Thursday 6 October 2016

holiday sewing: Trina

I'll start off with the obvious: yes, this is a totally ridiculous item of clothing.

This is the Trina dress, new from Victory Patterns, which I saw quite by accident and was immediately transported into a Miss Fisher fantasy where I could finally get the 1920s aesthetic without obliterating my waist.

The pattern is a wrap dress-kimono hybrid. The sleeves are drafted in the style of a traditional kimono so that the underarm seam doesn't join up to the bodice, and the front and back bodices overlap to create a space for the ties to pass through. I really like this as a detail; I'm not sold on the whole leave-a-hole-in-the-side-seam method of wrapping a wrap dress and it's really nice to find a different way of doing it.

The pattern is seriously fabric-hungry and takes 4.5m of wider width fabric. That was a lot to gamble on a new pattern from a company I'd never used, so I went to Walthamstow Market and bought a load of this ridiculous viscose for £9. £9 seemed like a reasonable price to pay to try this out, and assuming it wasn't completely terrible I could use the resulting garment as a beach cover-up for our holiday next month. I had only scraps of fabric left over, so I definitely can't get away with buying half a metre less in future like I usually do. Hmph.

I don't think I've made any changes to the pattern except to French seam the whole thing. I say "I don't think" because I found the instructions to be occasionally overly verbose in a way I found quite confusing. There were a couple of points where I couldn't tell if they were just using a lot of words to say a simple thing or if I'd actually missed out a step. If it turns out it was the latter, then I have taken the reasoned executive decision to leave those steps out because I'm smart. I didn't make any bust adjustments, largely because it didn't occur to me until the first time I tried the bodice on for fit, but I think this is okay, especially for a beach cover-up thing. I will need to reconsider that if I decide to make a proper dress from this pattern.

Looking at this photo now I realise I should have paid attention to the print on the back skirt and matched it up at the seam, and I'm not entirely sure why I didn't. That's going to bug me. Oh well. 

This is in no way a practical addition to my wardrobe. But the thing is, I'm actually very good at making practical things. My wardrobe doesn't have any occasionless, frivolous clothes besides possibly my red Anna dress, and that was made for a specific event. While the point of learning how to sew was to have a wardrobe that would better serve me on a day to day basis, that shouldn't mean I don't get to have any fun. Besides, this will get worn. I will wear it a lot on holiday, and it seems to have become my first piece of Nice Loungewear (you remember that category of things I kept saying I needed and then never actually made any of? That). It's easy to throw on, and though I know I'm not leaving the house in it, it makes me feel more pulled together. I change the way I'm standing when I'm wearing it and it makes me feel like someone who can do shit. When you're fighting depression, that's no small thing.

From this I learned that a) I need to make more fancy loungewear, and b) that Attempt One was successful enough to move onto Attempt Two: Phryne Version. I have absolutely no idea what that will look like or how I'll afford it, but it is happening.


  1. I love this! You look elegant and foxy. I'm making a version for a friend right now so have been scouting reviews (surprisingly few people seem to have made this) but now I want to make one for myself too!

    1. Thank you! I was surprised at how few posts about this pattern were out there too - I get that it's not exactly the most practical everyday dress and it takes a lot of fabric, but it's stunning and interesting and the pattern is really well drafted, so I thought more people would have taken a chance on it. I'd highly recommend making one for yourself!