Saturday, February 14, 2015

Liberty Wool Dress

Hello! This is a really good work I am so proud of! I receive compliments every time I wear it. The fabric is a cheap poly blend I found in a remnant shop, but I must say I elevated it to heaven with this pattern. Now I am only left wishing for a better wool to remake it.My first idea was to make some kind of CocoDress replica, but in a moment of illumination I thought it would be a good chance to try a cut at the waist and circle skirt. The fabric had a great drape and fall, and it was quite thin.So first, I looked into my pattern stash for a bodice. I made a dress pattern last winter which could be perfect. It is the Close Fitting Bodice Block pattern in page 164 of Aldrich's book. I only had to cut it at the waist (which I had properly marked at the pattern). I thought the fabric, since it was a little transparent at the light, would need a lining, which would also serve the purpose of a muslin. I had some black elasticated jersey (another cheap poly blend, but the dress wool was not wonderful neither), in which I cut the bodice and a full circle skirt (instructions are also in Alddrich's, page 86). At the first fitting, I saw the full skirt was too much. It was so full it produced folds falling from my poor waist that had a widening effect. But apart from that it looked OK and it fitted me. I only had to modify the front armsythe a couple of cm off and enter a couple of cm off the waist too. Easy easy even for my poor fitting skills.

I proceeded to cut the dress wool, but I decided a half circular skirt would be enough. At the first fitting I saw the result would be stunning. I looked feminine, gracious, and it fitted me like a glove. The half circular skirt was perfect. I only had to take 2 cm off the back bodice length (and consequently off the skirt bottom hem. I also realised the bodice did not need a lining. It was faintly transparent, but in an attractive way. So I cut the lining skirt off, and change it into a half circular.I machine stitched all the dress (previously basted for fitting) with a very narrow zigzag (to allow some give at the seams). I cut the seam allowances at 0.5cm and machine zigzagged it, imitating an overlock work. I attached the skirt lining to the waist seam allowance, and finished the neck, sleeves and bottom hem with a hidden slipstitch.Finally, I made some tabs for a small leather belt, and tadaaaa...

Finally, I modified the paper bodice pattern for safe keeping. This is a definite keeper!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Print Dress Cut at the Waist

I bought this beautiful/ugly/weird print fabric as a remnant last winter, and finally I found a good reason to make it: one has never dresses enough! The fabric is beautiful, an expensive designer fabric with a wonderful coloured print that I suspect is some poly blend. I am growing to hate artificial plastic fabrics, but maybe I had a bad day last winter... or maybe it was the cheap price of the remnant, I can't remember...I was also inspired by the idea of a "flowery" dress cut at the waist with a gathered skirt, so feminine and becoming to the figure. So I decided to review all my Burda magazines to look for a suitable pattern. I love Burda magazines because for 5 euros you have a bunch of different patterns in different sizes. The individual pattern system you girls get from the states or the UK are VERY expensive in my view. I've only bought 4 or 5 of them, specially vintage patterns or very special ones. How I regret throwing away my mum's Burda magazine collection (thinking they were old fashioned) is beyond words, by the way.
Well, I found a pattern which, with some modifications, could be what I imagined for my fabric.
The main changes were three:

  • Adding a hidden waist band to keep the dress in its place.
  • Enlarging the bodice 4cm to get to my waist (the pattern has a high waist).
  • I changed the bust darts, and made them regular bust darts from waist to bust point. I did this with the help of my dressmaker, placing the darts at the same point of the skirt darts.
After so many modifications, and a result that is just OK but not wonderful, makes that pattern not really a keeper. Next time, I will test another pattern or make my own, for a dress cut at the waist. But meanwhile, I have yet another dress for next spring.

Here I am wearing it with my new Pedro Miralles low boots and a leather belt.