My first fabric choice for McCall's 9572 was green velvet, not crushed or panne, but regular velvet. However my internet searches did not turn up much in the way of regular velvet. The only site that had something similar to what I was looking for was Michael Levine. Their emerald green velvet was lovely, but at 30 bucks a yard for 45" wide fabric, it was too rich for my budget. I consoled myself that sewing bias seams in velvet isn't something you want to do on a deadline. Probably one of the smarter decisions of my life.
So right about the time I was admitting to myself that velvet wasn't going to happen, Sunni posted about wool crepe over on her blog. Ahhh wool crepe. Now that's a fabric that would drape well on the bias and wouldn't be a bear to sew. I checked out what colors Sunni had in stock and low and behold she had the perfect color of hunter green. The color pretty much sold me and 4 yards were soon on their way to me. People this color is GORGEOUS! My camera can not fully capture the lovely depth it has. Wish I could mail you all swatches or something so that you could behold it with your own eyes. Mmmmm fabric crush.
As you would expect, the wool crepe sewed up like a dream. I did line the bodice portion of the dress since wool feels a little itchy when it is next to my skin. My "chiffon" petticoat took care of shielding my legs from the bottom half of the dress.
This pattern has cut on facings that are folded over and catch stitched to the seams. The directions suggested finishing the edges with bias binding and calling the insides done. Personally this made me nervous since the entire neckline is on the bias. For my own peace of mind I fused the facing part of the bodice and then sewed twill tape right next to the area where the facings fold over. Then I drafted a lining pattern by tracing the bodice pieces and removing most of the facings, leaving only a 5/8" seam allowance to attach it.
Some polyester leopard lining was chosen from the stash and I then found out why this pattern didn't tell you to line the bodice. Ummm yeah, sewing 4 right angles is a complete pain in the ass. There was much ripping, clipping and cursing at past Heather. What the hell had she been thinking? Only by some miracle did I get that lining in without major puckering at every point. Maybe the sewing goddess likes Christmas cookies.
The dress has a side zip for getting in and out of it. I was going to do a regular invisible zip because me and invisible zips are best buds. My local JoAnn's had other plans for me since the only green invisible zip color they had in stock was olive green. You had one job JoAnn's! Instead I had to buy a regular zip and hand pick it. BLARG.
It did not go well...at all. Just getting the one side of the zipper in took me half a day. Then I thought the zipper was done, unpicked it, and found that I hadn't hand stitched close enough to the tape and the entire seam allowance was free. GAHHHH! So let's just all admit that we have different talents and hand picked zippers isn't mine. However if you need an invisible zip sewn in with a perfect join in about 20 minutes then I'm the girl to call.
The rest of the insides are sergred and I finished the skirt with a small rolled hem as called for in the instructions. Thank god for audio books to distract you from endless hems.
The final step for my Christmas dress was to make a self covered belt. I lucked out and found a lady on Etsy who was destashing all of her of vintage belt kits. They were all added to my stash. Muhaaaa Mine!
This was my first time making a belt and it turned out OK for a beginner. Wool crepe isn't the best fabric to start with since it does like to ravel. At least the worst looking ravely bits are all on the back side and can't be seen when the belt is worn. Putting, "more self covered belts" on the to do list for this year, so that I can get better at the skill.
Ahhh, so those are all the details on the Christmas Dress. I was super pleased with how the whole thing turned out. The dress was very comfortable to wear and I loved how the hunter green color looked with the red accessories. It all went together just perfectly and I had that mental glow of a big project that turned out well.
Thanks for sticking with me through this series that took longer than planned. Now we can look forward to 2015 sewing. Hooray!
(Throwing in this less than great picture in because you should have at least one picture with a Christmas tree in the back. Look red petticoat!)