Last summer I made a denim dress using the Wiksten Tova pattern, which got worn and worn and worn. It was loose and comfortable but stylish and I got lots of compliments when wearing it. Once I had finished it I immediately decided to make a second, this time using some linen from Cloth House, Berwick Street. The fabric is blue on one side and pink on the other giving an overall mauve appearance, I love the look of it but it’s been a pain to work with. I documented the problems I had with it in this post last August. In the end I gave up in despair and threw the dress on the “too difficult” pile.
Recently I have decided it’s about time I tackled the “too difficult” pile rather than start another shiny, new project (are you impressed?). Actually the pile has grown so large it’s now threatening to take over the sewing room and I really don’t have any room left to start anything new.
I had two problems with this dress originally, the first was the fabric, it’s beautiful but refuses to sit neatly and frays as soon as you look at it. I ended up having to cut an extra front because my first one looked ok but took on an off grain slant once I had sewn the inset into it. The fraying problem made the inside a terrible mess, even after finishing the seams with a neat zig-zag. Fortunately I now have an overlocker so I spent half an hour finishing it as neatly and tidily as you could hope for!
The second problem was with the fit. Despite having sewn a toile and a successful dress with the same pattern this one just did not want to work. It was tight across the back and I found I could hardly move my arms. I also found it was a little tight across the front which caused the inserts to stretch open.
I tried letting out the seams across the back and the front but I still couldn’t move my arms far. Fortunately I now have a block that fits me and when I held it up against the pattern on the dress I could see the problem immediately. The sleeve has a higher and narrower top than my block which I fixed by cutting off about 2cm of the top. It’s still not perfect but I can at least move my arms.
Having finished the dress I am not entirely sure whether I will like it as much as my first one. The front is not as fitted as I would like (probably because I let out the seams) and, perversely, I still have the problem with the insert falling open. I may have to stick a button on it to stop this happening. I also feel the back is still a bit uncomfortable and could probably do with being a little wider.
As it’s foggy and barely managed to reach 4C outside I am finding it difficult to muster up much enthusiasm for this summer dress at the moment. It may be that once summer comes I will find it indispensible and be able to forget all the problems I had with it, but for now it’s going back in the wardrobe.