Piping Hot Wiggle Dress | Veronica Darling
Fabric: Thrifted Flannel-like Cotton, $4
Patterns: Simplicity 4022
Notions: Vintage zipper, $0.10; bias binding $3; cord $2
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Yes!
Total Cost: ~$9.10
Since I saw Mena's 'Eat Local' Dress during the 'Some Local Colour' week in March I've been thinking about piping! PIPING! It's so little and so simple, but turns a garment from 'nicely made' into 'completely polished', in my opinion. What I loved about Mena's dress was the print being 'framed' by the red piping, and I knew I had to try something similar for this week's 'Embellish This' theme.
Once again (don't I sound like a broken record?), I've *never* tried piping before, so I flicked through a few of my patterns to work out which would suit this tiny floral printed fabric. I had planned a 70s pattern (that had a couple of front panels), but didn't have enough material for the fuller skirt, so I turned to this Simplicity 4022 kimono-esque sleeve wiggle dress. I've made it up a few times with awesome results, but my favourite was a Garden Party Dress for my friend's wedding.
The bodice pattern always needs a bit of resizing for me (in the waist and a smidge off the shoulders) and I scooped the neckline a little more. After watching a bunch of 'How to Make Piping' videos on the internet, I decided to buy some red bias binding (I have every other colour in my thrifted stash, but not red!) and some cord from the sewing shop (instead of making my own) to save time. I had a major deadline this week: to finish the dress before I flew interstate for my brother's wedding!
Most of the videos online showed how to attach piping for cushions (not dresses!), so I worked out I'd need to use the zipper foot to sew the cord into the binding first, and since that worked out ok, I also used the zipper foot to attach all the seams that I wanted to include the piping. Luckily this bodice had sleeve facings and neckline facings, so I sandwiched the piping there and the waistband as well.
It was surprisingly easy to include the piping into my dress, but I did sew very very slowly (hard for me!) as when I sped up a little (for the waistband) I didn't sew as close to the piping, so the original stitching came through. But it was easy to go over again, and stitch closer, so it's a great embellishment with not as many fail options as I'd thought! The dress certainly looks finished, and has a more professional look than it would without the piping. The only issue would be my neckline is a little gaping, so next time I cut this pattern, I'll make that a little tighter. But totally wearable, I just need to stand up straight!
And as you can see, I made it ok to Queensland's Magnetic Island! We took these photos at the resort where my brother had his wedding reception and whilst it's certainly a lot more tropical and humid than my hometown of Melbourne, it's wasn't hot enough for a dip, just a splash!