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  • Writer's pictureMarinette

A challenging Aldaia

Sometimes, sewing a dress is lovely and nice. Sometimes, you want to throw your sewing machine by the window. This dress was definitely one of the latter!

A woman with dark hair is sitting on a bench. She is wearing a red cardigan and a white dress with lots of colourful characters on it

The Aldaia pattern

If you are a frequent visitor of my sewing blog, you know that a few weeks ago, I tried my hand on the Aldaia pattern. Indeed, for the past few months, I dreamt about a gorgeous Aldaia with a bright, colourful, and somewhat expensive, fabric. Since I didn't want to try a new pattern with this pricey material, I bought a cheap one at my favourite fabric shop. And I did what I rarely do - a toile. I wanted to check if the draped top fitted me, if I liked the shape on me, if the dress was easy enough to sew... well, a toile.

Since I was quite happy with my first version with this cheaper fabric, I didn't hesitate one second to start the second one. And... that's when the challenges began.

A woman with dark hair standing in the street, with her hands on her waist. She is wearing a white dress with lots of colourful characters on it, and a red belt

The fabric

The biggest mistake I've made with my toile, is choosing a fabric with a compeltely different thickness and weight than the actual fabric I wanted to use. The first fabric I used for this dress here was quite thin, and very light. The more expensive one was way thicker and heavier.

And if I didn't think twice about it... my overlocker certainly did. Live and learn heh!

The back of a white dress with colourful characters on it

Challenge number one

After cutting everything, I started what should have been a fairly pain-free process (considering I had done it a week before!). Unfortunately, once the pleats were folded on the top, the fabric was already twice as thick. And when I tried to sew my skirt to the top of the dress, my overlocker couldn't cope with all these layers.

Since I completely ignored my machine's screams, it took me a few minutes to realise something was wrong. I had had the time to fully attach the skirt to the top.... but how poorly! Instead of having a perfect seam at the waist, I ended up with a thick roll of fabric, threads and knots... the dream. I ripped the entire waist seam (and God knows it's a pain to remove serger's seams). Since the overlocker's knife had damaged part of the top, I also had to cut a whole centimetre at the waist. But not disheartened at all, I prep everything, and here we go again for take two.

Unfortunately, the result was not that different, and, let's call it for what it was... a catastrophe.

Only one thing left to do: Ripped all the seams once again, and start again from scratch (ugh!).

Since the fabric was by then really damaged, I decided to cut new top pieces. I didn't have enough fabric (of course), so ended up cutting the top in the sleeves already cut (and make my peace with the fact this dress wouldn't have any sleeve).

And this time, it's with my trusted and faithful sewing machine that I dived into the sewing process.

Challenge number two

Since I had made the late decision to remove the sleeves, I was a bit stuck for the armholes. On my previous versions, I had long lovely sleeves, so never realised how thick the shoulder straps were. Maybe I'd made a mistake, maybe it's the pattern, but without sleeves, I found the result quite unsightly. I ended up removing the armhole facing (and yes, them too were attached with the serger, so it was a massive pain!), folded the fabric once or twice, and finally, finally, we had a result more or less ok.

Now what?

This dress certainly called for patience and determination... Hubby heard me French swear like never before, and my serger almost ended up on the street.

The end result doesn't look too bad, and without sleeves, the dress should look cute in the summer. It's comfortable, and I know I am the only one noticing the 'not quite perfect' finish.

Will I do this pattern again? Probably, but I'll be sure to choose a lighter fabric, OR, a top without any pleats!

A woman with dark hair standing in the street is wearing a white dress with lots of colourful characters on it, and a red belt

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