Monday, 27 January 2014

Anna Dress Done! But with a Long List of Sins...

Hooray! I've finally finished my Anna dress, and I'm already craving to make a new one. But first of all, here's how it turned out, plus the aforementioned long list of sins, or, if I'm feeling less harsh on myself, rookie errors. Regardless, I've been wearing it everyday since I completed it, so although it's full of flaws I think I'll get my money's worth. Plus I'm sure with this experience under my belt my next one will be 100 times better...

So, here it is! Apologies for the quality of the photos, they were taken indoors in fairly low light. 

Silly pose front view with blurry jazz hands. 
Front view, touch of bitchy resting face here. It looks like one of the sleeves is puffing up more than the other here, because it probably is- I don't think I managed to get them quite symmetrical. 
Bit of a side view for you there. 
And finally the back view. Again the sleeves look uneven, but this time on the other side, so maybe it's the way I'm standing on the bed?

So, what's the write-up? 

You can't really tell but I've accidentally given myself 'punk seams' along quite a few of the lines here- due to poor cutting, which meant having excess raw edge coming through the outside when doing French seams. I've trimmed off the mohawk-style edging for the most part, and this is an error I will be sure to avoid next time!

I've also made a 'monkey's breakfast' of the back zip again. I didn't have the patience to learn new instructions so I did the zip the way I half-remembered from school, which was sewing up the back centre seam, inserting the zip and finally unpicking to reveal. I don't think this would've turned out too badly if I'd tacked the zip in first, but having pins in kept making my zipper foot go off track and so the fabric edges covering the zip are a little wobbly. Oh well, at least I discovered what a zipper foot was! And then to make matters worse I decided to pink the excess fabric from under the zip to stop any loose threads getting caught in the teeth and only went and cut tiny holes in my fabric in three separate places 
(why oh why did I not do this with embroidery scissors instead of pinking shears?!)! I've repaired the holes, but they're another messy little detail to remind me to be more careful.

Another step I wish I'd done some basting at was when attaching the skirt to the bodice. I don't really understand 'ease' so I have tiny uneven pleats at the waistline which shouldn't be there. I did see this post from the Curious Kiwi about constructing differently so that panel matching is neater, maybe I'll try this next time.

So, my sin list:

- Bad cutting
- Bad marking
- Using the wrong tension
- Not basting
- Not clipping
- Not easing
- Careless trimming when finishing

I've already gone and bought myself some new tailor's shears and tailor's chalk so that the next time I can be much more precise in my cutting and marking, which I know will get me set on the right track and avoid many of the daft errors I've done this time around. Now I just need to get my noggin around easing and clipping (which I'm sure are easy as pie but feel like another bit of jargon to slow me down when I'm in the zone) and I'll be almost there!

I'll be making my next Anna in some amazing bright yellow African wax print fabric with red horses on it (it is soon to be the Year of the Horse you know). I think I'll leave the sleeves off this one and try the v-neck this time too.

Until next time!

NorseOtter xxx

Sorting out my pesky neck facings! These kept popping out because I was too wimpy to clip them to make them lie flat. I've since secured them to the shoulder seam with a stitch either side and this seems to have tamed them.

PS I made this in UK size 14 graded up to a UK size 16 at the bust. I took my measurements immediately after Christmas so was perhaps a bit pudgier then (I usually take UK 12 in RTW clothing, although this does tend to strain at the bust!). But hey it seems to fit, so why should I give a hoot about the numbers? 


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