Surprisingly, this dress has been a long time in the making. The concept, anyways. Ever since I created my first self-drafted swirl skirt all those years ago, it’s been on the cards to make an accompanying bodice one day. Of course, I choose another blue/white colour combo. Purple may be my favourite colour, but 80% of my fabric collection is a shade of blue, I swear.
Anyways, here it is! Lovingly constructed out of both sides of a duvet cover, this dress was less of a serious attempt than it was just experimenting with the fit of my new sloper. I didn’t want to sew a boring 4-dart bodice again, and you can pretty much make anything out of a sloper, so why not something fun?
I lined this dress in a white cotton lawn in a rather weird way considering there are no “side seams” (the lines twirl around the bodice). Everything else was sewn together with the lining and then the shoulders were sewn last in the same sort of way I avoided hand-sewing the in the last sewalong I did, by pulling them through inside out and sewing them together in a loop. I am clearly not great at written explanations.
Lessons I learned from this version of my sloper included:
- It’s impossible to keep the waist level the entire way around. The swayback forbids it. I tried many ways but this one just ended up too short in the front so I just drew a curve into the back for my next version–screw it.
- There is no magical armhole which will ‘flatter’ rampant armpit fat (say that three times fast). Genetically, I’m going to have it for the rest of my life as a side effect of an ample bosom, and it will show, no matter how far out I draw the armhole. But it wasn’t a bad attempt.
- Diagonal zippers are great in theory but confusing to actually use.
Despite the errors, it was still ridiculously fun to make and I’ll still get some pretty good wear out of this dress, even if I keep zipping up my back fat into the zipper every time I pull it up.
That damn zipper. I thought I would be all CrEaTiVe and have it running down one of the diagonal back seams and while I’m glad there’s not an additional seam that I had to include to make a straight zipper, boy is it annoying zipping this thing around my body. You don’t understand, the zip spirals around my torso. At least it’s a truly invisible zipper?
In addition to zipping my skin into it more times than I can count, it’s also confusing for my coordination. You’d think if you can manage to unzip a dress that starts at the nape of your neck and goes all the way vertically down that a diagonal zip would be even better and just naturally follow the direction of your arm tugging but noooo, muscle memory pulls down and the zip has to go slightly left.
One day I’ll design a better prototype for the spiral dress that addresses these issues, but until then, I’m just going to keep working on my bodice block. Sewing is becoming pretty darn fun now that I am working on my own designs instead of adjusting other people’s. Expect to see a whole lot more experimenting!