It all started so very well! I had made and “refined” a toile of the bodice so was confident that this would be a good example of my sewing skills.
Firstly, in my enthusiasm, I forgot to double-check the fit of the bodice BEFORE progressing with the insertion of the zip. Had I done so, it would have been easier to make the small adjustment to the bust darts that I later discovered was required. So – I gaily inserted the zip only to I find that I had not left enough seam allowance for my favoured “lapped zip” method. I stitched and unpicked the zip at least twice before I was satisfied. Then to add insult to injury, I noticed later that I had made the “lap” on the wrong side of the zip.
I progressed with the gathering of the 3 panels of skirt which was fairly straightforward, only to have a “mishap” when overlocking the seam. I caught part of the bodice front in the seam and managed to CUT a small hole in the bodice, close to the waistline seam. There followed a stressful half hour whilst I made a patch to cover the hole. Fortunately, the print of roses is so busy and the patch close to the seam, that I do not believe it is immediately apparent to the casual observer!
mishap with patched rose print
Having attached the skirt in such a hurry, this meant that I had to “manhandle” a deal of fabric when I went back to finish the bodice, to insert the tulip cap sleeves and attach the neckline facing. On the original toile the sleeves were easy enough to insert but again on the actual dress it was not so. It took several attempts to get the sleeves inserted WITHOUT tucks and puckers and in the final analysis I am not sure that I like them. Next time I will draft a longer sleeve to (maybe) convert to tulip petal style.
neckline & cap tulip sleeves
When understitching the neckline facing I found that the centre front clip went beyond the staystitching so there was a tiny gap and raw edge of fabric. Back to unpicking and re-stitching that part of the neckline!
The hem is a double fold of fabric to add weight and substance to the full skirt. This had to be stitched by hand, all 135 inches of it – not my favourite activity!
Finally, I have worn the dress which when standing looks very good but unfortunately the fit of the bust darts is not quite right and is apparent when seated, so will need some “finessing” on the next iteration of “Mary Rose”. But, my husband likes the dress and it is very comfortable to wear!