So, on each of the past eight Saturdays or so, I told myself: “today I am going to sew a new dress”. I could have known that with work and a Master’s program that was quite an ambitious thing to say… I started a graduate program in English and Education, which is sort of semi-fulltime, with two days of classes and an internship on the third day. I also still work at my current school two days a week. The Dutch educational system is quite complex, with different levels of secondary education and my current teaching degree allows me to teach the lower grades only. When a local college advertised they were going to offer the Master’s program, I jumped at the chance and signed up. So currently, I’m in a class of seven female students learning all about everything from Beowulf to Shakespeare, formative assessment, extensive reading, applied linguistics, phonetics and all other things fun! It sounds like a tea party with only girl students and girl teachers, but it really is a lot of work. Means I’m actually learning stuff, I suppose 🙂
However, this means I have been really busy. While I’m really glad I get to go to class during the day instead of doing a parttime evening course, it has been a lot of work and I hardly ever find myself doing anything that doesn’t involve either work, college or housekeeping. A few weeks ago I also received an unexpected, handmade, gift from my parents. When I saw it and realised how much work they put in it, I felt really guilty that I hadn’t touched my sewing machine in weeks. It’s awesome!
But, last week I knew half-term/ autumn break was coming up, so I allowed myself some time to get started on a dress and I finished it this morning. Hurray! For this project, I actually knew what I wanted to make beforehand. I’d seen some simple A-line dresses in shops, made from textured or pre-quilted fabrics, usually with an exposed zipper. I really liked the look of them, but the ones I tried on didn’t fit me very well. So when I saw some charcoal coloured pre-quilted fabric at the market I thought I would make myself a dress just like it. I asked my mum if she had an A-line dress pattern. There was one in the latest Ottobre magazine, which I planned to use, but when I received the latest edition of Knipmode magazine I thought the pattern in there would fit me a little better.
Knipmode magazine has recently had a makeover and they now offer all of their patterns in sizes 34-54. (Marianne of Foxgloves and Thimbles recently wrote a review of the restyled magazine over at the Curvy Sewing Collective, if you would like to know more).
So, to cut to the chase, I chose dress number 12 from Knipmode november 2015. It’s actually a colourblocked dress, which I really like, but it is photographed very poorly I think. I really like the idea of this dress, so I might make it in its full glory if I ever have four colourways of the same fabric, but for now I just used the basic outline. I installed an exposed zipper instead of the lapped zipper and omitted the back kick pleat.
Obviously, I don’t look anything like that in my dress! (Knipmode has received quite some criticism lately, because even though they offer a wider range of sizes, they don’t have any plus-size models in their magazines.)
I thought this was a great location for the photos, but we had to get back in the car really soon because we were being followed by a horse and cart… We didn’t find another good location so the rest of the photos were taken in the backyard, with a dog photobombing all of them.
Of course, I couldn’t find a single front picture that was flattering, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that my belly always shows, no matter what I wear, and unless I put my life on hold and go to the gym every day and l never eat anything anymore, it will always be there, and even then, probably…
Did I mention I think this exposed zipper is absolutely amazing?! I love the colour and am quite proud of how I put it in.
Fitting-wise, this is the best dress I’ve ever made. It looks a bit wide around my shoulders, but the fabric has quite some body, so sometimes it stands up a bit. It was a dream to sew up though. and the facing stays put so well. I love it! And so does Henkie 🙂