Sewing Adventures – Malvarosa DressBy Susan | Comments: 14 | June 16, 2014
I hope everyone has had a good weekend? The highlight of my weekend was my attempt to cut my own fringe. It was getting a bit long and needed a trim. Turns out cutting hair is nothing like cutting fabric and I was in rapid danger of losing all my hair in trying to straighten up the original mess. So in a stroke of genius I stuck a piece of washi tape across the bottom of my fringe and then neatly trimmed to it’s edge. Unconventional yes but in a crisis, it worked.
In other weekend matters I managed some sewing and made 4 kinds of soup so my freezer is now nicely restocked. Most of my sewing is of the pattern testing kind so I can’t share it all yet so instead I’m sharing my Malvarosa dress.
This dress was made all the way back at the beginning of the year and has been waiting to be blogged until I got some decent photos of it. I wore it to our first Sydney Spoolettes meet up. Thanks to When All you Need is for the photo.
It appears however that my hate of getting my photo taken does quite clearly result in terrible photos.
These are the best of all the ones taken, 3 different locations and just all blah. I really dislike being in front of the camera. So while the photos are a fail, the dress however is quite the success. I’ve worn it a few times and while there are some minor tweaks I will do if making it again I’m pretty happy with this version.
From the original pattern I made some changes
- shortened the dress through the body
It was just too long for my torso. So I took out some of the length. From bust up I left it alone and only took out from lower chest to hip. I took it out in 2 sections as I took out around 12cm to 15cm in length.
- shortened the length of the skirt
Even with shortening the torso it was still too long so I took at least an additional 10cm out of the skirt length. It was possibly more as I can’t quite remember if I re cut the hem before finally stitching it in place.
- added a centre back seam
I was working with vintage fabric and there was no other way I could fit the pattern on the meterage I had. In future I think I will do this anyway as I have a slight pooling of fabric at my lower back and the centre back seam could be nipped in just at the base which would eliminate this pooling.
- blocked in the neckline to narrow the opening
Even on my wideish shoulders I found the neckline just too open. I added in 4cm to each side and then reshaped that back into the original neckline.
- lined the bodice instead of using the facings.
The pattern called for a neck facing and a sleeve facing. they would have overlapped under the shoulder seam and I thought it would look bulky and messy. So instead using a lightweight voile I cut an entire front and back and did a fully bagged out lining for the entire upper half. Is incredibly clean finish, adds a nice shape to the body of the garment and means zero handstitching too.
- added width to the skirt.
I was using vintage fabric and if I had cut the required skirt width I would’ve been left with only 10cm leftover fabric. Instead I decided to make the skirt a bit wider so I could use more of the vintage fabric.
Now to be fair most of these were due to me being just on 150cm tall (5 foot) so I had height issues to deal with, and because I was using a narrow width vintage fabric. So not everyone is going to need to make these changes. But I would certainly be checking the length before cutting any fabric as it seemed overly generous in length.
Overall it’s very very comfortable and easy to wear. The pockets in the drop waist seam are fantastic and really useful. I’m looking forward to making some cotton versions for next summer and am considering a winter weight version too?
Pattern: Pauline Alice Malvarosa
Fabric: Cotton pique purchased at Gardems in Brisbane during my first year of fashion college (and yes it’s old enough to be classed as vintage now..eek)
Shoes: Marc Jacobs suede booties