Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Voila: Exotic Tiled Davie Dress

My first Sewaholic sewing pattern! I've read the Sewaholic patterns are very suitable for the pear-shaped figure, and they flatter all the right bits... so I have never bought one before now (I feel very hourglass, however I have no clue how one decides this) but, the princess seams in this Davie Dress (released earlier this year by Tasia Sewaholic) caught my eye as I was browsing the internet one night looking for some spring/summer easy knit dresses! And after reading Tasia's blog for so long, it's about time I try one of her patterns!

This version is the shorter one, with the cap sleeves... and I followed a size 8 because my measurements are in-between sizes, and thought the knit fabric wouldn't mind a bit of a stretch over the bust. Size 10 would be way too big on the sleeves/shoulders anyways, and having worn it now, next time I'll keep the size 8 but adjust the shoulders somehow as the underarms are even a bit low on me. But that might have been my lazy cutting...

The fabric comes from... Shanghai's Shi Liu Pu Cloth Market in Dongmen Lu (I'm now going to list the Chinese Address at the bottom of my fabric posts... so fabric loving travelers can just show the Taxi Driver!) and that's a bit of joke for me at the moment because I haven't found any stretch fabric anywhere else, so this one guy is very happy I'm visiting him! When I'm fabric shopping these days, I'm just trying to push myself to try a different print, a different drape and just go for it. I am gathering better sewing skillz through my lessons at Couture Nomad (but we only are sewing with wovens right now) so this 'exotic tiled' (I'm calling it) patterned light synthetic (I'm assuming) stretch fabric had an interesting border on the bolt, so I just bought it thinking it'd be a maxi dress for summer or something... 

But when I got my Davie Dress pattern (I am going for hard copy patterns where I can, because we don't have a printer at home, and can take ages for Husbie to print at work)... I saw the front pattern pieces were separate and not on the fold (of course, for the keyhole to work!) but were straight pieces...  and the 'border' on my fabric was actually parallel with the grain of the fabric (not the stretch of the fabric), so being a stretch fabric, it must be for vertical stripes... right? I don't know, anyways, I pfaffed around for ages with the pattern pieces (I cut them seperately even though the pattern calls for 2 together... I just wanted to make sure the blue edge and border - red pattern - was super even)... and I'm very happy with the matching and racing stripe down the front... just something different:

The keyhole is REALLY easy and uses the seams as its own facing (I had it in my head that it would be super fiddly with a facing) but I just used fusible tape to keep it in place... and I made it the suggested length, but some people might not want to flash that much cleavage... I'm fine with it of course!

I found that once I finished all the seams, my side panels *might* have been cut a little shorter in the underarms... the fabric is super slippery, so it might have been my pinning too, they fabric could have creeped away from me ... I'll have to make another to see what I did wrong. But it's still wearable, just a little gapey. The cap sleeves are very attractive, in my opinion... super cute!

The thing I spent the most time pondering over was the neckline because I wanted it to look polished and not crafty and my topstitching is sometimes off on my machine... it wobbles a lot if I'm not super slow. But after stalking some of these neck binding tutorials, I felt confident to tackle it:

The Colettorie's Ultimate Binding Guide for Knits

Cashmerette's How to Bind a Wrap Dress because I might do one, some day, right?

And I checked Made by Rae's Knit Neckline post as well just to double check which direction on the fabric I cut, and it's *with* the stretch not with the grain.

It sits flatter than most necklines on knits I've sewn, so I'm happy! 

The hem however, I wasn't really happy with (and you can see in one of the above photos it's flipped down already from wear)... as it's a knit dress you have to hang it to get it all evened out for at least a day... and then I cut it all to the shortest piece, then overlocked the edge... and tested out a topstitch that looked ghastly and too small and wonky and looked like the machine wanted to eat the fabric... so I did a bit of machine blind hemming on a swatch fabric piece and it looked ok... at least it held in place most of the way around:

But I won't be flipping it around to show people... it's still pretty messy. I also used fusible iron on tape for the blue racer stripe, so to not have any red blind hem stitches poking through... I think you can get a way with a lot of fix up jobs when you use knit fabrics!

The only thing, if you stare at the racing stripe too long... it kinda over emphasizes my boobs and turns them into a shelf... so I'm not too sure I like the dress in profile, or an angle like this photo:

This is better:

So if you see me wearing this, do NOT approach me from the side! I shall be just pointing my racing stripe toward everyone when I wear this Davie Dress... until I make another without a boob shelf enhancer! LOL never thought that would be something I would ever type! BUT, I love the shape and will certainly make more of darling Davie!

Fabric from the knit guy on level 2:

Shi Liu Pu Cloth Market:

168 Dongmen Lu,
near Zhongshan Dong Er Lu

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