Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Very Useful Dress

I have had a number of occasions lately that have required something a bit more special than my everyday wear,  but not something too fancy.  Maybe best desired as business to cocktail.

I took advantage of a fit clinic with Kenneth D. King at Sew Right, the terrific store where I bought my  newest sewing machine.

This was the second one I had attended.  After the first I started thinking about the styles I that  I could never wear as RTW.  What silhouettes would actually flatter, if they were altered to fit me properly.  Although I am a fairly standard petite height, my upper body is even more petite than petite sizing.  A fit and flare style would suit my shape, but even in a petite cut, I'm still trying to fit my hips into a higher place.   Additionally my shoulders are very narrow,  my under bust very narrow and my bust full.

The pattern is Vogue 8848  which I picked up on a rare Joanne's (bathroom pit stop on a business trip) visit.  It definitely could only be made to work on me with expert fitting.

Early this spring, on our yearly fabric shopping trip to find a good friends birthday present, I found this lovely Jason Wu fabric at Mood.  It is a cotton fabric, with a bit of texture.  A bit thicker than most cottons, but not too thick.  I'd describe it as something akin to a light upholstery fabric
It behaved  up beautifully.  A shot of steam and all those tricky pivot points just laid perfectly.

All seams are bound with Hung Sung seam tape:

It might have been worth the effort to get the zipper and tape to match, but I used what I had and I still think it looks pretty.

As the fabric has a lot more body than those the pattern called for, the stiffer fabric lead to too much in the skirt.  I removed quite a large amount (24" total) from the flare.  Just took out long triangle from hem tapering to nothing at the horizontal seams:

I should get a lot more use out of this dress as it really is just about reasonless  Looks great with a black cardigan and may even work with boots.

Unless a special occasion comes up, I'm taking a break from dresses.  That's okay; there is plenty else to sew.  I'm planning a coat, more jeans and bras.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Frankenpattern Sundress

On Pattern Review, Catina , The Pattern Hack Fairy",  drafted a skirt pattern for someone who had asked for help in finding a pattern to recreate a Milly skirt with lovely pleating.

 Although I was searching for fabric for a skirt that would match a sweater I love very much, when I saw this fabric at Mood I thought sundress.


The fabric was a bit stiff when purchased, but that totally washed away with one washing.  I thought it might have been a plus for the pleating, but now it is so soft and comfortable.

I was very creative here and I all worked out very well.

I started with my TNT shift dress pattern.  It's from an old Butterick coordinate pattern.  The number is B5147, but it could have been any darted shift dress.  The original fitting was done by Kenneth King at a fit clinic at Sew Right and I've sewn it many times.

I cut across at the waistline, rotated the darts into princess seams and cut across the top.  After the first muslin, I took quite a bit in at the back and the sides.

The skirt was cut from the pattern posted through Pattern Review and it matched up to the bodice very well.

It has lovely unique pleating.  Very flattering as you get a pleated skirt look while it is very flat across your tummy:

Bodice only was lined and bra carriers were added to the straps;

I added pockets, nabbing the pattern piece from a random pattern, because, well pockets!

The lining was hand stitched down at the bottom of the bodice and to the zipper.  I have never been successful at machine stitching the lining to the zipper.

Hem was finished with Hung Sung seam tape and hand stitched.

For no reason at all I had issues in getting the zipper so that the seams matched up.  With a bit of persistence (and basting only a few inches many times) I eventually concurred it.

One last photo: