Wednesday 20 June 2012

Vogue 1221 DKNY dress

I generally enjoy making DKNY patterns that typically have unusually shaped pattern pieces and are fun to put together but this one annoyed me no end and it took an age to get the motivation to finish it.

Things that annoyed me making this;

  • Until the front seam is sewn there is a lot of fabric in the front pieces with bits sticking out which seemed to get twisted up just by looking at them.
  • The back has a full facing but the front just has an armscye facing which has a tendency to flip out.
  • As is typical with these designs you can't really get a sense of how it is going to fit until late in the process.  Of course that is what muslins are for so I shouldn't complain.
  • I really wish Vogue instructions would tell you when to finish a seam, it's hard to work out the order myself in unique patterns like this.  As it is I have 2 small seams on the inside of the front bodice which I've had to leave unfinished.  I don't think the fabric will fray and I suppose I could go back and cover them with ribbon or something, but it's still annoying.
  • Getting the front drape and skirt pleats to sit nicely takes a bit of fiddling around - I don't know yet how the dress will fare in a real life outing that lasts longer than 5 minutes and involves moving around.  I think I will roadtest it this weekend.
  • Hand hemming stretch cotton is no fun!
Anyway enough complaining,  here is the dress, it was impossible to get it to look right on my dressform which leads me to conclude that you need hips to wear this dress.  No shortage of those on me!

Other than my gripes above the dress was actually quite straightforward to make.  I made my usual size 12, 14 at the hips.  I needed to raise the neckline about an inch.  I didn't alter the length at all but clearly my legs are considerably shorter than those of the model.

(And for Daudau, there is no email in your profile to contact you directly, but yes I do live in HK, the pics from my birthday were taken at Pacific Place).

Monday 11 June 2012

Butterick 5749

I was inspired by many bloggers to make myself a birthday dress.  My birthday is actually today (Monday), but I chose to celebrate over the whole weekend instead!  I made this jersey dress by Butterick - it's from the Suzie Chin Maggy Boutique range and I loved all the elements in this design.

I made this up in a bright pink jersey which is not a colour I usually wear, but the closely spaced black butterflies printed on it help to calm it down a bit.  Or maybe I am going through some kind of mid life crisis.

I made a size 12  which is my usual Vogue size but in this Butterick design it was too big in the front bodice and I had to take a couple of 1 inch tucks in the neckline of the bodice lining to reduce gapping - there is also a bit too much fabric on the bodice layer too, but since it is a cowl I can just about get away with it.  Oddly though the shoulders and rest of the bodice fit just fine.  I will definitely be adjusting the pattern before I make this again though - and I do intend to.

The instructions for this dress were surprisingly good, the addition of a centre back seam means that the whole bodice can be finished cleanly and easily and it looks good from the inside too.

It looked a bit short on the model so for insurance I added a good 6 inches to the skirt length.  Apparently the finished measurements are supposed to be printed on the tissue somewhere but I certainly could not find them. In the end I didn't need the extra length at all and cut some off and made a deep hem.

Bodice close up - you can see I have too much fabric in the cowl

The worst part of making this dress is the cutting out as many of the pieces are single layer and with 60" wide fabric for most of us that means either pinning one piece at a time or having to crawl around on the floor.  I had a 2m piece of fabric and I managed to squeeze all but the back lining out of it (total requirement per the pattern for size 12 is 1.8m fabric and 0.8m lining).  In retrospect it would have been a better idea to use the self fabric for the back lining and contrast lining for the midriff pieces.  Also in my eagerness to get the most out of my fabric I cut one of the midriff pieces out the wrong way up so I had to piece it - luckily with the print and the ruching it is undetectable.

Back view

Side view with zipper

I wore this out to a birthday brunch on Sunday, these flat back pumps would not be my first choice of footwear, but the weather was wet, my knee injury has made a comeback and frankly rain + dodgy knee + high heels + champagne = potential disaster so I played it safe.  I definitely think this can be dressed up a bit more though with some heels when the right occasion and weather comes along. 

Finally I would like to thank Laura for nominating me for an award, but more importantly for bringing her blog to my attention.  It's in Spanish and as you know from my woeful Patrones output my Spanish is non existent, but it is still a joy to look at.  Just take a look at this stunning lace gown for starters....

BurdaStyle 05/2010 - 105

I've been missing for a while because we had a visitor staying from the UK which meant I lost my sewing room for a while.  The good news is that this forced me to give it a much needed tiday up so hopefully I can be a bit more focussed, at least till I mess it up again - I have 2 dresses to show you, first up is a remake from Burda Style May 2010, always good to go with something easy to get the mojo started again.

I first made this dress from a really lousy quality navy blue knit in my stash as I was a bit unsure of the style at the time.  Since then I have worn the dress a lot and vowed to make another one in better quality fabric someday.  I had just enough black knit left to make a brainless pull it on dress for those days when I just can't think what to wear.

On this one I extended the shoulder seam out and also added a binding to the neckline.  I have to admit this was not planned, I attached a folded strip of fabric to the wrong side of the dress and rather than unpick it I wrapped it over to the front and topstitched it in place.   It came out much better than anticipated and gives the dress a more relaxed, sporty feel.

It really doesn't look very appealing on the dressform or hanger, but is so easy to wear, a great summer workhorse.

Here I am wearing it on a night out in Stanley, I realise photos of a black dress at night are pretty useless - we tried to get there in daylight, but missed it!