Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crepe Sew-Along, Conclusion

It's finished! I had intended on providing a more play by play summary of the process, but these past two weeks have been busy. Namely, just trying to get this dress done by the wedding it was intended for. And violin practice. Now that the wedding was held yesterday, (and a beautiful one it was, at that!), neither are requiring nearly as much attention, and I feel ready to return to the world of blogging.

The color on this picture is probably the most accurate.
So, a few notes about the sewing.  Though I was working with a deadline, I tried to take my cues from Tilly's Sewing Productivity Project and all the insights I gained from the experience and all of the wonderful feedback others were able to provide.  Namely: enjoy the process, and don't rush it.

The crepe I used was quite shear, so I used a pale pale blue satin as my underlining. Well, not quite satin (not that shiny), but very silky polyester lining material. Whatever term you'd use for that kinda fabric. That's what I used. And I really enjoyed working with both fabrics; they cut easily and smoothly, they didn't move around a great deal, and they got along very well. Because of the time crunch, I followed Gertie's recommendation for basting liquid (I got the spray). It simplified the process a great deal, but didn't last long through the actual sewing process.

The contrast fabric had presented a bit of a problem, because I didn't buy enough to go with the grainline as the pattern specified. I had a little less than required even when I used it against the grainline. So, I used some interfacing to stabilize the fabric and topstitched the edges to prevent the non-faced portion of the tie from stretching out too much. I have some lovely lace that I plan to hand-stitch to the ends to add softer edges.

You can see the insert of fabric above the wrap.
As I stated in an earlier post, I did make a bit of a mistake cutting out the pattern--the back was about an inch shorter than the front. On looking at how it wore, I just added a strip of the underlining fabric to the back bodice pieces. I didn't add the crepe to it, because I thought it'd be nice to take note of the fabric without pointing the addition out as an error. I did have to dart that portion too, in order to match the skirt. It's pretty subtle, so I think it all worked out.

The facing, though understitched, still likes to flip out (you can see one of my sleeves is upturned in all of these pictures). I am planning on doing some embroidery stitches along the sleeves and neckline to help keep it under control.

What I'd do differently? Measure the pieces better before cutting. Buy enough contrast fabric. Drop the front darts a little more, but not by much. Understitch a little further away from the seam. Sew closer to the time of cutting if I use spray baste again.

What did I learn? This was my first time sewing with a border print, and I feel like it turned out well. I altered the pattern for the sleeves to have a contrast print, and it behaved itself nicely. I did french seams for the first time. I followed the advice given to Vintage Girl about adding an inch to the side seams in case I have to let it out in the future. Finally, I will be finishing the waist seam with binding tape sometime this week.

What am I happy with? The dress is comfortable. The fabric is excellent. I learned lots of new things. I didn't let this project become too stressful, even when staying up until 3am a night or two. I didn't rush the process, even when working with a deadline (well, except for spray-basting). I was ready to walk away from it if I had to. And most importantly, this dress is great for dancing! 

This won't be my last Crepe, as I already have plans for the second one (in the black print I did the muslin in). I am contemplating some interesting additions for it, though, so it likely won't be done for a bit. I like this growing in competence and confidence business. 


  1. Oh It's just lovely!! So pretty. I just ordered the crepe pattern last week. Now, after seeing yours, I can't wait to get it!! Doesn't it feel good to accomplish such a beautiful dress. You should be proud!

  2. I love this dress! it's so cute and fun, very springy!