Friday, 4 September 2015

One Dress - Three Different Fabrics

Some years ago I made a favourite pattern out of three different fabrics. 

It was a really interesting experience and taught me a lot about how fabrics differ from each other. So this year I repeated that experiment.

I made the same dress (New Look 6184. I made this for the first time a couple of years ago) three times, using a polycotton, lace and polyester satin, and a ponti.

Each style hangs and moves a little differently, and requires different treatment in construction.

First the Polycotton.

 Polycotton is soo easy to work with. It's crisp and easy to stitch as it doesn't distort much as you work with it, so ideal for beginners. The tucks at the neckline are crisp in this fabric. The downside is it does need ironing and creases a lot when you wear it. I feel the flimsiness of the fabric means it's only really suitable for really warm weather. But I did feel rather pretty in it. ;)

Next up, ponti de roma. I left the belt off for this one. Does look good with a chunky belt too.

I inverted the pleats at the neckline on this one. Initially I was thinking of putting some beading in the front, but ultimately liked how it worked with this necklace so left it off.

Because ponti is a stretch fabric, its not really advisable to use it for a pattern like this. I had to take each side seam in around 1.5cm, which is why the neckline is so wide. Generally a pattern like this would be drafted for 90% of the width of the same style in a non stretch. I had to adapt it a bit as I went. It's also quite thick and can get bulky at the seam junctions. 

That being said, I love this dress. It feels incredibly comfortable. I can move, and I'm not worried about creasing! I could omit the vent as there is enough stretch to walk in the fabric itself. This is an ideal work-wear dress, and reminds me why I'm so fond of stretch fabric. I think I might see if I can adapt the pattern slightly and make this version again.

Finally, the lace! You've seen this one before.

This dress is exactly the same except that I borrowed a sleeve pattern from elsewhere. 


The cutting for this pattern is a bit different. There are two layers. The lining layer is cut as usual, but the lace layer has to be cut with the scallops on the hem line, rather than the edge of the pattern. Consideration also has to be made for how the scallops join at the seams as well. The lace skirt is separate from the lining.

I love this dress, but I wouldn't regard it as the most comfortable garment! Definitely for formal occasions, not for sofa wear. 

Each dress really does look quite different. I know with increased sewing experience I see the similarities between clothing much more readily than others. I'll frequently spot when new season stuff is exactly the same as last years - but in a different colour. Other people don't notice that though.  No-one has *ever* commented on any of my dresses being the same style as one I've worn previously. If you want to create a varied all occasion collection, you need less patterns than you might initially think. Good news for those of us who are difficult to fit.

So dear readers, what about you? Do you have a favourite pattern you've tried in different fabrics? Were you pleasantly surprised or disappointed with the results? Do you have fabrics you love or hate using?

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