Friday, 2 June 2017

A tic tac toe dress in shweshwe

Here is my second version of Sewpony's wonderful Tic Tac Toe dress (you can see the first one here). This time I opted for the long sleeves, plain bodice, piped collar and piped pockets. It's not obvious at first glance, but the fabric has patches of bright blue in it, and I thought piping the collar in blue would bring that out nicely.

As I didn't make the pieced bodice this time, the dress should have been quite quick and easy to sew, but I made a monumental stuff-up: I cut the front neckline too high due to a late-night pattern-tracing error. Tragically, I didn't notice this until I tried the finished-except-for-hems dress on R and realised something was wrong. There was nothing for it but to unpick the sleeves, lining and collar so I could trim down the neckline and reassemble the bodice and sleeves. I can't begin to express how frustrating this was... and how disappointing, just when I thought I'd finished the dress! But it was all worth it, because with the correct neckline the dress looked so much better. So let my mistake be a lesson to anyone tracing off patterns in dim light, while watching a subtitled television series and being harassed relentlessly by a tissue-paper-loving cat: multitasking does not go with pattern tracing, and neither do cats.

The fabric is shweshwe, a traditional South African cotton fabric. A couple of years ago I asked my dad to bring me some Three Cats brand shweshwe from Cape Town and instead of the usual shades of indigo and brown, I received this green one. I must confess that initially I wasn't that excited about it, but the colour and pattern have really grown on me and I'll be looking out for more greens next time I put in an order.  This particular shade has a lovely autumnal quality and goes beautifully with the fallen leaves in our garden.

The lovely deep pockets are one of the best features of this dress, and I love the centre gathers on the skirt. R and I are both really happy with this one.

To finish up, here are a couple of photos featuring a feline guest star - and it's NOT the one who mucked up my pattern tracing!