About two weeks ago I realized… that it will be Christmas soon. No idea how it could come around again so quickly. This time I was determined to wear a self made dress for Christmas Eve. Just because I knew I could. All I lacked was time. So I had to speed up a project I was sort of… “dreading” for a while. Finalizing a dress I couldn’t see myself being comfortable in. A daring strategy for a Christmas frock.
So, I made my very very first Georgia Dress from By Hand London; only one year after the hype for this pattern peeked. Well done me!
I actually bought the pattern pretty soon after its release; mainly because I’m such a By Hand London fangirl. I love their bold designs. But honestly – when I bought it I already had the feeling that it might take some time for me to plug up the courage to actually go and make the dress. Or rather – I was pretty keen on MAKING it but I simply couldn’t see myself WEARING it. And now look at this:
My floppy arms popping out of the Georgia Dress! And I don’t mind! Because I love how the dress feels and fits. An impression I couldn’t see myself getting a year ago. I’m not too keen on wearing dresses with shoulder straps, hence uncovered upper arms. I enjoy making them (like my By Hand London Flora Dress) but I don’t feel too comfortable with showing blank arms AND cleavage. Makes me feel naked. Yet it’s different with the Georgia Dress. I enjoy this dress a lot – which might partly be down to the fact that I employed a number of techniques and tools I never used before – and they all worked out so well! I can’t help but feeling a bit proud of myself (as you can see from my face).
Here’s what I did what I’d never done before:
Using scuba fabric:
I got my scuba with imprinted flowers at my local department store. The color is off in the picture, but I hope you can see the structure of the fabric.
Subtle, yet … what’s the word… chic … at least to me. And with a bit of stretch, too, which makes it super comfy with extra space for Christmas pudding.
I originally wanted to use a different fabric for the dress. This one:
I adore the print of that fabric and felt heart broken when it just wouldn’t work for the dress (of course I tried using it against all good advice and knowledge – I though I could outwit its frumpiness. I was wrong – the rest of it might become a Tee or a Cardigan. Not sure yet.)
Using my new sewing machine
Hurraaaaaayyy! I finally made a decision and went for the Brother Innov-is 10A – the option I already discussed. I can’t see myself regretting this decision any time soon. This machine is AWESOME! It has such a smooth, whispering engine; it runs so light and stable. I adore it. And the button holes! Everything! It’s the tool that helps me put my sewing up a notch!
Right, the machine might not solve all my clumsy mistakes, but it helps to cover them up pretty well. This invisible zipper in the dress for example is quite close to actually being invisible thanks to the machine’s zipper foot.
A dream! (Though I messed up the tape at the neckline as you can see… the machine couldn’t prevent that mistake.)
Using a twin needle
I had no idea this can be so easy and efficient!
Instead of lining the Georgia dress, I decided to make bias tape from the fabric to finish the neckline’s edge. I also used the twin needs for the shoulder straps, to understitch the seam below the bust and to finish the hem. Super effective and decorative even.
Admittedly, I could get the lower centre front as defined and crispy as I would have wanted it to be. But I can definitely live with the result.
Apart form the tools / techniques above I performed my usual SBA on the cups and did some blending between sizes for the waist and hips. I didn’t make a toile (if you don’t count my frumpy fabric fail in) and directly went with my scuba fabric. Simply because I couldn’t find a “cheap” fabric version that would have been able to tell me anything about the real deal.
I like that the Georgia Dress gives me a defined silhouette and still leaves me enough space to move freely. Such a great pattern. Next time, though, I’d try to raise the neckline just a tiny bit. It’s fine now (especially with the straps) – even when bending over slightly – but a tiny more cover up wouldn’t be too bad either.
So glad I finally made this dress – and will wear it both on Christmas Eve AND (if that turns out well self-esteem wise) I might even go for it for New Year’s Eve. I feel this dress could be a winner against all odds (well, apart from the fact that now I have to pull through with this outfit. Didn’t bring any alternative. This is how you force progress, I imagine).
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, a stretchy outfit for a lot of pudding and a comfortable time around your loved once.