This post is long overdue! I made this dress in August this year. I whipped it up in just a couple of days, which is normally more than enough considering I sometimes make a dress in a day. But it was the first time sewing the By Hand London Georgia, so I had to trace the pattern, adjust the fit etc. Also, I tried out some construction techniques from my new Couture Sewing book which is probably the main reason why this kept me busy for a couple of days.
I made this dress a bit short notice, to have something nice to wear to the Mr.’s graduation ceremony at UCL. It came together without any problems and the fitting wasn’t too difficult. As it was a cold and rainy weekend I wore it with a bordeaux red blazer and felt very pretty! All in all, I’m really happy with this dress!
I bought this stretchy jaquard polyester/cotton blend at a bargain price at Karstadt, a large German department store. They always have quite good fabrics in their remnant corner. I found this at a sale price for 4€/m which is as cheap as you can get at Karstadt. Fabrics of this quality are usually much, much more there. I bought three metres and already hat the Georgia Dress in mind.
As this is jaquard, this fabric is sort of doublesided. Probably not meant to be, but the left side looked really interesting and was slightly brighter than the right side of the fabric. I decided to incorporate this detail into the dress and thought that the skirt panels would be perfect for that. On garments with princess seams I like to work with contrasting fabrics, when possible, to create a slightly more slimming silhouette. It worked beautifully with the two different sides of the jaquard, but it’s really hard to photograph. Below is the only picture where you can see the contrast a little bit.
PATTERN & FIT
The pattern is the Georgia Dress by By Hand London. It’s a lovely, versatile dress. I’m not a big fan of strapless dresses or the view with the narrow straps, so the wide straps definitely sold the pattern for me! I love how they go across the top of the dress, a detail I haven’t really seen anywhere else.
The pattern is great and came together easily. I really like the illustrated instructions, which are pretty failproof. I graded the skirt up to a larger size and the first fitting went quite well. I took the dress is here and there. The only part hard to fit was the top, as the cups consist of several pattern pieces and are lined as well. Although my measurements were the same as on the pattern for the bust, the top was quite a bit too large and gapey. I took it in at the side seams. It sort of fits ok, especially with the wide sleeves giving some more structure, but it’s still a bit too wide and will need some more fitting should I sew it again.
The waist and hip areas were easy to fit because of the different panels of the skirt that go right up to the bust line. No darts! Yay! It really fits like a glove!
While sewing this dress I tried out different couture sewing techniques from the Roberta Carr book: Couture: The Art of Fine Sewing. This is probably the main reason why sewing this dress took so long. I mainly focussed on reducing bulk at the seams, clipping and catchstitching curved seams (the dress has a lot of those!) and pressing techniques. I absolutely love the book and will have to read it over and over again to memorise all these helpful tips and tricks. I won’t lie, couture techniques take ages and will slow down your sewing process, which is what couture is about. I will definitely try to use more of these techniques in my sewing.
Apart from the curved seams (especially at the bust cups), there were no particularly tricky bit in constructing this dress. It’s a dress a beginner could definitely tackle, yet it’s still interesting enough for an advanced sewer.I had to get out a strapless bra for this dress, otherwise the wide straps on this dress wouldn’t look half as good. They are at an angle, so bra straps would probably show, especially at the back.
Will I make it again? I really like this dress and feel very confident wearing it. I will most likely make another one, but not this year. The straps make it hard to pull off a layered look, so it’s more of a summer dress for me.
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