I bought this curtain (singular) in the Salvation Army shop in Deptford and although I the tag is missing, I think I paid £5 for it. I’ve had this in my possession for quite some time, just waiting for the right project. It desperately wanted to be a party dress. It’s cream and white brocade, not too thick, lined with plain cream cotton.
And then this came along.
Introducing…. By Hand London’s Georgia dress!
Happily, there was more than enough curtain to make the longer version of the dress with the large collar/straps at the front, which I think is a really interesting detail.
I cut the bodice lining from the lining of the curtain, which was perhaps a little too stiff for this purpose… but on the plus side, it does mean that my boobs are completely fire-proof. You never know when that will come in handy.
The only part where I didn’t follow the instructions to the letter was inserting the zip, I used my own fail-safe method instead. The instructions include a simpler method, but personally I think I would struggle to get a good finish with an invisible zip on a curved seam like this using their method (it’s tricky!).
I added strips of fusible interfacing to the seam lines where the zip would be. The fusible I use is rather a loose weave, so I was able to stretch it around the curves (despite using straight rectangular strips cut on the grain). I like to cut my interfacing the same width as the seam allowance then use the serged edge as a guide to stick it 5mm from the edge.
Then I basted the front to the back along the seam line and pressed it open. The interfacing should be caught in the seam.
I pinned one side to the seam allowance. The trick is to line up the teeth with the basted seam.
Baste up that side in the seam allowance, then close the zip and baste up the other side.
Then remove the basting stitches holding the side seam together (the ones you put in first).
You can then press the zip teeth flat with a warm iron and use your invisible zip foot to sew as close to the teeth as possible on both sides. After checking it opens and closes OK, then sew the side seam below the zip and press the whole thing. Voila!
The only other notes I have on the pattern involve fitting, which I will discuss briefly here.
I highly recommend making a muslin of this dress before sewing it up because its fitted nature, especially around the bodice, means it is not very forgiving to bad fit (ask me how I know). I cut the size UK 12 at the bust, 14 at the waist and 12 at the hip as per the measurements on the back of the envelope. I ended up taking the bust in 4cm at the top edge and taking the dress in several cm above the hip (which is normal for me). If I make this again, I will cut a size smaller at the bust and add 3cm length between the waist and the hip to account for my long waistedness…. I can see this in a shinier fabric for Christmas. Watch this space!
Now, where to go to show off Georgia at her best?
Why, The Savoy of course!
I wore a black tuxedo jacket over my Georgia for lunch at the exquisite Savoy Grill (which explains why I’m wearing black shoes with it). The pictures were taken after a very enjoyable lunch, hence the creasing! (and the darkness!)