Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Small World Louisa Dress. Plus: Zip Query


A child's garment in my mind should be a relatively quick undertaking. This one was not. My goodness, this dress felt like a long time coming. From printing out the pattern to finishing the final seam probably took about four months, with other projects working alongside it, of course. But! How cute! Let's discuss...


Pattern:

I was waiting for a good excuse to buy the Louisa dress pattern by Compagnie M, and then Anna from Paunnet blog offered up a discount code as part of a blog tour for this very pattern, so what was a girl to do? I've seen about three thousand amazing versions of this pattern on the interwebs (and pinned most of them), in fact I'm not sure it's possible to make a rubbish, or even a 'meh', one. If I were to dissect what I like about this pattern, I would have to say that it's the following elements: simple A-line silhouette, feature buttons, piping and the possibilities for contrast fabrics. 

Having made it, I am still in love with all these elements. However, what I wasn't expecting is just how many damn pieces it requires! The PDF format results in a sizeable layout (for a children's garment) which requires some hefty taping together. And then you have to trace each piece out as they are overlapping each other on the layout, I guess to prevent using up a whole forest each time a copy gets sold. I must admit, I stalled on that part a bit as my limited evening-time energy could only take me so far.   


Having made it, I would argue that the Louisa dress is a deceptively simple garment. It involved a lot of construction steps, not least because I made the fully lined version. If I'd picked the panelled or split back options, it would have involved even more pattern pieces and construction steps. But that's just me having a moan. It was a fun project, but I would advise anyone going into it not to expect a completed garment after four hours of making it for the first time. Unless you are a sewing ninja.

I made the size 2, expecting that it'd fit Dolores this Autumn (she's 2 in a couple of weeks, WHAT?). However, it's come up considerably bigger. I'm not sure she'll be wearing it much before her third birthday, which is a shame because now that she is able to name almost every picture on it, she's currently very entertained by the fabric. Speaking of which... 


Fabric:

I was kindly given a metre (could have been 1.5 metres now I think about it) of this amazing organic corduroy by my blog sponsor The Village Haberdashery, where I also teach. The design is called Small World, and is one of the designs by amazing sewing lady Rae Hoekstra that is part of a collection which is also called Small World. The fabric is produced by Cloud9 Fabrics, and if you want to buy new fabric, I'd recommend their wares as all their fabrics are 100% certified organic and they have high ethical standards of social as well as environmental practices. 

Previously, the only organic cotton fabrics I'd sewn with were interlock knit and quilting-type wovens. I was excited to give sewing with this fabric a whirl, because organic corduroy doesn't seem to be common place. It didn't disappoint. It's such a lovely, soft, fine, needle cord, perfect for children's wear and really easy to sew with. 

I used some turquoise habotai silk for the lining from my stash, where the red piping and red buttons also came from. The only thing I bought for this project (aside from the pattern), was the zip. Boom.


Thoughts:

The cuteness levels of this dress are high. Although sadly, as much as I love the style and its potential for different variations, I think this pattern is a bit too involved for me to use over and over again. But having traced all those pieces in the size 2, I may make another at some point next year to have made the investment of money and time spent taping and tracing worth while. Next time, I'll probably make a summer version and draft a neck facing, omitting the need for lining which should speed things up a bit. 

Now here's my query: how do I avoid this crinkled effect around my invisible zip? Any ideas why this  happens sometimes? I'm sure I'm not alone in ending up with this effect on occasion. Would using a lightweight zip eliminate the crinkling? A good steaming with my iron did nothing to help. I'm not too bothered about it with this particular dress, because I doubt Dolores will stand still long enough for it to be very noticeable, but I'd like to avoid it going forward... Thoughts please!!!!!

16 comments:

Catherine said...

Interface zip area with light interfacing and hand baste the zip in place before machine stitching it in... that should work

Frankie Carson said...

Assume that the sewing gods have cursed your zip, drink a bottle of wine in their honour pray and sacrifice a goat. Haha personally if a zip functions I tend to call it a winner! Cute dress! X

BLD in MT said...

Oh heavens! What a fantastically adorable dress!

badmomgoodmom said...

Interface as Catherine said.

I also lighten up the presser foot pressure when sewing on zips.
That counteracts the tendency of the fabric and the zipper to
feed differentially.

Jacq C said...

Fab dress, love the combination of pattern and fabric. I've had my eye on the pattern for my niece because I love the possibilities of making a few variations which look very different. However, I'm pretty sure you are a Sewing Ninja so I'm worried it would take me years to make!

Rebecca Woodward said...

What a fab dress! Lovely to see as I bought the same fabric a couple of months ago to make something for my two girls - I was thinking maybe skirts but it looks awesome as a dress!

Fabric Tragic said...

Mighty cute and I've often wished for an adult version as I love those pockets! As for zip - if it wasn't interfaced then that might well explain it. I only ever hand baste in the second side so it matches the first perfectly and never get wrinkles either side so I doubt basting would prevent it....

Jo H. said...

This is just gorgeous! Makes me want to make toddler clothes all over again! For zips, as has already been said - I interface (if you can get hold of some 1cm wide seam tape it's brilliant for this kind of thing) and reduce the pressure of the presser foot. That and sew it pretty slowly so the zip & fabric feed through as evenly as possible.

Tracy Kay said...

I made a school uniform version for my daughter and It is gorgeous. Blue gingham for the dress & navy cotton for the pocket & lower back. I'm ready to make loads more and I'm hoping for an adult version to come out one day.

The Mandrake's Voice said...

That exact problem happened to me about 2 days ago! I'd hand basted the zip in both sides and when I looked at it after machining it on it was wrinkled all the way down. I unpicked it (after having a small outburst!) and pinned it instead of basting again (I had little faith it would be any different the second time round, so I didn't want to waste any extra time!). I started seeing it again, and it bunched again. I unpicked the small bit I'd done, then stitched it again while putting a considerable amount of tension on the fabric (I basically pulled it through the machine!) and that did the trick! Love this material btw, it's amazing!

Ruth

Mother of Reinvention said...

Definitely a vote for the interfacing. I do that to all my zips now and have never had a problem. What a lovely dress. It looks like it should be a simple pattern too. Such a shame it is so complicated. I now want that corduroy for me. :)

Louise Perry said...

Beautiful dress, no wonder she loves naming everything. I know you said it was a lot of effort but it does look so good. Re the zip, I am not an expert in invisible ones but I normally interface either side in the seam allowance too.

JustSewJenna said...

I love this dress!! I have this fabric and it's waiting for me to make this dress out of it! I think I only bought a metre which won't be enough for the whole dress in a size 5 so I've been prevaricating about what to put with it, and what trims to use. I think yours might just have bumped it back to the top of the queue! BTW 2?? how did that happen!

clare said...

There is now an adult version available. I've made 6 of the kid version and I've omitted lining after 1st one - way too much work. I used piping on the neck line it worked fine.

clare said...

There is now an adult version available. I've made 6 of the kid version and I've omitted lining after 1st one - way too much work. I used piping on the neck line it worked fine.

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