I love the Eliza M WANDA dress and wear the short version a lot. I wanted a long dress for the summer and looked through my patterns and decided how lovely the Wanda would be if I made it into a long dress, so, here is how I did it. Along the way we are going to explore some basic pressing tools.
If you remember I have made the Wanda dress before and as the instructions are basically the same I am not going to repeat them too much. You can find the blog post on this link the Eliza M Wanda Dress
I took some pattern paper and fastened it to the bottom of my front and back skirt patterns..keeping my ruler level I marked 12" from the bottom of the old hem line making pencil marks every inch or so. It was easy then to join all these markings using a french Curve. Now that I had my new pattern I calculated that I would need less than a metre extra fabric to make the new design. Luckily I had just the right fabric in my stash!
Tracing paper is available from jaycotts.co.uk They also sell larger rolls if you do a lot of pattern alterations pattern tracing paper sheets
when I placed my pattern pieces onto my fabric I decided that I would prefer to widen the bottom of the skirt a bit and marked a line gradually extending to an inch from the side at the bottom edge. Dont forget that if you do this on both sides of the fronts and backs you are multiplying this inch by four giving you four inches of extra width around the bottom.
Take a look at all the marking and measuring tools Jaycotts sell Personally i prefer chalk in all its forms to marker pens as it is easily removed Measuring and marking tools
making up the dress is now exactly the same as in the short version, so you may want to read that post in the link above.
have you noticed that there are a lot of curves in this design? In particular the shoulders have a very marked curve down towards the capped sleeve extension. In order to press this seam open you need to press the seam over a curve. A sleeve roll is ideal for this sleeve roll I use mine a lot.
this is the sleeve roll placed under the shoulder seam to enable me to press the curved seam.
Another useful pressing tool is a Tailors Pressing ham Tailors pressing ham you do not need to go out and purchase these immediately but i would definately start adding a good selection of pressing tools to your collection of sewing accessories They really do make the difference between home-made and hand made so very obvious. If you press every seam every time you will notice a difference in the appearance of your work I guarantee
Another indispensable piece of equipment is a sleeve board,Sleeve board great not just for pressing sleeves without getting a line down the side, but for any small fiddly jobs. I use mine for dolls
I also use it with my mini iron mini iron or mini steam iron mini steam iron These are indispensable for pressing small areas especially when you do not want to get your large ironing board out.
Another thing you definately need is a selection of pressing cloths, When I was at college we had to shrink all our fabrics by hand before using them, the way we did this was to get a bowl of water and dip a cotton cloth in it then wring it out as hard as possible, this was placed on the fabric with a dry linen cloth over it and pressed (not ironed) until the cotton fabric was dry. This was done allover the fabric then it was hung up to dry thoroughly. It took forever! I still use my linen cloth though because linen can withstand high temperatures and the fabric underneath it will not scorch
That's the reason for using a pressing cloth.to protect the fabric. You can purchase all sorts of pressing cloths these days even transparent silk ones which give a clear view of the fabric being pressed underneath. This is a great pressing cloth here, it withstands high temperatures and prevents damage to your fabric. pressing cloth
A tip for you is when you have to stitch into a point as in a sweetheart neckline put a pin at the very point where you need to pivot your stitching and set your machine with the needle in the down position.
You can also draw the seam allowance onto the interfacing with your chalk for total accuracy. This is my neckline i used my pinking shears to trim the curves as I feel that it gives a nicer finish than just clipping into the curves . They are not cheap but will last a lifetime or two and do really give a good clean turn much better than clipping into the curves Pinking Shears
the bodice has an all in one facing. To make it stitch the front to the backs at the shoulders and at the sleeve edges. Clip (or better still Pink) the edges.Press with your sleeve roll or ham and to turn it right sides out put a large safety pin on the bottom of the back bodice and feed it through the opening pulling it right sides out,repeat on the other side and press. It sounds complicated but once you see it in action it will all become clear I promise
here is the finished dress, It s very relaxed and summery. I especially like the contrast waistband
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