Friday, July 14, 2017

From Disaster to Awesome! Lottie Dress with Tip for Wrinkle-Less Linen!

We have been enjoying a renaissance in sewing garments that I haven't seen since the 1980's! What is the reason behind this sewing boom? Amazing quality fabrics, notions, and drum roll please....Independent Patterns! Here we are seeing the strength of women creating patterns for women's bodies! Back in the day of the main pattern companies, many sewists were driven mad by the instructions and lack of fitting that was just taken for granted. But every now and then something odd happens even with a tried a true indie on!

Every active sewing studio has a drawer, tub, or basket full of unfinished items - garments in which we reached roadblocks, garments that didn't seem to fit right, garments that were bigger than our skill level, or stuff we just simply didn't like after all. It seemed like a good idea when we purchased that fabric, but with the passage of time, not so much. These containers full of half finished garments may lie in the recesses of a dark closet, under the bed, or tucked away in a cabinet just waiting for us to revive them into completion.

Such was the Lottie Dress made out of Stonemountain Linen started sometime LAST summer. Yep, such is the way of sewing!

The soft linen fabric we chose had a nice hand, so it wasn't that the fabric was wrong. It's just that IT WAS HUGE.  It just hung on me...very "schmatta" looking (Yiddish for rag), so nothing but a major overhaul would make it wearable.

Laurel looks confounded...
I look horrified...

After four years of working together, I know for a fact that Laurel HATES alterations.  And to say that this sack needed to be "altered" is like saying "Bill Gates is financially secure". So naturally this little gem languished in a basket while Laurel thought of every excuse not to fix it.

Laurel is currently doing a renovation on her studio, so she's into checking things off her to-do list before she dismantles the whole room.  This dress got put on the short list - lucky me! Alterations included removing the neck facing and taking inches off the shoulders and side seams.  We also cut almost 9 inches from the length and reshaped the armholes.  Instead of facing the armholes and neck edges, Laurel used self-bias strips made from one of our remnants.  The result is a neat and tidy edge with a little pizzazz.

So much better...

Well, Zannikan looks fabulous in the re-worked dress, so perhaps it will look equally well on me.

I'm so glad that Laurel didn't give up on my Lottie Dress, by Christine Haynes.  It's very tempting to just toss projects like this in the donation bag for some other ambitious sewist to tackle. However, when you see something challenging through to the very end, there is nothing more satisfying. In the end, it doesn't really matter how long it takes, it's enough that you finished.

Thanks for joining with me and creating your own clothes!

You are all invited to stop by my awesome store, Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley
this weekend to see this dress on display,
along with many of the garments featured in my blog!

Creatively yours,

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GREAT TIP from Sandra Betzina! If you want your linen to wrinkle a lot less, do the following: Before you prewash your linen, iron the linen with the hottest, dry iron possible. This will set a wrinkle-less finish, which is already on the fabric. Next, wash and dry your linen in the hottest water and hottest dryer you have. Take out of the dryer when close to bone dry. You will notice that smaller softer wrinkles have replaced the hard crease usually associated with the fabric. Repeating this process will lessen the amount of wrinkles over time. 

1 comment:

  1. Independent pattern companies follow no standard of sizing and often cater to individual body types. It is presumptuous to think that they fit any better than "main" pattern companies as they each are so highly individual. With the Big Four sizing is consistent among them as they all start from the same sloper and once you learn to alter one, you can easily alter the others. I can personally vouch for that. With Indies I have to remake the wheel each time. I am so tired of sewists not acknowledging that women's bodies are all beautiful and all very different in size and shape. It is unreasonable to expect patterns to fit anyone out of the envelope unless they are extremely lucky. SEWING is FITTING is ALTERING. It is all part of the process. Sewists need to expect to learn how to fit their own bodies. We are all far to individual to expect any pattern company to do that for us. In the rare case that no alterations are needed, I call that luck, not reality.