Monday, March 10, 2014

finished by hand london georgia dress!

FINALLY! I finished my By Hand London Georgia dress! I'm so proud that I stuck with it and produced something that fits! Ok... so not perfect... but pretty darn close!

Getting all the pet hair off the black sateen took almost as long as making the dress!
After my last posts on bodice fitting, the rest was fairly straight-forward, although time consuming. I was having a hard time fitting the skirt myself while it was on me, so last weekend I drove up to my parent's house to have my mom help. Once there, we had it pretty much fitted in minutes! I ended up only needing to take in on the two back seams. I took out a little scoop to fit the curve on my back, snugged it up around the bum, took in a little more under that to hug the bottom off that curve, and about 1" from each of two seams (four inches from the total circumference) from that point straight down to the hem for a slimmer skirt. I ended up taking in between 1/4"-1" on pretty much the whole length of each seam.


Oops! Bra strap slip!

I decided to fully line my Georgia with the same pretty, floral cotton I used from my test garments (in fact, it is my altered test garment!), because I wasn't sure the best way to finished all those curved and clipped seams. It definitely makes the dress fell more substantial and warmer should I choose to wear it to a winter function, but next time I probably won't do that as it made the dress feel a little more bulky and curves sit a little less smooth (of course, that last part could just a less-than perfect seam on the part of the sewist).

And the pet hair has returned....
For the rest of the construction I broke everything up into little bits that could be completed in the evenings after work. I attached the skirt and finalized the fitting one evening, and instead of testing fate after that I walked away. Another night I altered and installed the skirt lining, then walked away. Another night I installed the invisible zipper perfectly, then you guessed it, walked away.

Check out that perfectly installed invisible zipper! Go me!

Then I hemmed by first turning up once and stitching on the machine, then up again  and finished with a newly learned hand stitch, a narrow herringbone stitch!

Like I said, I am so pleased with myself for sticking with it and being so thorough with the fittings and constructions. I realized that it's easier to put in all that time and effort when making a special occasion dress like this, and maybe that's why I wasn't able to for my more casual slow-sewing attempt last year of  McCalls 6503. And while I'm very pleased, it still came out a little less smoothed than I hoped, and I fear that all the trying on and off for fit checks made it look almost worn in (in a bad way) before it was even finished. But now that I have the pattern all figured out, the next one will go together much more easily and won't require all that extra fitting and wear-and-tear during construction. After all this work on my Georgia dress... I better make another!


  1. Yay!!!! I jumped out of my seat when I saw this post pop up on my feed :)
    What a sexy little number!!!! Yay for mum for helping out with the pinning and fitting, it's really hard on your own!!!!
    The inside is just as beautiful as the outside.
    I think sewing it bit by bit and walking away is the key to not making silly mistakes, also leaves you hanging for more instead of annoyed and over the whole project.
    This dress looks FAB on you. You BETTER make another!!! I can't wait to see your next one :)

    1. Aww thanks! :) Reading your posts have been a big inspiration along the way. Maybe for the next one I'll splurge on that yellow Oscar de la Renta tribal print from Mood....

  2. Rachel! This is so great! Sticking with something that is frustrating can be totally overwhelming, but clearly totally worth it!! This is such a beautiful dress.

  3. It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL on you! The construction and fit are just wonderful; you've done an amazing job :) I'll bet you'll feel beyond fabulous every single time you wear it, and that it'll be a wardrobe favourite for years. Well done you!!

  4. Such a sassy LBD! YEYYYYYY. Love it and well done for nailing it in the end. Looks great. Summer version next?!

    1. Thanks! But the question is... What fabric for my next one? :)