Friday was the moment the Floral Party dress went out to play. Floral Party dress came into being because the first batch of students from work graduated. Graduation means a ceremony and a perfect excuse for a new dress. The dress needed three elements: a fabric, a pattern and a sewing machine. All those elements were new to me, and I’ll explain below.
How I wore it
Now, I’m usually not a floral person. In fact, I hadn’t even noticed that the fabric resembled something florally when I bought it. I thought it was just random smudges of colour, silly me. The fabric is stretch and has a seemingly waffle like texture to it, it felt very interesting and not something I’d really used before, so that was new. I had about 2 meters, maybe a little less of the fabric to make work.
Second, the pattern. The pattern is called (I think) “Odkodowana sukienka” or “Decoded dress” from Papavero and can be found here. Now, this site is completely in Polish, and my Polish is *cough* very limited. It does however, have some very nice free patterns. There are no real instructions, apart from a link from someone else who made it, and the comment that the sleeves are tight. This was my first time with a Papavero pattern, so that was new too, but with a stretch fabric I figured not much could go horribly wrong. I decided to pick size 36 based on my measurements and sewed it up according to what I figured made the most sense. I added pockets, reduced the length of the back bodice about 2 cm in the centre and took at least 10 cm from the hem.
The third element was the sewing machine. You see, I got this very old-looking sewing machine from my friends for my birthday. I didn’t know if it would work, or how it would work. So sometime in the past two weeks, I figured it was high time to get the machine out of the corner it had been stashed in since April. I googled the serial number, eventually finding a site (ismacs.net) that told me that V machines with my number were a type 15K and made in 1909. That’s old! With the model type I could YouTube a movie on how to thread and use it. So I did, and it worked! It might originally be a treadle, but I only used the hand wheel, so it is slow sewing. Very interesting to do for a change.
This is the difference between how I should work (left) and how I actually work (right). Spot the differences..
I used the old singer for all the seams, apart from the waist seam. I figured the waist might need some stretch to be able to go over my head and stuff. The Singer is a pure straight stitch and cannot do the zig-zag necessary for stretchy seams, so I used the old machine for that. I didn’t overlock the edged since it wouldn’t ravel, and I’m not sure my serger is back to a decent stitch again.
I even hemmed it with the Singer. First stitching along the bottom edge, then cutting the 10 or so cm excess, and turning in the left over length and stitching again. I like that hem and I think it is either straight, or longer at the back. While I like the dress in general, I do think it benefits from something to break it, so that’s why I’ve added the scarf.
Verdict: another successful and comfortable Graduation Dress!