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During my no knitting phase, I tried to sew, but everything turned out wrong. I’ve since worked out fixes and will eventually post them, but it was disheartening that I’m still not sure enough of sewing to bend real materials fully to my will; it was frustrating to think processes through meticulously and yet get unpredictable results simply because I didn’t know every factor of that universe.

Finally, I picked up an old dormant project. I had used a pretty cream and brown linen, underlined with burnt orange rayon to start a dress over a year ago. Then I attached a creamy lace trim at the neck, tried it on incomplete, hated it because it looked so matronly, and promptly stuffed it into a project bag.

A few weeks ago I took it out, broadened and deepened the neckline and attached thick piping instead. Voila! I auditioned the previously cut sleeves, found them too matronly and decent, then cut them shorter and scooped high (is that the correct term?). I finished their hems with applied bias tape of the same material, leaving them unlined. Double Voila!

front

Finally I made the horizontal pleats at the bottom. They had always been in the plan and I’d left the fabric long at the bottom. I’m so glad I planned them, they add weight and make the dress swingy and fluid. Triple Voila!

The dress is based off my ancient, much modified, sloper which was the basis for several tops. To turn it into a dress I just extended the hip lines straight down. The underlining really helps to give substance, drape and smoothness to the otherwise crisp and fine linen. And now it’s morphed from matronly to actually being a little too short for work – I’ll probably need some sort of leg covering to wear this at stuffy meetings. But yay for a sewing victory!

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