July 2, 2012

Summer Spark Sew-along, finished!

I finished sewing together my Lonsdale dress on Friday, but haven't had time to blog about it until now. I've also been a little quieter than usual with the in-progress stuff, because my carpal tunnel has been acting up for the last couple of weeks--the worst flare-up I've had in years. So I've been having to be a lot more careful about time spent on the computer, as well as more or less completely taking a break from certain activities. Sadly, knitting is one of those, but they're starting to feel a little better. So I'm hoping that as long as I don't overdo it in the next few days, I can start doing that again soon. Anyway, here's the finished dress.

Lonsdale FrontThe front. I probably could have done a better job of matching the prints, had I had more fabric. As it was, I could barely squeeze all of the pieces onto what I had.

Lonsdale BackAnd the back, with its halter ties that I made in place of the bow in the back.

(p.s. dear boyfriend that I know likes to stalk this blog to see pictures of me....you should probably stop reading here, ok?)

Aside from the fitting, the most time-consuming part of this for me was putting the lining together, since I basically built a corset-of-sorts into it. So I thought I'd show some of that process, too. Rather than try to come up with the padding and shaping myself, I decided to cannibalize a bra that I already had. The underwires were still good, and the cups were in fairly decent shape, but it was just getting a little worn and to the point where it would be hard to wear under knit shirts without the edges showing some. This was about halfway through the process of sewing this in--I hand-stitched the facing seams over the cups to help hold them in place.

Once that was done and all of the boning was in, this is what it looked like. I basically tried the lining on while wearing the bra and pinned it into place to figure out where that should go, and also to mark where under the cups the boning should go. Aside from that bit, adding the boning in was pretty easy.

And this is what it looks like on the inside of the dress. I know it could probably lay flatter on the center front, but this was honestly the best I could work it with the underwires, after some time spent fiddling with it. I do think I did a pretty good job of re-lining the cups with the cotton sateen that I was using for the lining, though. (Incidentally, the same cotton sateen that I used to line the "In the Jungle" dress, which my mom gave me for free, and I still have some of it left! 

In retrospect, I probably should have allowed a little more ease in fitting to make up for the extra layer with the boning. Though it was better once I trimmed down the seam allowances in the waistband. The boning does seem to make the fabric protrude a bit funny right above the waistband, and I'm not sure why yet or how to fix it. But I think I can at least check this technique off. I did also attempt to do a blind hem on my machine, but it was NOT cooperating. The tension was all wonky on the hem stitches, and the thread marks were way too obvious. Which may have something to do with it being a print, but I'm not sure. And since this was June 29 and I wanted to get it done by the end of the month, I finally decided to just do a regular machine-stitched hem.

Overall, I liked the pace of this sewalong! And I feel good about actually meeting the objective, rather than scrambling to get 3 things done when I really only had time for one, like with the Colette Palette challenge. So now it's on to the next thing--more jeans-fitting, once I actually order that waxed tracing paper, and I'm starting to cut out a knit top. There may be a Thurlow trouser (or shorts) in my near future, too....


  1. I love the fit of the bodice, it's excellent! I'm also impressed of your lining with the built in bra.

  2. I like how you've used the existing bra to make this dress work for you.
    All the best with your jeans fitting.

  3. Super cute! I really love this dress-- it just screams summer!

  4. Great fit! It's really a flattering dress. I love it on you. :)

    Awesome job on the bra lining. That's so much better than the awful shelf bras they put in most dresses, or those overly padded ones. And it's way better than wearing a strapless bra!

  5. It looks fantastic, so pretty and summery with that bright Hawaiian print. You did a brilliant job with the inset corset.

  6. Your dress just speaks of summer to me. The boning work looks very professional.

  7. what a beautiful dress. u look fabulous! im very impressed with the corset-like lining too..

  8. So cute and summery! I like how you lined it, too. Now I'm regretting throwing out a certain worn-out underthing...

  9. I'm totally impressed by your corset lining - wow! The whole dress turned out incredibly pretty, I love the summery-ness of the Hawaii print!

  10. This is beautiful! What a perfect combination of fabric and pattern. I signed up for that sew-along but life intervened and I didn't manage to get my act together in time XD


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