One of the first sewing patterns I started used when I began sewing as an adult was New Look 6774, combining I+J+L. I loved the fit of the dress so much I shortened it and also made a few tops. I made this one, the next project for my repair shop out of a fantastic Liberty Print tana lawn Strawberry Thief, which I got on eBay from Katsfabric (she’s great by the way – amazing fabric, good price and ships fast).
But it really was in the early days of my sewing and although it fits, it could do with a facelift. First of all the zipper – it was before the days of invisible zips (ie I didnt know how to put them in). I was about to say that I cheated and didn’t bother slip stiching the bodice lining, instead sewing it together with the bodice, directly to the shirt bottom. But having checked the pattern, I was actually following instructions. Hmmm. We’ll see, I may decide to alter that. Finally, I want to reinforce the shoulder straps on the back, as I did a rather flimsy job sewing them on. Part of me is tempted to redo the hem to as I appear to not have been able to sew straight to save my life.
So getting started I’ve given it a very thorough ironing (as it’s be crumpled up at the bottom of my repairs basket for a while now). It is immediatly obvious that I did a very sloppy job with the gathers on the bottom front and back. To redo or not redo? In the end I guess as this is the repair shop, I really should redo.
So my first step is to get unpicking: I unpick the zipper, back seam, hem and the seam connecting the yoke to the bottom. I also have to remove the gathering stitches which old me left it (tisk tisk).
Then it’s time to redo the gathering on the bottom piece. Luckily for me now, at the time I never finished my seams so the notches indicating where to gather from and to are still in place! Now benefiting from the various tricks I’ve learnt I’m able to quickly (and nicely) redo the gathering and put the top to the bottom. I’ve since learnt to do my gathering stitches in a contrasting colour (which makes it easier to remove) and do two rows of stitches – 3/4 and 1/4 from the edge, so that the actual seam goes straight through the nicely made gathers. Then I finished the seam.
Now it’s time to put in the new (invisible) zipper. I double checked the fit and decided to give myself a little more breathing room. The only downside to my new zipper is it’s a light pink, and without a proper invisible zip foot for my sewing machine I don’t get quite close enough to the teeth to truly make it invisible.
Then onto the straps. These are just hand sewn into the bodice back, but in the past were always working themselves loose. I decided to tack them down using a a mixture of slip stitch and catchstitch – hopefully they will be much stronger.
Re-hemmed and it’s complete. Well almost, see there’s a gap at the top of the zipper (where you’re suppose to put in a hook and eye) but if I do that it’s going to bunch so I think I’ll use a self covered button and loop. But that will have to wait for tomorrow as its going to take some serious digging to find the scraps for this.