The Ceilidh Dress – Lining Constructed

Well, almost.

As documented in rather more detail over at The Sewing Forum, the lining has taken a few hiccups to get there, but get there it finally has! I started with the bodice and despite my success with the muslins, the sewed-up version didn’t fit:


Something really basic: I have hips. And a tummy. And despite having a size 12 upper torso and waist, I’d wilfully forgotten that the said hips and tummy are more like a size 16. So I got brutal with the tape measure, and ‘slashed and spread’ the pattern pieces from the under-bustline downwards, adding in a total of 3 inches at the lower circumference by the time that the adjustments had been duplicated through symmetry.

This time it worked, and the lesson to be learned from this story, children, is that vanity sizing gets you nowhere. This time I managed to get the bustline ‘V insertion’ a lot neater, thanks to a timely piece of advice from here. (I also took off half an inch from the bottom of the outside of the outer bust pieces, grading up to nothing at the top, to correct the sagginess that you can see under my left elbow in the pictures above.)


So much better. Obviously the fabric will be the other way out when it is acting as a lining to the dress – and yes, I have remembered to leave the right side seam open for zip insertion! Onto the skirt portion, and despite careful measuring and calculating, my value of θ didn’t *quite* come out at 180°. Too bad.

My achievement today has been to attach the skirt to the bodice at the waistline. I’d already stay-stitched the inner circle for stability, and after a bit of experimentation realised that I was going to have to do a lot of clipping of seam allowances and a lot of pinning to get such different curves to match up properly. I managed it, though – less than a quarter of an inch’s difference on a thirty-three inch seam!

So many pins, though – 41! Still, it was worth it, as the seam sewed perfectly and effortlessly first time.

I would love to show you the lining tried on me, and indeed I am going to have to do that at some point in order to determine a hem length (having hung it for 24 hours in order to allow the bias to settle). But that shall have to wait until I have a willing volunteer to help.

I think the next step will be to cut out and sew the bodice in the taffeta, of which I am mildly terrified because those are some pretty awkward princess seams and rumour has it that taffeta and repeated pinning do not go well together. But hey, there’s nothing like a challenge… 


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. teacherface
    May 23, 2011 @ 22:10:29

    I think your proportions must be perfect as your figure looks perfect in the pictures. Really like the neckline on it, does it have a name for the type it is?


  2. kat
    May 23, 2011 @ 22:29:49

    looks amazing so far I wish I had the patience and skills to do this! Also where did you get the silk taffeta from in end? xx


  3. Lucy
    May 24, 2011 @ 08:14:23

    teacherface – sweetheart neckline. I love it too, and it’s one of the things that really drew me to the pattern 🙂

    A well-fitting garment will always flatter the wearer, which for me is such a huge reason to sew. Shop clothes always look dumpy on me but not because I inherently am dumpy – it’s just that they never fit because I am 6 foot tall and curvy whereas they’re designed for a much shorter person with a B-cup. And I’ve gained in body confidence so, so much since that revelation!

    kat – Fancy Silk Store. I am a twit.

    On the plus side, I did a bleach test and despite my scepticism, it is actually 100% silk! I’m just waiting to see whether I’ll need to get any more as it’s only 36″ wide (as opposed to 45″ or 60″ for a standard fabric width).


  4. kat
    May 24, 2011 @ 14:04:20

    Well I was slightly surprised at time of visit that you hadn’t been there! Bleach test? What does this entail?


  5. Lucy
    May 24, 2011 @ 14:10:14

    I don’t tend to go there because for everyday-wear fabrics, it’s on the expensive side and often doesn’t have what I need. But for special-occasion-wear… yeah, I probably should have though of it!

    Bleach test: put a small square of your fabric into neat bleach and leave it for a good few hours (like, six. I left mine overnight.). If the fabric dissolves, it’s silk. If it doesn’t or only partially dissolves then it’s synthetic or a blend.

    The reason why I took ages to getting round to it was that I had to find someone who’s cleaning cupboard actually stocked bleach and was willing to give me a little bit.


  6. Flix
    May 31, 2011 @ 15:00:11



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: