Sunday, April 13, 2014

Style Arc Alisha toile

I have made a toile of the Alisha dress. It's a terrible fabric... actually the fabric looks gorgeous but is so thin and moves around a lot and FRAYS like nobody's business but I used it because the butter yellow is not my colour. Plus there is about 6 metres of it as it is a sari made from synthetic fabric. I got it at the meet up last month and decided it was good to use to see how the borders would work like the lace scallops (but my lace doesn't have nice scallops!).

Firstly I have to say how everything went together very smoothly.  This is rated 'Challenging' by Style Arc but other than the pivot (at the neck where the front goes around to the back and joins the  and the zip there isn't too much that is challenging.  The front edge goes around and joins the back neckline to make a kind of mandarin collar. That's the pivot point below and the following photo is  how it looks. It was easy to do and with the industry sized seam allowances made it very easy. I didn't take a lot of care but it still worked out very nicely. 

I inserted a zip but not an invisible zip as I'm not good with those but I just wanted a quick job... I can actually pull this over my head with the top pinned up as well so no need really to put a zip in for me. I am wearing the slip underneath this too. I think it's a little short and someone suggested in the comments that I could put lace on the bottom to lengthen it - brilliant idea! I thought I'd look for lace but maybe I'll put some from the selvage of the lace I'm using for the dress as it has no sequins on it.

The actual construction of the dress did not take long it is pretty easy and only took about 45 minutes - I did spend 30 minutes trying to put the zip foot on the machine (just wouldn't click in), took the zip foot from two other machines to try and then realised it's the wrong one! I thought they all were the same but the one for the most recent machine is different, although all the other feet are the same.. go figure. (on a side note, as I was cleaning the machine I noticed the warranty label and the date I purchased the machine... 2008!! I was surprised because if you'd asked me, I would have said just a few years ago but that is 6!)

So... obviously the sausage look isn't going to work... I added 2 cm to the size 12 hip line but obviously I need more. In the instructions it says the darts are optional but I don't think letting them out is going to help much. I don't know if you can see in the full length photos but my right shoulder drops about 1.5cm (from an accident about 20 years ago and then exacerbated by another one a few years ago). This doesn't help my fitting issues as I also have downward sloping shoulders naturally too (this I learned when we made our own sloper toile when I was doing the Fashion Design course - it all made sense why shoulder bags never stay on!).

So I've worked out a round-a-bout way to mark my photos so excuse the poor quality of this effort. The black marks show where the fabric frayed so much it separated! The red lines show where I need to reduce depth (does anyone know what this adjustment is called?) The yellow is the shoulder drop.
Adjustments needed:

- sway back adjustment
- depth adjustment front and back
- shoulder sloping
- either loose 7 kg in 3 weeks or add about 5cm to the hip area.

I'm thinking maybe I should make the skirt more A line or use the dart markings and make it a gored skirt. Any ideas or suggestions.  Any help gratefully received!

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