Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Sangria dress (and my first outing with scuba!)

Scuba is a fabric that's never really appealed to me before now - it always seemed too rubbery for my liking. I changed my mind about this shortly after discovering this wonderful bonded lace scuba from TMOS (The Man Outside Sainsbury's) in Walthamstow last year. I didn't even realise it was scuba until one of the other sewists I was with put me right, but by that point it was too late - I'd fallen for it! 


As I'd never worked with this fabric before I decided to start with a pattern specifically designed for scuba knits - the Sangria dress by Capital Chic. The pattern is beautifully simple - no darts or pleats, just a smooth sheath dress with short sleeves and a neckband. Hopefully easy to sew and a good blank canvas to show off the lace detailing of the fabric.

Sally kindly sent me a copy of the pattern when it was released, along with a link to this post by Thumblenina. Nina had also used bonded lace scuba to make her stunning Sangria dress and noted that it didn't have as much stretch as normal scuba. Based on the finished measurements and taking Nina's comments into consideration I cut a size 14, grading out to a size 16 at the hips to give me room to sit down in comfort! I also shortened the dress by 9cms to make it knee length on me. The fit is just right - clingy enough to show off your curves but not so restrictive that you can barely move. Don't forget that seam allowances are 1cm on Capital Chic patterns, so don't use 1.5cms by mistake or you'll get an even tighter fit!



The scuba was interesting to work with, not exactly troublesome, just a bit difficult to manoeuvre in places. The clingy nature of the material means it doesn't shift around whilst sewing, which was a good thing, and the main body of the dress came together quickly and easily on my overlocker. Hemming was a little challenging as the scuba didn't respond well to being pressed flat. It took lots of steam and a tailor's clapper to get those hems flattened into submission. But my main problem was the arm binding - it's attached with a very small seam allowance, then folded round and stitched in the ditch, so all raw edges are enclosed. This should give a lovely neat finish, but unfortunately mine didn't turn out that way. The bulkiness of the fabric and narrowness of the binding both conspired against me and it ended up looking like a tight, uncomfortable ridge around my arms. I eventually removed the binding and sewed a simple turned hem with a twin needle instead. It's not as neat looking on the inside, but infinitely better on the outside, and it doesn't stop the circulation in my arms!


The other area where I ended up deviating from the instructions was the back opening, otherwise known as the zip! Because of the previously mentioned bulk, I was hoping I could get away with a much shorter zip than the recommended 60cms, or even better, no zip at all! Sadly the scuba didn't have enough stretch for me to get it over my head without one, but I only needed to unpick a few inches at the top, which was good news. My compromise was to fashion a keyhole opening, fastening with a thread loop and button at the neck.


If you've never worked with scuba before then this pattern is a really good place to start. There's minimal fitting involved and the well written instructions make it an easy, stress-free sew - I highly recommend it. And I'm delighted with the finished dress - despite being a tight fit, it's still comfortable to wear and is a really smart looking 'going out dress' to add to my wardrobe.


The finished dress is very clingy, but the fact that it's knee length, with a relatively high neck keeps it classy in my opinion. I'll be proudly wearing it out for cocktails with friends this weekend anyway. And I'll be very smug about the fact that it only cost me £8.00! x

Sneaky peak of my new coat!

The Sangria dress pattern was given to me free of charge. All views my own.


42 comments:

  1. Super classy! Looks a million bucks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love that phrase! x

      Delete
  2. This I'd beautiful on you! Very sassy!
    Frankie
    Www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! This is stunning. I think this is my favourite of all the dresses you've made!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh what a lovely comment, thanks you so much! x

      Delete
  4. Fantastic dress! The simple shape shows off the fancy fabric beautifully. Please, please do a blog post about that fabulous red coat asap. Susan x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan, I wasn't sure if the fabric and pattern pairing might be too much but I think it works! And there's a red coat blog post coming next week! x

      Delete
  5. Blooming heck, Jane. That looks amazing! Congratulations on such a cheap and classy make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks love! TMOS fabric was a bit of a gamble but I think it worked. And all for £8?!! Hoorah!

      Delete
  6. Girl you look AMAZING in this!!! This fabric is really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Abigail, it was a very lucky find! x

      Delete
  7. Wow! the dress is amazing and you look stunning in it. I would not have guessed that it was scuba at all. Jenny x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know it was scuba either until somebody told me, it's not immediately apparent! x

      Delete
  8. You look amazing and I can't wait to see the coat blog... Do you know which days TMOS is there? I have travelled from deepest Surrey twice so far and he hasn't been there either time! I prefer to go during the week but don't know his itinerary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I think Saturday is the most reliable day to find him there to be honest. From what I can remember I think his appearances are a bit erratic during the week. I'm not a Walthamstow local though, so if anybody knows better, please do comment! x

      Delete
  9. It looks super on you Jane! Very classy and definitely looks more than 8 pounds worth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thank you, that's what I like to hear! x

      Delete
  10. This is a classic dress that looks smashing on you! Pattern and fabric pairing, perfect. It looks expensive, it's a wonder that it's not. I haven't seen lace-covered scuba yet, so I will have to look for it. You will be the best dressed one at cocktails!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think sticking to a simple, classic pattern helps. x

      Delete
  11. Oh wow, you look fabulous in that dress. Just stunning! Love the red coat too, very classy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "The finished dress is very clingy, but the fact that it's knee length, with a relatively high neck keeps it classy in my opinion."
    This! This is why it looks so great - sexy but modest at the same time. Perfect balance of both. Great make - I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's gratifying to hear, thank you! x

      Delete
  13. This looks amazing on you! Stylish and elegant - love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, I'm so pleased with it! x

      Delete
  14. I didn't ever think I would see scuba look classy, but you did make it look ever so classy and elegant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neither did I, so that's a huge compliment - thank you! x

      Delete
  15. I hope you feel good in this dress, because you sure do look fabulous. Make another, it suits you.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks! It's getting its first outing tomorrow and hopefully will feel great to wear, fingers crossed! x

      Delete
  16. Wowsers! Your dress is fabulous! And you coat looks brilliant, I shall look forward to reading about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lynne, blog post coming next week! x

      Delete
  17. Absolutely Fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Stunning dress and thanks for the info about the pattern, definitely sounds like a good one for a first try with scuba!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It worked for me anyway! And thank you! x

      Delete
  19. Wow, what a great dress! You look fab!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tis gorgeous I love it and it looks beautiful on you. Xx

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...