Heeeere’s Hazel! (aka ‘interfacing experiment deemed successful’)

(The colour is a bit darker in real life than this bright daytime photo suggests.)

(The colour is a bit darker in real life than this bright daytime photo suggests.)

My lack of a home printer deterred me from using pdf patterns for a long time. The first time I bought one, I waited weeks and weeks to use it until visiting my sister so she could print it out for me! So while staying with family over Christmas, I decided to make the most of my temporary printer-access to print off two patterns I had my eye on for quite some time: the lovely, simple Sorbetto by Colette (blogged about here) and the very pretty Hazel dress by Victory Patterns. I like that pdfs offer the possibility to reprint all or some of your pattern if needsbe, but on the other hand, it would be better to print on a much lighter weight paper than standard letter paper because the inflexibility of the paper made it a bit trickier to cut the fabric.

I’ve been contemplating using comprehensive interfacing as a form of underlining on a garment for a while now, ever since I heard Gail Yellen talking about it in her Craftsy class. Well, this project seemed like the ideal opportunity for two reasons: 1. this burgundy-coloured silk georgette wrinkles if you so much as look at it, which I find mania-inducing, and, 2. this fabric is basically see-through. Which is fine if that’s the effect you’re going for and I have a few very light tops that I love but I reckon if I had a full see-through dress I’d just never wear it, or be plagued by an inability to find/make a suitable slip.

So, I attached a very lightweight iron-on interfacing. Clearly, this affects the drape of the georgette but I figured that, in this case, the trade-off was worth it. And (happily!), I really like the feel of the interfaced fabric, it’s much more substantial than the georgette would have been, even if it had been lined or underlined. I should point out though that I did not use interfacing on the necktie as I was worried it would make the neckline really bulky and make the ties too firm, instead of nice and floaty.

And the awkward from-the-back pose...

And the awkward from-the-back pose…

I’m really, really happy with this dress, especially as I don’t have anything like it already in my wardrobe. I’m definitely on board for making another one, though I’ll probably opt for the floaty lightness of a non-interfaced version for a more summery feel. You can see in the photo above that the sleeves are a tad tight on me at the back when I raise my arms so my next version will be amended somewhat there (if I can figure out how to do it…!).

Adjustments: Fusible interfacing throughout instead of lining the skirt as per pattern instructions. I initially thought I’d do the lower half of the sleeves without interfacing for a different finish, but thought it all looked a bit odd once I pinned it to check. In the end, I decided that the dress (in this case) looks better with a shorter sleeve.

Skills learned: Attaching a tie-neck collar, flat sleeve insertion

Recommend pattern?: Yes! I love the finished dress and found the directions very clear. I’ve had trouble attaching collars before, but this worked out fine. The only thing I would say is that I could have done with a photo or a couple of illustrations of how the neckline looks with the ties open (so I’ve put one below) – there aren’t any in the instructions and it made it a bit harder to work out if it was all going according to plan or not. Otherwise, a great pattern, albeit probably more suitable for a beginner who has a few projects under their belt already (eh, no fashion pun intended…).

With the necktie tied...

With the necktie tied…

...and untied.

…and untied.

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21 thoughts on “Heeeere’s Hazel! (aka ‘interfacing experiment deemed successful’)

    • Thanks Louise! 🙂 Yes, it definitely makes it more wearable and the georgette was a lot easier to handle when strengthened – but we’ll see what happens after the first wash! (fingers crossed…)

  1. Huh, I have never heard of using interfacing as an underlining, so interesting! And, your hazel looks terrific! I have this pattern in the ol’ sewing queue and I love it, it’s such a great little dress. I like that you did it all in the same fabric. I was contemplating whether to do two distinct fabrics or something more blended where it looked more uniform. And, using the same fabric changes the look even more!

      • Thanks for your lovely comment! 🙂 I really like the two-colour Hazel on the pattern cover but thought I’d just go ahead and make it all with the same fabric.

        You know, I actually have no idea what brand this interfacing is! It came from a massive roll at my local fabric store and I always keep extra to hand in case I need it. Next time I’m in there, I’ll check with them and get back to you, but it’s a super lightweight black one (lightest they had) and is iron-on. It’s brilliant for waistbands when you don’t want to add bulk but need a bit of structure.

      • Woven (it actually feels very soft and quite stretchy before ironing it on to fabric, though it firms up a good bit after). The softness on the non-adhesive side gives it a lovely texture as an underlining and I find that it doesn’t stick to my tights.
        I’d definitely test out a patch before going whole-hog into a project using it as underlining as it really changed the hand of the fabric.

  2. I’m a bit speechless. I love, love, love how this dress turned out, and I must confess that before seeing your version I has not been a fan of the pattern. It always looked a bit shapeless on, but it looks perfect on you. Can I ask if you graded in between sizes for the top and bottom portions? The colour is just fantastic and I especially appreciate the tip about all over interfacing as underlining. I guess I’m not speechless after all – this dress is simply beautiful.

    • Wow, thanks Andrea! 🙂

      No grading here, I just went with the size 2 throughout. According to the pattern’s size chart, I really should have graded up a size for the hips, but I checked the finished measurements and thought I wouldn’t mind it being a little more fitted than the one on the pattern cover. Also, the interfacing treatment meant that this fabric would be a bit heavier/less floaty than their suggested fabrics and I was worried that it would end up looking like a big sack if it was too loose, so decided not to grade up.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure – the necktie is the only part of the dress where I didn’t use interfacing so that it would be nice and flexible, but it does sit well when it’s tied. It’s probably just down to the material?

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