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.


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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