Dotty Woven Strips Dress (for Project Sewn Make It Pink week)

Hello! This dress took a while, in fact I'm pretty sure I've never spent so long making anything, ever! The bodice was inspired by a woven strips sample that we did in our textiles lesson. When I saw that the 2nd round of Project Sewn is based on the colour pink, I thought oh, but I don't wear a lot of pink. This is true, I have next to none of it in my wardrobe. In my experience people either prefer pink or purple. I'm definitely a purple girl, but hey, I didn't want to miss out, so I did half pink and half white. However, I am slightly concerned about having a white skirt, being a dirt magnet and all... 
As usual, this project started off being nothing like what it finished as. In this instance I knew I wanted to use the woven strips technique (because it looks pretty cool) and it was going to be the front and back panels of a pencil skirt, the side panels being a contrasting white. I used 1m of pink polka dots and 1m of cotton jersey which when all stripped up and woven together only gave me a piece of fabric 50cm long, which is just a tad too short for a pencil skirt.

Back to the drawing board, I decided it would be suitable for a bodice. This bodice had to have darts in because no way was I going to match princess seams with these checks. (spoiler alert: i ended up matching up princess seams anyway). The darts weren't working out, I tried draping a darted bodice, instructions from a draping book that I recieved for my birthday (thanks Aunty Maureen and Uncle Mike!) but it didn't quite work out, and this was saturday. I didn't have time to mess around fixing it. I then turned to the darted bodices of the commercial patterns that I own. Long story short: when it says size 6 on the envelope IT'S LYING. Plus, I'm not keen on darts in bodices. I can never get rid of the pointy effect. So, in the end I just decided to use Very Easy Very Vogue 8651, cutting it off at the waist.
I then had to cut fairly big chunks out of the centre front and sides but it's Saturday lunch time and I have a muslin that fits! Yay! I then marked 5/8s from where I'd pinned it and then unpicked all of the seams (apart from the centre front) I then stitched the centre back pieces together so that was less pattern matching to worry about. This meant that I'd put my zip on the side seam instead of the back. The neckline then had to be lowered so I could get it over my head (this was post-picture) I then cut it out of my woven strips fabric but I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to pattern match curved seams. Is it even possible?! Anyway, In the end I just decided to do what I could and its not the best but hey-ho.
After cutting out the bodice pieces from my "woven strips fabric" I decided to underline it with some white cotton from an old sheet because it was a bit gappy. The issue that I then came across was how thick all of the layers are! If you think about it, each strip was ironed under 1cm and there are 2 strips on each square of the fabric. Add in this extra cotton layer and it was properly thick, impossible to pin! The neckline and the armholes were a bit of the issue and are not perfect. I used bias binding to finish the neckline, and this was okay as I only slipstitched it to the cotton underlining. The arm holes I just clipped the curves and turned over once. Not the prettiest but it worked.
One thing I should have done was sewn each strip down to make the fabric stable instead of just zigzaging the edges of each bodice piece because the strips keep folding over to the wrong side. I can always slip stitch them down when I have some spare time. For the skirt, I just cut out a circle skirt and attached it to the bodice. Ta-da and I'm done. Finally.

All in all, I really enjoyed this project, and thank you Project Sewn for helping me dream it up!

Thank you very much to Alex for gifting me the spotty fabric as my birthday present, this wouldn't have happened without you!

Thanks very much to Edward, my younger brother for taking the photos! He hasn't demanded any payment for them yet (which is good because I've run out of haribo!)

Thanks very much for reading!
Lauren xx