Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Sewing: Salme patterns buttonless shirt dress in monochrome viscose

Recently I posted my spring sewing plan and today's post is about the ticking off of the first item of that list. This Salme buttonless shirtdress.

I made a blouse version of this pattern just before Christmas and I think this look is just so versatile. Also perfect for layering!

I made the blouse in a light cotton lawn which just about worked, but it became obvious to me that for a dress something with a lot more drape would be required. So I picked up this viscose from Goldhawk Road in the days between Christmas and New Years, while the rest of the population of the UK were hunting the sales in neighbouring Westfield.

I've realised that one of the reasons I don't wear my handmade things as much as I'd wish is that I often make them in colourful fabrics. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm happier wearing neutrals with just the occasional pop of colour. So I'm trying to bear this in mind while fabric shopping this year. This black/white/graphite grey viscose caught my eye and I managed to get a meter for a fiver! With a 150 cm width I didn't require more to cut out my size. Note though that I a) cut the dress shorter than the pattern indicates as that's the length I prefer; b) didn't sew the belt and belt loops included in the pattern, as I prefer actual belts. So if you are thinking of sewing this dress and want to make it longer than mine and with the belt, maybe get a bit more than 1 meter.

No comments on the sewing really. This pattern is marked 'Beginner/Intermediate' and I think that it spot on. The collar is what moves this somewhat into intermediate territory, otherwise it's all very simple and suitable for beginners.

I messed up the collar on my blouse, mostly due to impatience and not reading the pattern properly, but now that I have an Archer behind me (which I still haven't blogged, it's coming, I promise!) this little collar was a breeze!

I also didn't interface the neckline opening, because I forgot. After I sewed it and realised I decided that I couldn't be bothered. It's very floppy, but I don't have an issue with it.

The viscose, being viscose, was trying to cause me some trouble. But I was prepared! Instead of working on the smooth wooden surface I usually work on I mostly worked on the floor where the pile of the carpet kind of kept the fabric in place. I will have to go over the carpet with a lint roller after I finish writing this, but those are the sacrifices made for drapey fabrics.

Overall, I'm very happy with this dress! I'll see how it holds up after a few weeks of wearing and washing before I decide whether the viscose was a good purchase or if it falls apart and I will need to make another one.

On another note: I am really, really going to try hard this year to improve my flash photography so I don't have to rely on daylight for good photos. For this shoot I used one external flash in addition to the flash built into the camera. 

It was good, but I really struggled with focus. When I set the autotimer the camera focuses on what is in view, so when I step into the frame I am suddenly in front of the point it focused on and thus blurry. I tried to fix this by focusing and then moving the tripod which did bring some improvements, but I'm thinking that I might treat myself to a remote soon. 

Also, I'm still underexposing. I had to sort this out in post-processing. I need to be braver with those flashes. Thanks for bearing with me during my rather slow learning curve!


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