Before we kick off, I really feel that I ought to explain the title.
I keep rats. I have 23 in total…
Ok so you’re back with me after the shock of keeping 23 rats (it’s actually not the most I’ve had at any one time!)… and I love them dearly. I’ve mentioned a few times that I sew pet beds, well they’re for rats (and other small furry creatures). Gosh, I feeling like I’m outing myself here!
My shop is called The Relaxed Rat. Bear that in mind, we’ll be back for it later.
As a rat lover I often attend rat shows….
….. Ok so you’ve dealt with the shock that rat shows exist. Yes, they do, and they’re just like Crufts! But on a smaller scale ;)
The day before going to a rat show I decided it would be a really fantastic idea to wear a dress with rats on it. I had the fabric which I got in the giveaway (yep, we’re still going with that!) but no clue what to do with it.
Now we put all of that into the mixing pot and it becomes: The Rushed Rat!
Shall we actually see the thing?
About 2pm I started designing my dress. I designed a dress that resembled none of the patterns I had in my arsenal. What a fantastic idea for a dress that has to be made quickly.
I had to sit and think for a while about what I was going to do- there was no time for a muslin. Should I risk this gorgeous fabric or do something tried and tested but ultimately not what I wanted? Or, give up on the whole plan and wear something already in my wardrobe?
Obviously I went for option A and risked it.
You’ll never guess which bodice pattern I used as my base. Yep, it’s the Daisy dress again! (Seriously, I should start a series on Daisy hacks!)
I didn’t have time for tissue paper, measuring or faffing so I just pinned the bodice to the fabric, but not on the fold as usual, and cut round it making the neckline a little higher and ‘v’ing towards the front and extending the centre front out by 2-3 inches. I cut the bodice back out, again raising the neckline, and then sewed them together at the shoulder seams.
From here I pinned the side seams together, put it on and faffed about with finding the centre front and making darts. Once I had all that down I had to sort out this collar.
You might recognise the collar fabric- it’s my old bed sheet making another appearance! Its debut was also as a collar- it just seems to be the right shade to match everything!
I used Butterick 5846 as the base for the collar but I had to extend it a little as my neckline is slightly different, then I drafted a facing for the placket and stitched it all in.
It’s not perfect- definitely could’ve done with the facing a little wider- but I’m pretty darn pleased with it! It didn’t take any faffing either, it all just sort of worked! I’ve covered that pretty quickly- that actually took me a couple of hours!
From there on it was pretty plain sailing. The skirt is just a simple gathered skirt, with pockets I might add! but I did mess up the sleeves a little.
I had to go out for a few hours (from 5.30-11pm) which made this plan even more ridiculous, so by this point we’re at about 1am. I grabbed the first sleeve pattern I found and just sewed it all in. Then when I came to try on the dress the sleeve felt quite snug. I looked at the pattern and it was for a knit dress.
Of all my sleeves to pick, why pick the one designed for stretchy fabric?!!
I shortened them a little because I felt like it would help with the snugness. It did not, and I miss the length of the original sleeves but this isn’t so bad. Then I used bias tape as facing (yellow because I had nothing else!) and double turned the hem. I did accidentally rip the fabric a teensy bit when opening the buttonhole (come on, it was 2am!) but I just zigzagged over it and I think it’ll be fine.
Cinderella did indeed make it to her ball, in her rat dress and the whole thing didn’t fall apart so I’d call this a success!
I love the contrast between the green and purple (which also goes perfectly with Agatha!) and I love the fact it has rats on it! I’m on the look out for more rat fabric and also considering stamping my own (I definitely have a rat Miette skirt in mind!)
Just to top it all off here are a couple of pictures of my babies:
Enough spamming now! They’re not so bad are they?