If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...
So I took Eleonore's advice and cut a size smaller for the bodice. And I stuck to the 1.5cm seam allowance this time as I realised that for the first toile, I sewed with a seam allowance of probably 1cm which must have added to the gaping neckline, oops!
I really want to put pockets into the finished dress and thought I'd better practice on the toile. So I used the instructions for the Cynthia Rowley/Simplicity 2215 pattern which were actually pretty straightforward.
Except that I sewed the pocket shut. Twice. But I got there in the end. And I was very pleasantly surprised at how easily the invisible zip went in. I was dreading that bit after all the horror stories I've read on t'interweb while doing research. The only thing I need to do for the real Sureau is to make sure I sew nearer to the teeth (I was naughty and just used the normal foot for the toile instead of the zip foot as I was too lazy to change it).
The first fitting, sans zip and sleeves. But doesn't the fit look so much better? No gaping neckline, no massive chest area... Oh, you have to excuse my socks - it was cold today!
And here's a photo with sleeve and zip (if you look closely, you can see the bit under the zip where I didn't bother to sew the side up!) I need to cut the sleeve one size smaller too I think.
I'm so happy with this! I can't wait to start the real thing but I think I might wait just a little while longer just so I can get extra tips from both Anna and Eleonore about fitting and especially about lining. I'm thinking of lining the skirt part. Things that I need to make sure I do for the real Sureau are:
- Finish seams
- Make gathers as symmetrical as possible
- Make zip as invisible as possible
- Take my time so that I have a beautiful, unrushed, lasting dress at the end of it all