A Dress for Work

In theory this dress has all the things I don’t do;

  • Polyester – I’m a fabric snob and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m also old enough to remember when polyester was cheap and nasty and to be avoided at all costs
  • Georgette – far to reminiscent of frou-frou frills for me
  • Polka dots – good heavens I’ll be wearing a peter pan collar next!

So having got all my pet phobias out of the way, actually, I quite like this dress. The simple lines of the design means it is feminine but not too girly, even in polka dot georgette. I’m still to wear the polyester for a full day but I’m looking forward to having a dress I can throw in the wash and not worry about.

The fabric came from Sew Over It, they also had it in navy which was lovely but I thought black would be more versatile. It is lined in a lightweight lining from Cloth House. I wasn’t entirely sure what sort of lining fabric to use and in retrospect I don’t think it was the best choice. I have a silk dress from Whistles which has a lining which looks something like a chiffon and I think that would have gone better.

I posted previously about the meal I made of making the dress’s lining. Next time I’ll do it more simply. Fitting the lining into the dress was an adventure – my brain doesn’t work in 3D and the first time I tried sewing the sleeves together I ended up with a horribly contorted mess of dress and lining fabric with some strange mobius strip type twist. I really must make up a pattern which actually has a lining in it sometime so I can see how the order of construction is supposed to work.

The georgette proved to be fun to cut out; fortunately the polka dots helped keep me on the straight. Each piece had to be done on the flat as I was worried that if I folded the fabric the underside would contort.

I also had some problems with getting the seams to lie flat; even with the tension on my upper thread turned right down I was getting some puckering on the seams when I sewed the georgette the first time.  One of my friends gave me a great tip; she suggested I sewed the seam using a long stitch and not back tacking at either end.  If you do this you can run your fingers along the seam and pull out any puckering.

And as for the hem……

I must admit to getting quite despondent my poor sewing skills as I made this dress. It’s such a simple design and because I had made one before I thought it would be simple to make. Still I have learnt quite a lot:

– polyester georgette is a pig to sew, never, never, never again (well until the next time)
– don’t try to be too clever when lining a dress
– perseverance does pay off!

This is the second time I’ve made this pattern (Easy Kimono Dress from Pattern Runway) and I will probably make a third at some stage in the future. I love the way the choice of fabric completely changes a garment’s look. This one is much smarter than my first but I hope will be worn almost as regularly.

A gratuitous shot of my shoes



10 thoughts on “A Dress for Work

  1. it’s lovely! on the lining front, there is a bit about it in gertie’s book and she suggests attaching the lining to the facing and attaching it as you would have done with facing. would that help?

  2. Poly georgette! The only time I ever sewed with that I nearly gave up in despair. Your hem looks 100x better than mine did. It’s a lovely dress. I’m sure you’ll get lots of wear out of it and forget the aggravation of sewing the fabric. I must remember that tip about the puckers.

  3. Pingback: Top 5 Hits of 2012 | Jane's Sew & Tell

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