The dress has re- taught me some valuable lessons. I had forgotten some of these things in the 10 year break I have taken from dressmaking.
No 1. Know the fabric you choose.
The fibre content and weaving technique will determine just how that fabric will behave.
My fabric was labled100% cotton. It wasn't 100% cotton but a cotton mixture and I think the other part was rayon. I should have picked this because it felt too soft but I said to myself it must be some kind of finish added to the fabric because the label says 100% cotton. I should have followed my instincts.
Knowing the fibre content will also dictate some of your sewing processes. In my case once I realised what kind of fabric I had I knew it would fray if I nicked or notched any of the curved edges. This in turn called for different sewing techniques to counter this.
Supervised the sales assistant when they was measuring the fabric.
I didn't and I missed a discolouration in the fabric that I didn't notice till I had finished and It was right across the front. It isn't a terrible flaw, but it is a flaw and I will see it all the time.
Check the selvedge
I missed this and if I had seen it when I was purchasing the fabric I would have taken more notice of other things.
Today many fabrics are woven on Water jet looms. This results in a fluffy selvedge where the thread is cut between each pass of the shuttle. This leaves a weakness in the fabric as every weft thread has been cut, not rewoven as a continuous thread as in traditional weaving. There are also side by side looms where the shuttle is sent across several warped looms and then this is cut, I think this might have been how my fabric was woven. Using these processes has considerable savings for the manufacturer, making their profit margin higher and can result in a good fabric but it is a warning sign for the buyer that the fabric could have problems.
No 2. Be careful what you say to your husband (or other family members)
I said I was never going to dress-make again. This gave permission for my husband to take my dressmakers shears and use them in his workshop. That was the end of their usefulness for me.
It also gave permission for my daughter to take my dressmakers dummy. I've lost that one as well.
But I must have known I would come back to the dressmaking because I had hidden my Gingher Scissors. There they were just perfect and ready to use.
I am looking forward to the next class.