Sunday 9 January 2011

The Christmas Dress - but for New Years Eve

I finished the Christmas Dress! Made in gloriously red ecological cotton interlocked jersey. I'll rave about the fabric later, let's stick to the dress for now =) Well, to be honest, I didn't get it done in time for Christmas, but in time for New Year's Eve (like minus 30 minutes in time...)

I've seen this style of dress countless times in patterns and Sears catalogs from late 30s and early 40s. Bodice pleated against midriff and shoulders, set in sleeves, A-line skirt with maybe a few pleats. Instead of using a pattern that would need to be altered 100 times, I made my own pattern from a basic pattern I have (a bit like I did for Malin's dress). The only thing I changed was not to sew down the pleats on the skirt down to the hips, as I wanted the freedom to eat lot's of Christmas food.

The little bow brooch I found at a fleamarket past summer, the belt originally came from my grandmother, and the necklace I borrowed from mom so long ago I've started to consider it to be mine =)

For closure I set in an invisible zipper in the left side-seam.
The picture below is a bit dark, it's more like the colour in the first three photos. But here the construction is clearer. I'm mostly happy with it, except the waistline, it's a bit uneven. Good thing I'm wearing a belt with this dress!

Will you let me indulge in a little rave about the fabric? Please? Eco fabric is almost impossible to find in Swedish fabric stores, but there is a mailorder company (Swelogent) which carries a lot of eco-fabrics. The catch? It doesn't sell to private customers! Only to companies, schools and such. It's really annoying, because does the stores order these great fabrics? Of course not. *grumbles* However, the sewing class I took last semester is connected to a school, so they could order from Swelogent, and we students through the school. Yay!

About fabric names; I've never encountered double knitted jersey in Sweden, but there is something called interlocked jersey. It doesn't fray, it's a bit more stable than single jersey, it's quite heavy and it has more body than single knits (so it drapes beautifully, but doesn't show every bump along the way). What do you guys think, is double knitted jersey the same thing as interlocked jersey? Read Gerties post here for more info on double knits.

An inside-out picture. I chosed to interline/underline the top front bodice, giving more stability to the surplus from the pleats. I've planned a more detailed post, with pictures, of how I transformed the pattern. I'll also add some thoughts to sewing with interlocked jersey, in case someone is considering using it for the first time (and I really recommend trying it, it was great to work with, it's comfortable and drapes beautiful).

One thing that became clear was that life as a seamstress is made a lot easier with an overlock (serger, for the trans-atlantic readers =) ). I used mom's for a few seams during a quiet morning the christmas weekend, and I fell in love. Head over heels, unrational and utterly in love. I had to get one, but in my clearer moments I knew this was a futile dream. Even worn down second hand overlocks are way out my budget, and then they need to be sent on service as well. Let's not even discuss the new ones that are good machines...
While talking to mom I scanned Blocket (a swedish online garage-sale) and there it was! The add had been out for only 40 min, a Saturday. A second hand overlock, old but not much used (which is actually a bad thing in sewing machines, the engine needs use) for 300 SEK. That's about 30 euros, or maybe 40 $. In chock I called the seller, yes, it was still there, yes, she only wanted 300 for it (it had been her mom's, she had never used it and now she just wanted to get rid of it to free the storage space), and yes if I wanted her to, she would hold it until I could come. I jumped on the buss, and four hours later I was home, with my very own overlock!

Not the newest model, and in dire need of service after close to ten years without use, but all mine! For 300 SEK! Or 400, counting the buss fare. Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will actually work, as I don't dare to even try it before it's been on service. I'm praying it will only need a good clearning and oiling to work, but I'm also prepared for the worst, that it might not work at all.
If it does work, then this (even including service-fee) will have to go down as my best thrift-find ever. I was so happy yesterday it was a good thing I was alone at home, I was just bubbling! Sitting on that bus my head spun, my stomach danced (in a good way) and I was just lost in the clouds =) Sometimes life does throw you unexpected gifts!

Love, Erika


Celia Rose said...

Lovely dress, it looks fab on you!

Olivia said...

Schysst klänning, snyggt med bystdraperingen....och kul med overlock-maskinen, har faktiskt inte provat att sy med sådan, kanske är lika bra, för som du säger (om man inte har sån tur som du hade dock) så är de ju rätt dyra....

Brukar också handla från swelogent, min mor har företag som beställer från dem ibland och då är det bra att slinka med ibland med sin beställning... :)

/ Olivia

Kitten loves vintage said...

Klänningen blev ju jättesnygg, modellen klär dig, tycker jag. Och kul med lite inside information också, för oss sy-nördar.

Jag blev genast sugen på en overlock förresten, och kollade snabbt en sida här i Finland som folk säljer sina grejer på men ingen lycka denna gång (=dyra grejor). Min mor äger dock en overlock, undrar om hon använder den eller om man kunde "låna" ehem... :)

Ha det bra, kram!

Erika said...

Celia Rose; Thank you!

Olivia; Tackar! Är sugen på samma modell men i tunt ylle, tror draperingen blir ännu mer effektfull i det tyget. En overlock är ju eg inte nödvändig om man har en nyare maskin med overlocksöm (vilket min 50-talare då inte har), har ju liksom du klarat mig hittills utan en =)
Oh, vilken lyx att ha en mamma som kan skicka efter från Swelogent! Har sällan fått sån köplust som när jag bläddrade genom deras eko-sidor =)

Kitten; Tackar! Jag uppskattar själv lite konstruktions och sömnadsdetaljer, så ska försöka skriva lite mer sånt.
Lol! Ja, overlocker är fruktansvärt praktiska! Som sagt, vissa moderna maskiner har ju overlocksöm, men för oss med äldre maskiner. Plus att en riktig overlock ändå är bäst när det gäller stretchtyger... Fråga mor din, tycker jag! Står den bara så mår ju maskinen bättre av att du använder den! Om inte annat så kanske du kan få låna den nån månad eller så i taget... =)
Ha det bra! Kramar

mallis said...

Fin klänning!!

Hoppas overlocken funkar nu, håller tummarna för dig.

Erika said...

Mallis; tusen tack! Är lite nervös om maskinen, måste jag erkänna.

Andi B. Goode said...

-Andi x

Erika said...

Thanks, Andi!