True to form, this pattern is another that came free with a sewing magazine! This time the (what appears to be) one off 'Sew It Yourself' mag from earlier this year.
Despite loving the cover design in yellow, I knew that if I went for yellow I was unlikely to wear the dress as often as I should. I knew I would know it when I found the perfect fabric so held out on making the project... Until I spotted some totally unique Crab design fabric in Abakhan Manchester with my good sewing friend Aimee. (Go check her blog RIGHT NOW) We were both pretty excited about the crabs so it ended up in my basket and Crab Dress 6799 became my first make from my Abakhan trawl.
The dress skirt is made up of 7 panels, the bodice is lined (!), the waist band is cut on the bias and also lined. The dress' main design feature though is the glorious wide, round neck band... Hmm more on that later!
I cut a size 12 according to my measurements, but knew then chance of the dress being a smidge too big was high. I took in a seam allowance of 2cm on the bodice instead of 1.5cm (same for the lining obvs), and did the same for the waistband. I found it very difficult to tell if this was enough to take in as it was difficult to try on without the neck band attaching the front and back bodice pieces. It seemed to fit ok on Celine though so thought I would wing it and attach all my pieces. I could always take in a bit more without too much drama when it came to putting in the zip.
Lining the bodice was surprisingly drama free! I literally just cut another bodice from the same fabric and matched the darts. A few tacks here and there and it was absolutely fine.
I had a bit of a nightmare trying to stitch in the zip though. It was lined up perfectly, but when reaching the slightly bulkier ridge of the waistband my thread kept breaking! I have had this before, and I'm not entirely certain if this is not because of the needle hole in the actual invisible zipper foot is not big enough for my model machine? Has anyone else found this? It seems to be if the foot changes angle at all to get over seams, the needle slightly catches on the foot... Maybe have to keep an eye out for a different model zipper foot! I ended up finishing off using a standard zip foot which was fine- though I would suggest tacking in the zip if doing this in future as I could tell it wanted to go a bit wobbly!
So that neckband. I was very excited about attaching it as it was really going to finish it off! I sewed on the neck band only to find the extra fabric around the top made my bust darts much too low! The bust point must have been about 4cm away from where it should have been! Has anyone else found this with this pattern??! I was really upset as I thought once I'd got that far it was going to be plain sailing! I wasn't really too sure what to do- I tried making the seam allowance on the shoulder seams bigger but it just made the neck band rise, then gape in the middle. The only thing I could think to do was pin the dress to Celine with bust darts aligned with bust, then lay my neck band over the top- even though there was quite a bit of overlapping, and draw round the curve. I then attached the neck band to fit this curve and trimmed off the bodice overlap (underlap?). It was a bit of a faff and resulted in my neckline being a totally different shape- more of a scoop than a slit, but I am really really pleased that I was able to make it wearable! I was worried that changing the pattern like this would have a big impact on the facing and also the fit of the back bodice, but with a little patience I was able to make it work.
Faff was also included when sewing on the button loops to the back neck. The precision required was incredible! Even when I thought my loops were in place and the same length it became evident they weren't... After sewing on the buttons and stitching down the facing! I took three or four attempts to get them lined up perfectly, but it was well worth the faff! I think the buttons are super cute and perfect for my Crab theme!
I love the smart/casual look of the dress. I am tempted to take the sides of the skirt in a little to make it slightly more fitted, but I do like the swing it currently has! I haven't seen anything quite like the crab dress in the shops which makes me very pleased indeed!
Currently listening to: So Over You, Charli XCX
Location: Derwent Valley