Practice what you preach. Yes, this is a good idea. As someone whose livelihood revolves around teaching people how to sew, I’m a pro at the preachin’ part. Many a passionate sermon has been delivered from my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing bible as I stand in a pulpit sewn from Liberty of London scraps in a cathedral made of stacked vintage featherweight Singers (let’s make this happen, k?). Thou SHALT finish thy seams! Thou SHALT NOT cut in haste! Thou SHALT make a muslin first because if thou don’t, thou’s gonna be real sorry.
Ah, if only that were the end of the story. What I mean is, when it comes to the practicing bit, I live in a state of suspended amazement at the number of mistakes I can make when I’m not listening to my own advice. The creation story behind this Silvia Dress from Salme is a perfect example. “Read through your pattern BEFORE YOU CUT”, I tell my students. Hey, YOU! READ THE PATTERN BEFORE YOU CUT!
My words fell on my own deaf ears and I ended up with a mess on my hands before I even started sewing this dress. Instead of reading the pattern, I referred to the tech sketch and confused the topstitching along the neckline as a seam. As a result, I ended up cutting all of the bodice lining pieces in my fashion fabric and then had to re-cut.
All’s well that ends well and I do really love this dress. The fabric is a “linen look” from JoAnn, which is a blend of linen and rayon, so you don’t end up with all the wrinkley-ness of linen. I like how using linen gave a more casual vibe to a formal silhouette.
Fit and pattern notes:
I know that Salme has started to include seam allowance in some of their patterns but this is not one of them–add your SA!
I graded two sizes up in the hips, as I normally do. However, I found the skirt to be bigger than I expected and next time I would just cut a straight size. I did have to shorten the straps considerably, which is also pretty standard for me. I find that the waist sits about half an inch to an inch too low on me, which means that I the fabric sags a little at the side seam of the bodice. I think this is also due to the linen relaxing as I wear it, but I’d still raise the waist by a smidge next time around.
P.S. We took these photos at Woodlands Cemetery in West Philly…Andrea caught me being a peeping Tom.