Saturday, April 20, 2013
Chantilly in Blue
On the first of the two days I had sans kids on Spring Break, I decided to run by the thrift store. It turned out to be a major score. Apparently some lady who was a pretty serious seamstress in the '40s/'50s had her stash donated. In addition to various tools, there was tons of GOOD fabric, not that nasty, unfortunate poly '70s knit that seems to be the most common fabric to turn up from such old stashes, and it was marked with rock bottom prices, even for the thrift store. As I was checking out, the lady at the cash register told me there was so much fabric she was getting desperate marking it, which maybe explains the crazy low prices? Anyway, I got like 4 yards of emerald silk, a couple yards of rayon lining, 5 yards of some kind of linen, 1.5 yards of some vintage giraffe child's print, and 4 yards of a very sweet, vintage blue rose-print voile or batiste (I'm not sure how to tell the difference). The rose-print just screamed Chantilly at me, and so I decided I'd try to make myself one in time for Easter.
Because I was short on time, I just went for it without muslining. I spent an entire morning (about 4 solid hours) trimming and taping the silly e-pattern together. I was debating on sizes, and I think I cut a 12 and prayed it would work.
I had just enough fabric to eek it out. It was a good thing I was planning to do the waistband and yolk in contrast fabric, because I wouldn't have had enough fabric otherwise (my vintage fabric was pretty narrow, even though I technically had enough yardage--I couldn't double it to cut the big skirt pieces).
I was hoping the gathers in the bodice would allow me to skip doing an FBA (part of the reason I chose this dress to try to whip out quickly), which they did. Of course, the style also ends up making me look really busty, so maybe it's not the best choice for those of us who are top-heavy....
I thought the pattern was really easy to follow, and I didn't really have trouble with any of it, aside from stupid errors. I've never sewn a lining before, so I thought I'd just be doing the same dress twice, once in lining and once in shell fabric. Turns out they should be mirror images, so I ended up having to rip out one side of the stitching in the lining and ended up with the zipper on the "wrong" side.
This was also my first time doing a zipper that didn't end at the top of the garment, so that was....interesting. It looks pretty good from the outside (pretty well invisible), but I don't know that it's actually in there so securely. I also did my first hand-stitched hem. I'm not sure if it made much of a difference in looks (the skirt is so full, I doubt anyone ever notices the hem), but the silk thread I used was SO nice for hand stitching.
I think it turned out really cute. I'm not sure about the style for me. All the gathers right at the waist definitely make my hips look big, and my mom said it makes me look like a little girl. Ah well, hopefully the cuteness makes up for that!
Pattern notes: Without alternation, the length of this is pretty short. I'm only BARELY 5'4" with average leg length, and this is kinda short on me, despite taking a very small hem (I turned 1/4" and then applied hem lace). I think I would have liked it maybe another 1-2" longer so that it hit me right at/just a smidge above the knee. I'm also unsure if the waistband is supposed to hit at the natural waist, because mine is just a bit above. I'm not sure if I should have lengthened the bodice or if it's supposed to be that way?
Total cost for this one was under $5. The shell-fabric was $1.39, the sheet for the lining was .99, and the zipper was also thrifted, so probably 25 cents or less. I did buy teal broadcloth for the contrast, but used a coupon, so it was like $1.25.
Easter Sunday was super windy!