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M7974 at Ardoch Roman Fort

Last Autumn, I got a swatch of this lovely Atelier Brunette Viscose Crepe. At the time I was looking for a lining to a jacket (that I’m still working on) but it didn’t quite fit the bill. I absolutely loved the fabric though, so I kept the swatch. I had put off getting more to make a full garment because I didn’t trust myself to make something nice enough from it. At the time, I probably only sewed once a week for about 3 hours and the things I made were full of mistakes and dumb fabric choices. I’m going to stick some of these up on my blog at some point but even though I was proud of the fact I could make then, I didn’t really enjoy wearing the clothes enough to justify investing in nice fabric.

Another issue was that I couldn’t decide on what to make from the fabric. I was jumping between a blouse or a wrap dress but none of my ideas felt perfect. I really liked the M7974 but I had it in my head that I only wanted to make view C in a light weight linen like fabric and was worried the neckline was too low for me.

What finally motivated me to start this project was when Sister Mintaka had a discount and I knew that it would be the perfect time to grab some of this fabric. She also sells the bias binding made out of the same fabric and I knew that I wanted to work on my finishing techniques as pinking shears were not cutting it.

I am really happy and proud of this make. Most of the seams were sewn up using french seams and the waistband and sleeve head were finished with bias binding. I fell between a size 12 at the bust and 14 at the waist and hips so I decided to do a mock up. I’m so glad I did because I still haven’t learnt to alter and the size 14 was too big everywhere so I went with a size 12. One thing I should have noticed was the bust was too short on me and I will need to lengthen the pattern next time I make it. I will also probably try a small bust adjustment as I found that it’s slightly too baggy there. On the current dress, I’ll just fix this with a snap.

I absolutely love wearing this dress. It has become one of my go to dresses during lockdown. I love how the fabric is lightweight and it looks slightly vintage with the ties on the sleeves and the gathering on the bust. I was debating on adding the pockets as this was the first time I was using french seams and it seemed too scary but I am so glad I did. I'm not confident that they will be strong enough to hold much, but it's always nice to have them.

The pattern wasn’t the easiest but because I made two mock ups, I was able to practice the hardest parts before I made the final garment and I am confident that I will be able to do an even better job if I make another one. I am already planning on making a longer length version for Autumn. I used the burrito method when attaching the yoke as I had seen this technique recommended by other people who had made the dress. I still don’t think I sewed up the midriff front correctly because I ended up just winging it. I also made a mistake when cutting out the fabric and only cut 2 of one of the skirt pieces instead of the 4 it needed. I ended up having to order another half meter of fabric to fix this which was super annoying. The most gut wrenching mistake I made was when I was trimming the seam allowance while finishing the final seam. I accidentally took a small snip out of the back of my dress. After a bit of panicking, I sewed in a small patch to try and cover it. Luckily it isn’t very noticeable as it's on the back just above the waist. But that moment when I thought I ruined the whole garment was the worst.

Overall this is now one of my favourite dresses and I have been wearing it all the time. I definitely want to try out the other pattern views as I think using a different fabric and sleeve option could make a very different dress. I am super proud of it and it has unleashed a new sew-jo in me and I am making more, better quality garments.

Please follow me @cheap_skatefashion on Instagram to see more behind the scenes and when I next post


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