I finished making my A-line dress in a cosy grey sweatshirt fabric. I am delighted with it! It fits even better than I’d hoped. I’m wearing it now and will take some pictures to show you today.
It took about 2 hours from cutting the fabric to finishing the hem (I basted and tried it on before finishing the seams). And the part I’m really thrilled about is that I managed to cut both the front and back from one length of fabric. I only used 1.20 metres of fabric for the whole thing! That makes it very affordable, even in a fancier fabric.
The Economy of Fabric Layout for Larger Sizes
This may not seam like such a big deal to you smaller sewers, but in larger sizes, dresses with flare often require a full length of fabric for the front and another full length for the back. And then you still have awkward shaped pieces left-over.
I have seen complaints from larger sewers who are frustrated by having to use longer lengths of fabric for a pattern than the smaller sizes. But I actually don’t mind, because I think it is one of the things that helps me to find a better fit in me-made clothing. Ready-to-wear manufacturing needs to cut the fabric as economically as possible and will either not offer larger sizes, or skimp on fabric, to economise. Let me show you an example of what I mean.
I love the clothes from Toast because they use beautiful, quality fabrics in simple cuts. Their largest size is a UK 18, which should fit me fine. However, I often find that they are a little stingy with the flare and length of their jersey dresses. The one above is a good example. It looks good on the slim model but it is a little too short and not roomy enough in the hips for me. And, I suspect many women, in the larger sizes, might feel the same way. If it looks boxy and unflattering on the tiny model, it’s not going to look good on me or anyone pear-shaped.
This is why it’s so good to be able to make my own clothes. I can cut it to fit me in the shoulder and bust while giving myself more room in the hips and enough length to cover my thighs. This doesn’t always mean that I will be able to get the whole dress out of one length of fabric but it is more important to me that it fits well and I will feel comfortable and confidant wearing it.
I plan to make more of these dresses. Right now I’m off to the Knitting and Stitching Show for a bit of stash building fun.