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Tabatha’s April Challenge – Days 27 – 30

May 1, 2011

Wednesday 27th April

During Little Tweedie’s nap time today I cut the lining pieces for the Colette Chantilly dress, the final project of my April Challenge.  I transferred the markings to both the lining and the shell fabric.  Preparing to sew this dress seems to have taken forever, what with all the tracing and then having to cut two sets of fabric… and such a lot of fabric too: almost four metres of each.  I hope the dress is worth all the effort and expense!

Mr Tweedie was working this evening so I did a couple of hours of sewing.  It’s looking good so far, and no mistakes yet!

Thursday 28th April

I did my two hours during nap time and when Mr T got home today.  I spoke too soon about not having made any mistakes though.  It was all going swimmingly until I realised I’d sewn the pockets in too high due to misreading my markings – what an idiot!  The left pocket is tricky to sew in and I didn’t realise until I was on the right pocket, so I decided not to unpick.  I won’t actually use the pockets so it doesn’t really matter I guess!

Friday 29th April

UPDATE: What I have written below I have since found out is wrong.  I am officially stupid!  I got all my lefts and rights mixed up, and it isn’t the fault of the pattern at all – it is my own stupid fault.  I found this out when I remade the dress a second time in November 2011.  So, kind of ignore the next few paragraphs.  Apologies to Colette Patterns.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m really annoyed with Colette Patterns, and I’ll attempt to explain why.  This dress is designed to have a lining, so you pretty much have to do everything twice – once for the main fabric and then again for the lining.  I followed Sarai’s instructions very carefully, paying the same amount of attention to detail on the dress lining as on my main fabric, only to find when I came to join the two together, that the ‘right’ side of my lining would end up facing the wrong side of my main fabric.  Now, I thought that one of the reasons for a garment to have a lining was so that all the raw edges and seams would be hidden away, and that the inside of the dress would be just as nicely finished as the outside – in other words the wrong side of the main fabric would be next to the wrong side of the lining.  Does that make sense?

Sarai’s instructions tell you to sew the right side seam of the main fabric together, and to leave the left side seam open for the zipper.  It then says to sew the lining the same way.  Later it says with the right sides facing together, stitch the underarm seams, but this is not possible!  Because you have sewn the lining the same way as the main fabric, you have to sew the wrong side of the lining to the right side of the main fabric, and if you don’t, either:

  • the back bodice would be facing the front bodice and vice versa, or
  • the open side seams for the zip would be opposite each other.
I would suggest that the instructions have you sew the right side seam of the main fabric, leaving the left side seam open for the zip, and then the left side seam of the lining fabric, leaving the right side seam open for the zip.  That way, when the right sides are facing, everything will match up.
Has anyone else made the Chantilly dress?  What do you think?  Does it strike you as odd that the nice, neat, finished side of the lining is hidden away?
I am most put out!  (Oh, and I sewed for three hours today).
Saturday 30th April
The Colette Chantilly dress has really tested my patience, and I shall not be in a hurry to make it again.  I finished it today after another three hours, and it looks nice and is a lovely fit, but I didn’t enjoy making it at all!  At least I can enjoy wearing it though.

Pretty, but I don't think I'll be re-using this pattern!

So that’s it!  I have finished my April Challenge.  I’m very pleased that I’ve been able to give my hand-made wardrobe such a boost.  It was difficult to keep motivated at times, like after a busy day and especially over Easter when we were all together at home and the weather was so good.  It was usually fairly easy for me to do one hour a day during Little Tweedie’s nap time, but so many times I couldn’t have done any more without Mr Tweedie’s willingness to look after Little T.
From now on I’m going to try to keep up the routine of sewing during Little T’s nap time.  It’s a luxury that I should make the most of, and it’s amazing what you can get done if you do a little every day!
  1. May 11, 2011 8:17 pm

    Hi Tabatha, belated congratulations on finishing the challenge! I’ve been abroad for three weeks but have just been catching up on your progress and am so inspired by what you achieved. My baby sleeps 2-3 hours each day so I really have no excuse. The house might suffer a bit but a girl’s got to sew, right?! Anyway I am so inspired that I am going to focus on a big house springclean this month (my place is far too dangerous at the moment for my almost-walking baby) and in June I am going to do some sort of sewing challenge. I will of course credit you for the inspiration, lol! And I don’t think I will manage two hours a day either !! Leah x

    • May 11, 2011 8:17 pm

      Woops I hadn’t finished typing. I meant to finish by saying well done!

  2. tabathatweedie permalink*
    May 16, 2011 1:41 pm

    Thank you so much! It is hard to keep everything going whilst doing a challenge like this – something has got to give. Although our house wasn’t exactly a gleaming palace, I found my main sacrifice had to be wasting time on the internet – I had to be much more focused and time-aware, which ultimately meant I could be more productive! I’ll look forward to reading about your sewing challenge! x

  3. Sara permalink
    August 30, 2011 1:57 pm

    Hi Tabatha,

    I am just making this dress now and only realised that there was a problem when I had pinned the armholes together. So annoying! I am now wondering if I can unpick and change it around…


    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      September 1, 2011 8:09 am

      Good luck Sara! I couldn’t unpick my lining as it was cotton voile and much too delicate!

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