On my Sewing Table

Lately I’ve been spending my time perfecting the Rockabilly Sweetheart dress pattern which I completely drafted by hand. In all honesty selling my creations scares the crap out of me and one of the ways I prevent myself from having massive panic attacks about selling my work is to keep to the motto ‘to under prepare is to prepare for failure’. I am being a huge perfectionist and taking my time on this project because I want complete peace of mind that it will be perfect every time I get to make it.

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I began by completely redrafting the pattern to fit a ‘standard’ size 12 which in theory should make it easier to grade up and down. I’m in the process of constructing a ‘mock up’ of the dress using the same weight fabrics and methods I would for the real thing. I’ve already constructed the new bodice which is boned and lined and applied the bust drape, so once I have the skirt constructed I just have to play with sleeve variations, add a zip and finish the hem.

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The first time I made this dress, I later spotted in the photographs something was wrong with the skirt, it hung funny along one seam. Now this could have been because it was cut on the bias and had stretched or maybe my pattern was slightly out. My new skirt pattern is perfect! As soon as I finished sewing the skirt together I had to try it on and I’m in love, I need to make myself a skirt now!

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I’m only 4ft11’’ and unhemmed it reached my ankles which looked quite romantic but in keeping with the vintage 1950’s design of the dress the skirt length needs to be hitting the knee or just below. I’ve decided the skirt pattern is too long and needs to be shortened by a couple of inches, this was confirmed when I held it up against the original which was made for Lucy who is average height.

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I also came up with a nifty idea that will combat a problem I have when working on multiple projects. I only have one tailors dummy which is usually padded out to fit the size i’m working with, having to remove and add padding when working on costumes for different sizes is a right pain, time consuming and the stuff never goes back on the same way!

I’m making covers for my tailors dummy which are padded out and fasten up the back so I can easily switch between sizes. Another benefit to this is the wadding will be sandwiched between two layers of calico so I won’t be pinning directly into wadding when draping and I will be able to add my style lines using twill tape.

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The first cover is nearly finished, I’m figuring out the method as I go. I think want to make 7 of them in total, 5 ranging from a ‘standard’ size 8 to 16 and the other two based on mine and Lucy’s measurements. When it’s done I will write a post on how I made it, or I could make a tutorial on you tube.

I have a couple of very busy weeks ahead of me, Halloween might seem far away to some people but for me it’s just around the corner and the requests are coming in. I better get sewing!

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