Tova – first dress

I finished my first linen dress last weekend (a Wiksten Tova dress with mods). It went surprisingly smoothly, overall. I managed to add inseam pockets, did french seams all the way through and even made continuous bias binding (that was interesting!). All fairly smoothly and painlessly…

Until I got to the neck binding.

I had been dreading the bias binding at the collar and either I psyched myself out, or was spot on with my paranoia! It sucked. I must have re-done bits of it at least 5 times before I was satisfied with it.

First I tried it on the outside of the collar but it looked awkward and amateur-ish so off it came. I also realised that I should have cut more material off the seam allowance as I had decided not to add the collar or sleeves. Whoops (toile anyone? I need to find some cheap calico, though this likely means a trip to the dreaded Ikea, which I avoid like the plague. Why can’t Ikea do proper online shopping? They would sell so much more.).
failed neck first
Another glitch was that the back seemed to gape outwards a bit at the back of the neck, so I ended up putting in a pleat to bring it in (box pleat?)…pinned above and sewn below. (please ignore the bingo wings!! Wow. Talk about a view of yourself you don’t normally see…or want to.)
first dress pleat
So here she is. Comfy and very airy for the summer.
tova dress
It is funny, I am much more thrilled with my finished knits and I don’t know if this is because of the better quality finish I can now get in the knits or if it is just the greater time investment. It is weird. I am proud of the dress, but a bit ‘meh’ at the same time, whereas I am still – daily – thrilled with my Audrey! It might be the yarn. I have turned into a huge yarn-o-phile and get such a kick out of different yarn qualities…

Anyway, psychological dissection aside – I am ready to take on the more complex Tova version now with sleeves and collar. I went to The Cloth House in Soho yesterday and they have some gorgeous linen fabrics, but I just can’t justify the price until I get much better! I have been trying to find cheap-ish yarn-woven black linen or linen/cotton blend to do a full-sized version (3-3.5yds) but the cheapest I have seen is £14/m.  Still a bit steep for beginner projects.

If anyone knows of a good supplier for nice light linens on this side of the pond I would love to hear of it…EU as well!