Now why , you may ask, am I standing on my deck on a very warm sunny evening in wool, boots AND a scarf. Other than “because I can” and “I’m still in love with my new fence” obviously.
The Seamwork Tacara first came to my attention when it was discussed in the Curvy Sewing Collective as a good candidate for the Same Pattern Different Body post. I love these posts, it’s so helpful to see how a pattern works on a variety of shapes, what adjustments are made and also how each person styles their look.
I promptly went online , but while I loved the cocoon shape, and the myriad of ways it could be worn, there wasn’t actually a lot of pics of curvier sewers wearing a Tacara. Naturally I needed about two nano seconds to realize I wanted one of my own. Even better there is a SPDB post coming up at the CSC so if you are a curvy sewer be ready for plenty of inspiration!
So, how did it work out? Well, lets just say this garment is now known as the Dress of a Hundred Alterations. At least I had the sense to make a muslin for once!
I made my first Tacara in a light rayon knit from Spotlight (good spotting, I have used it before ) While I ended up with a perfectly wearable dress, I felt like a bit of adjustment would make it much better.
The general consensus looking online is it comes up quite large, so I cut a size 16, adding 2 cm/1 inch to each sleeve as I was worried about cutting off circulation to my fingers! For reference my measurements are 44″/112 cm, 38″/99 cm & 48″/124 cm
Now, the pockets. Oh those pockets. I can only surmise this pattern was developed for someone with arms like my husband, loooong. Only he’s 6 ‘ 3″ and I’m not. They are crazy low. I literally had to stretch to get my mitts into them?
It all just felt (and looked) too big.
So, iteration two, this time in a gorgeous merino wool from The Fabric Store. I wont lie, I feel very spoilt having so many amazing fabric stores within easy reach, and to be able to treat myself occasionally.
Merino is a wonderful fabric, it breaths, drapes, keeps you warm & comes in the most glorious colours. It’s also quite spendy, so I didn’t want to mess this one up!
Alterations, I’ve made a few (in my head I’m hearing Frank singing My Way!) . First up, I sized down , cutting out a 14 ( I’m an accountant, I’m used to manipulating figures, but me a 14, really???) . I reduced the bicep adjustment to 1 cm/1/2 “, and raised the pockets by a whopping 10 cm/4.5 “. Then I got a bit trigger happy and shaved another 4 cm off the length. Which I then realized was a tad to much to achieve a nice chunky hem. I didn’t want to sacrifice too much length so we have a lovely knee grazing dress with an ABOMINATION of a hem. More waves than a day at the beach, I apologize profusely.
The sleeve actually needs to be reasonably snug, to balance the volume of the dress, but as someone who has suffered from the dreaded sausage arm syndrome, its a fine line, very dependent on your fabric. Make the muslin kids. Honestly.
Now, back to those bloody pockets (yes, I’d got a bit sweary by this stage). I was quite tempted to ditch them altogether. I’ve realized with the benefit of hindsight & a few wines the method described is probably perfect for use with a sewing machine, but for an overlocker (serger)? Not so much. After making an absolute Horlicks of my pockets, and unpicking them in a state of deeply bad karma, I found an online tutorial that made far more sense. Please save yourself the wine & do it this way.
I feel like this dress is a fabric version of Granddad’s hammer, new head, new handle, but it’s still his hammer right? I’ve altered so much of the pattern , but really to make it look like the picture & line drawings on the pattern which is what I liked so much in the first place!
While not without it’s tribulations, I’m actually really happy with the finished dress, its perfect for me at work, with boots & a cool scarf/necklace. It also works at the weekend over jeans , and I’ve realized with leggings, a big pashmina and slip on shoes this is THE travel outfit (when you live in NZ you travel LONG haul, it takes on a whole new meaning when you’re wearing something for over 24 hours to get to Europe)
Next up, a gorgeous Infinity scarf in this amazing Liberty jersey , I adore the colours and I love a scarf that doesn’t need lots of fiddling. I know it’s none of my beeswax but why do so many people wear black in winter when we have all these glorious colours & prints to wear??
Now, has anyone seen Tommy?
Have a great week!