Hello everyone, it’s Lesley here today and I’m chuffed to be able to share my first make as part of the Blogger Team here at Sewisfaction.
Entirely driven by jealousy of all the brilliant meetups that have been happening elsewhere in the UK I invited a bunch of Scotland-based sewists to a meet up. After some cracking banter on Instagram we came up with #Edinburghfrocktails – an opportunity to meet other sewists, drink cocktails and admire each other’s handmade creations.
What was a bit of light hearted banter soon snowballed into a far larger event than had anticipated with people planning on coming from Aberdeen, Glasgow, the Scottish borders and even the Highlands.
Anyway, for such a lovely event I needed something special to wear. However, a combination of illness, holidays and work deadlines meant I had a grand total of 2 evenings to make myself a frock. Madness I hear you say? Well yes except for the truly cracking pattern that is the Wiggle Dress from Eliza M!
Sewing Pattern – Eliza M Wiggle Dress
The pattern came free with a magazine some years ago (and in fact I got it in a pattern swap) and maddingly doesn’t appear to be available with any stockists right now. It’s a relatively simple pattern consisting of 1 piece for the front and 2 pieces for the back plus facings. This also makes it, for such a long shift dress, economical for fabric.
Speaking of fabric – here is the star of the show. It’s the Tallulah stretch cotton which is currently £6 per half metre on the website. It’s got a bit of a satin sheen to the fabric and due to the spandex content barely needs ironing – bonus! With a tropical print on a black background I reckon this fabric is perfect for both summer and winter. I certainly plan on pairing it with black tights and boots in winter to cheer up those dark months.
Construction of the dress
Back to the dress then. There are double point darts and straight darts on this pattern which meet at the bust point. Therefore careful marking of the fabric was necessary (thankfully it has a white back which makes marking the fabric really easy) to make sure these were accurately sewn. Following that the construction of the dress is incredibly easy.
There are facings to this dress. Now in recent years I have by-and-large ditched all facings. I hate the way they flap about and even if you secure them at the seams and understitch they have a tendency to roll outwards and look messy. Mostly I now use bias binding for necklines and armholes of unlined dresses. However the Wiggle dress has more substantial facings that makes them less likely to roll. Also I was concerned that I was using stretch fabric so bias binding might reduce the amount of wiggling I could do in my wiggle dress. Thankfully the gamble has paid off and the facings stay put and make the neckline look professional on this dress.
I didn’t have time to do a toile for this dress but did a bit of paper fitting to ensure my usual issues were taken care of (narrow shoulders, big boobs, square waist, big hips – I sound delightful don’t I??). Going by the measurements I was between an 18 and a 16 though I couldn’t find any info on ease anywhere to judge whether this was accurate. Turns out once I started fitting I was more like a 12 up top and a 14 on bottom – hurrah! We all like a quick diet don’t we? Despite this the fitting was relatively quick and simple – I merely had to take in the side seams as the bust point didn’t need shifting. Lengthwise the dress sits rather perfectly just below the knee for me – I’m 5’5” so taller ladies may need to adjust.
All in all, I think this is a rather marvellous dress. The fabric was perfect for our Edinburgh Frocktails event. It looked sophisticated but due to its stretch allowed me to eat, drink and dance/wiggle the night away with abandon. I got lots of lovely compliments from my fellow sewists and as a complete bonus was asked by a stranger where I bought it from – always the highest accolade for any home sewist!
As an aside we hosted a raffle on our Frocktails night in aid of Marie Curie. My co-host Emma Ciarrocca lost her mother to cancer 3 months ago. She spent the last 10 days in a Marie Curie hospice and received truly excellent care. With that in mind we decided to hold a raffle in aid of Marie Curie to give something back. It costs £500 a day for these hospices to give that kind of care.
We approached a number of companies looking for a small donation for the raffle including the lovely Sheona of Sewisfaction (who gave us a £30 voucher). I have to say we were totally blown away by the generosity of the sewing community. Initially I’d been hoping for little things like a keyring, or a seam ripper so to get prizes of such value was truly lovely. I think it demonstrates the personal values many of the sewing companies abide by is similar to the rest of us.
We raised a stonking £365 that night thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and attendees of Edinburgh Frocktails.