Saturday, 22 August 2015

Paisley Zeena Dress

Hi everyone! Today I have to show you my first post-op make. For those of you who don't know, I had my upper and lower jaw broken in surgery 2 and a half weeks ago to correct my overbite. The swelling has gone down a fair bit, but there is still a way to go. It's weird to look at these pictures, because I haven't quite come to terms with my new face and smile yet but I have to remind myself that it's not about my face, it's about the dress!
So, this is my version of By Hand London's latest pattern; the Zeena dress. I thought the pattern would be great with several of the fabrics in my stash but it turned out that I didn't have enough of any of the fabrics to make the dress. The only thing to do was to buy some new fabric! I was looking for viscose for the drapyness and found this paisley beauty on ebay. 2m of it promptly ended up in my basket.
My overlocker had decided to give up on keeping the thread in any fabric it stitched through so it was out of action. That meant that I had to find other ways of finishing the seams. I was originally going to do french seams for everything, but after french seaming the bodice to the skirt the pleats were all out of sync which just wouldn't do. Instead I sewed the seam right sides together as normal, lining up the pleats properly that time. Then I trimmed the seam allowance of the skirt piece, folding the bodice seam allowance on top over it and slipstitching. I think the weight of the zip is dragging the waistline down in the center so maybe next time I should add a waist stay?
After playing around with finding enough fabric for the pocket pieces, I got carried away with french seaming the side seam, completely forgetting about the pockets existence. I'd already unpicked one french seam, and I decided to sacrifice the pockets rather than unpicking another. 
 The center back seam allowances were pressed open, the raw edges tucked under and slipstitched for a clean finish. For the hem I tried something new. I machined a line of stitching 1cm from the edge and ironed it so the line was visible from the wrong side of the dress. That made it super easy to turn the raw edge under and slipstitch. There was a lot of slipstitching in this project.
The neckline was far too low for me so I remedied that by cutting quite a wide bias strip from the scraps to make a neckband, which was sewn right sides together. I folded the raw edge under about 0.5cm and ironed. That edge was then slipstitched to the wrong side of the dress to create a neckband. Ideally I should have inserted the zip before the neckband for a cleaner finish but I was in a hurry to see whether it would work or not!
After sewing the invisible zip in as I usually do I was disappointed with how visible it was. So, I thought I'd try sewing it again, trying to get closer to the teeth. Having 2 lines of stitching made all the difference. I've lost a bit of weight from having a liquid diet (4 weeks to go!) so I made a tie belt to cinch it in a bit.
I cut the skirt to the longest length, but removed 2 inches which ended up being used for the tie belt. I love the pleats, and I think it would be interesting to make the dress in a slightly heavier fabric and see how it sits.
That's all for now! Thanks very much for reading and to Dad for taking photos!
Lauren xx

16 comments:

  1. This is kind of 90's, I'm digging it :)

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    1. Haha I'll take your word for it as I was only alive for the first 3 years of it!

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  2. You and the dress both look beautiful! Congrats on your first post-op post :)

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  3. You look happy, hope it is not too painful recovering from surgery. Can't believe you are sewing and blogging already! Wow. Go you. Great dress too.

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    1. Thank you! Everything aches less every day :)

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  4. You look lovely and your dress as well :) my best friend had a similar surgery not too long ago to fix chronic pain in her jaw and I remember her puffy face pictures all too well. I'm impressed that you're already sewig again, go you! Good luck with the recovery!

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    1. Thank you! I needed something to ease the boredom so it might as well be sewing!

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  5. The dress is just lovely! I'm so pleased to hear you are on the mend. I hope the sewing helps with your recovery!

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  6. you look gorgeous, i love your dress! hope you recover soon from your op :) x

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  7. You've inspired me :) I love the dress! It's a great combo of form and function.
    Plus, I've a little less than 2 weeks post-op and I need to get sewing!
    Your surgery sounds a lot more complicated (and painful) than mine, I think its really impressive you're sewing. I think you're very brave for having it. It probably wasn't an easy decision to make, but you're happy enough to be sewing, clearly a good sign.
    Good luck with the rest of your recovery!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so happy to have inspired you.

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  8. I can't believe you're back to blogging already! I know what you mean about getting used to your new face. It's weird to look in the mirror and see something different. You look like you're recovering very well though :) The dress is very cute! (So is your hair!) If you think it needs a waist-stay though, you could still add one. Rather than sewing a ribbon to the seam allowance, one "couture" method is to make thread loops (like belt carriers you sometimes see on rtw dresses) on the vertical seam allowances and thread a ribbon through it.

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    1. Haha thank you! I think I'll do exactly what you suggested. I guess learning how to do thread loops is on the horizon!

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