Blouson Dress

August 19, 2014

It does look like a skirt and a top. But guess what? Its a dress. Meant to be made for my birthday last year Β it was this year that it finally got done. After abandoning it for quite sometime, I’m glad I’ve finally finished it.

My initial sketch was that of a raglan sleeved bodice with a high collar attached with a shirred waistband to a godet skirt.

But later I decided to make this dress – a yoked panelled skirt attached to a blouson top.

The snake skin printed top is made of chiffon and the yoked 6 panelled skirt is viscose. The top pattern is the same as the one in the previous post. The skirt pattern was drafted separately. The panels are cut on the bias. Both the top and the skirt were lined separately and then joined at the waist. The dress has a zipper running from the hip to the armhole on the left side. The dress was a great learning experience – I sewed with chiffon, did a huge number of french seams, sewed the skirt on the bias, did hand rolled hems. And made a HUGE mistake. I totally forgot to add interfacing to the yoke before sewing and realised this after completing the dress!! Yes I know – really terrible! I did add the interfacing later though but its juts not the same thing is it? πŸ™

Ok lets talk about what went right –

Sewing the Chiffon bodice – Not at all as difficult as I thought it would be.
1. I first sprayed the chiffon with starch (made my own with cornflour and water) and ironed it.
2. I took great care in aligning the print at the centre front line.

3. Changed to a new needle before starting to sew.
4. I basted the main fabric and lining pieces together and used french seams to sew the shoulder and the side seams. I’m in love with French seams now.

5. Since my chiffon top is lined I didn’t have to use tissue paper underneath it while sewing. Else, using tissue paper underneath is a great way to sew chiffon easily and preventing it from getting sucked into the bobbin area. Many recommend using masking tape over the plate where the needle goes down. A hole is then punched into this tape by lowering the needles. The bobbin thread is brought up through this hole and the rest of the sewing takes place as usual. I haven’t tried this though.

6. I lightly sprayed starch and ironed the pieces again before sewing. The starch trick is just amazing.

7. The bell sleeves were attached next. I did a hand rolled hem. Here’s a great tutorial to sew a hand rolled hem

Sewing the skirt:

Like I mentioned earlier I totally forgot to add interfacing to the yoke. I did learn how to sew on the bias and I see what a lovely drape it gives to the skirt. Sewing on the bias is definitely not scary anymore. I used tissue paper underneath the fabric before sewing the bias seams. The tissue paper tears off easily after the seams are sewn. I also used a stitch length of 3 mm and also stretched the fabric ever so slightly while sewing.

So there. The dress is finally ready. I may always regret the mistake and I may never wear it outside because it may not look perfect, but the comfort more than makes up for that and I am surely going to be wearing it at home. Wearing lovely clothes at home does make me work better πŸ™‚

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