Wednesday, June 23, 2021

georgie dress

I started to write about this dress as part of my Me Made May wrap-up, but I decided it deserved it's own post. This is the Georgie Dress pattern by Sew Over It. The fabric is an Art Gallery Fabrics jersey. Sewing this dress was a bit of an adventure, but I'm happy with how it turned out in the end.
I am very confused by the sizing of this pattern. (But that may just be due to my ignorance about pattern drafting.) Based on my measurements, I planned to sew a size 10 bodice, graded to between 10 and 12 at the waist. But, when I laid out the pattern pieces, the size 10 only measured about 30" at the bust. (Yes, I checked that my pattern printed at full-scale.) That seemed like an excessive amount of negative ease, so I sewed a 12 in the bodice, graded to 10/12 at the waist. It fits well except at the arm holes. The armscye is cut very low, which results in a "batwing" of fabric under the arms. I see this in other sewist's version of the dress, so it's not just me. The sleeves were wide (and I do not have proportionally skinny arms), so I took some width out of each sleeve seam. I also had excess fabric in the back of the sleeves seam which I pinched out and sewed, but I might have just stretched the sleeve caps too much when sewing them in.

I first made a muslin of the bodice using some very drapey viscose spandex from JoAnn. I wanted to make sure that my plan for the bodice lining would work. It did! I was able to enclose all the seams except the waistband, which makes for a much nicer finish (but much more complicated assembly) than the pattern directions. After attaching the neckline (step 10), I followed these basic steps:
  1. Understitch the neck.
  2. Baste the front wrap pieces in place. On the left side seam, baste the wrap to the main fabric. On the right side seam, baste the wrap to the lining.
  3. Sew the side seams. Sew the main fabric and the lining separately (main to main, lining to lining) right sides together on each side.
  4. Fold the sleeves in half and sew the seams.
  5. Baste the sleeve to the main fabric of the bodice only, along the front edge, right sides together. You only need to baste about 1/3 of the sleeve to get started.
  6. Reach in between the lining and the main fabric, grabbing the basted edge with the lining and pull out. Sew around the 3 layers. You can't sew around the entire sleeve at one time, so you will need to stop and adjust the fabric multiple times.
The last 3 steps are better explained by a photo tutorial I found from Sew Abigail (different dress pattern, same concept). Even though the inside finishing is much nicer, I am glad the directions did not recommend this method; it was pretty confusing even after I spent a good while thinking about it. I used a thinner navy viscose spandex jersey from JoAnn for the lining. I originally planned to use the same fabric as the main, but it would have been much too thick/bulky in the lining, especially at the waist seam. See how nice the insides look!
I also originally intended on making the gathered skirt option. It looks great in every version I've seen, and I like how the skirt hangs straighter than the circle skirt. I tried basting the gathered skirt to my bodice, and it just... didn't look right on me. I cut the circle skirt option instead. I shortened it about 4" while tracing my pattern and then another 3" after I tried it on. I'm wondering whether it's a smidge too short now, but it looks good with leggings! I shortened the sleeves to 3/4 length. I debated cutting short sleeves and turning this into a summer dress, but I'm going to see if it gets use as a fall/winter dress first.

I don't know if I would sew this pattern again. It's a very modest and secure faux wrap, which I really like. It doesn't feel like it's going to fall open, and it's not so low cut as to need a cami underneath. However, the fit in the arms is just weird. I would consider using the sleeves from another pattern if I do make this again. On the plus side, I felt super cute in the finished dress! This will be a perfect outfit for fall.

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