck and arm holes, I simply followed those directions using the lining fabric, so that the wrong side of the lining faced the wrong side of the fabric.  When I got to the bodice placket area, I folded the leopard back as instructed, and then used that edge as a guide to cut the extra off with my serger.

Once the fabric was flipped appropriately, the lining fabric would lie inside the placket perfectly. On the neckline, I understitched all the way around, and made sure it was pressed crisp.  After stitching the armholes with right sides together, I had to pull the leopard fabric through the shoulder strap to turn it so that both right sides faced out, away from each other.  Then on the armholes, unfortunately since I was doing a full lining, I was only able to understitch as far back as I could cram my presser-foot, but it ended up being almost to the shoulder seam.  

I chose not to edgestich the neckline and the armholes because I didn't want the line.  Also, since I was doing a full lining and it would be attached at the waist, I would not have to worry about a bias tape flipping up.

The making of the button placket was very simple and the instructions were clear.  I did not have any problems figuring out how to get it to lay appropriately.  The skirt and it's lining were simple as well, just a straight seam up each side.  I turned the lining wrong side to the fabric wrong side, and then attached the waistband casing to the fabric right side, and then attached all that to the right side of the bottom of the bodice.  There was a lot of fabric, with two extra layers, but I finished the seam with the serger and after pressing, it was not as bulky as I thought it might be.

The hardest part of the entire project was making the ties.  Because the leopard fabric had such a loose weave, I had to be extra careful to not tear any of the yarn and leave a hole.  It took almost an hour to get the first tie flipped right side out, but for some reason only about fifteen minutes for the second.  It may be because I started using a wooden kebab skewer to press it through!

Actually threading the ties and elastic through the waistband casing was easy compared to flipping the ties right side out.

Finishing up the dress with a hem, I cut 1 1/2 inches off the lining bottom and finished the edge with my serger, and then did the hem up 1/4 inch, and then 1 full inch.

Here is the finished inside, where the full lining is visible, plus the button placket.

And here is the final dress, front and back ...

and in the rain!!

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