Anyone remember the dress I had to throw away? I cut it out again. Correction. I cut it out again twice. Initially, from a heavy turquoise cotton – which I realised I loathed. Hospital scrubs, anyone? So I pulled out this African wax cotton gifted to me by Rosie of DIY Couture. Thank you, Rosie!
I’ve never worked with wax cotton before, despite the fact that several stalls sell it on Walthamstow market. I confess, some of it I find kind of ugly. But not this! Here’s what I never quite understood. When you wash wax cotton it really softens up, but still has a certain stiffness to it that makes it behave beautifully. I now bitterly regret the African wax cottons I considered and then dismissed at the fabric district of Paris.
This Hawthorn dress was such a fun make, playing with the colours pink and purple. I particularly love how my topstitching changes from pink to purple as the collar flips over.
Ooh, that skirt drape makes the print look really twisted. It isn’t. There was a lot of careful pattern matching. Well, until it came to cutting out the back bodice. Then, I placed my directional print the wrong way round. Meh, I could care less.
I made loads of changes to make this dress a just-about-success rather than a failure. I went down two whole sizes in the bodice and sleeves, and made a Full Bust Adjustment. I took an inch off the bodice depth. I widened out by millimetres at the waist to accommodate my thick middle. I tweaked and played, tweaked and played. Mostly, I played.
When this dress hung on my dress form, it really reminded me of the dresses I saw in the Horrockses dress exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum I attended a gazillion years ago with Tilly and the Buttons and Fehr Trade. That was my first ever sewing meet-up, back in 2010. What an age ago, that seems.
So this dress reminds me of friends, it reminds me not to give up, it reminds me to have fun. Alright, dress, enough already! Stop nagging me, jeez. I get the message. Sewing. It’s basically one massive metaphor for life, isn’t it?