Thursday, December 16, 2010

Party Dress Number Two - Butterick 5559

I'm so glad I went with my gut. I finished this over the weekend and when I tried it on my husband loved it. Now for most that would be no biggie, but my husband doesn't say much. Usually I get an "It's nice" or "That works" from him, but I actually got a bit of a jaw drop from him which I don't think I even got on our wedding day.

Also, it was a good choice for the party which was last night. There was an array of clothing, from hootchie mamma to matronly and from jeans to sequins, so I fit in the middle nicely. It was also frigid here and this ponte is nice and warm.

I loved this pattern from the minute I saw it. I couldn't believe it was a Butterick. They surely aren't my grandmother's Butterick anymore. This dress is very fitted and pretty darn sexy if you ask me. I don't usually make things with that high of a neckline but I went for it. That neckline usually makes my bust look huge. I'm going to say that it definitely didn't minimize it but I don't think I look any more out of proportion than I normally do ;-)

The pattern itself is actually quite a simple pattern. You do however need to be patient enough to mark all the lines and the darts reasonably carefully. The goal of the dart placement is so that it hides underneath the folds of the lines. I have one that is slightly off but you can't really tell too much. Ponte is such a great fabric is you can wear poly, it hides so much.

Below are the pictures of the marks. I marked both the lines and the darts on the wrong side but should have done the darts on them on the right side. It was a "doh" moment. It ended up working out ok, just took a bit longer to pin them.



You do need to stretch the garment while you are stitching the lines so that when you stretch it to put it on you don't rip the threads. I popped a couple of them while trying it on and had to fix them. Straight stitching and a stretchy fitted garment are not conduscive. A straigter zig zag stitch didn't look right on the folds. I was careful when I put it on last night but it doesn't deter me from loving this dress. If I make it again, I'll make sure to stretch it more when I sew the folds.

I did end up cutting out a 14 and did end up only taking 1/4 inch seams on the sides. It did fit like they said it would. Normally Butterick has quite a bit of ease but this didn't. The shoulders fit me great in the 14 but I should have cut the sides from the bust to the hips in a 16. It would have given me bigger seam allowances and been easier to sew but I think the sizing ended up roughly the same. I don't know how I would have done an FBA on this and didn't even try. Ponte is quite a forgiving material so I just went with it. I didn't have any funky pulling across the front really, maybe a smidge but it loosened up as the night went on. This is quite a fitted dress though.

I'm actually extemely happy with the dress. I love the royal blue ponte, I love the fit and the style. I can see me making this again. I don't think it would work in a lighter weight I think the dress needs some heft to it. I might try it in a stretch woven though. Ponte is one of my favorite fabrics. I know lots of folks don't like poly but this one is a nice blend of poly/rayon/lycra from FabricMart. I bought it in just about all the colors they offered it in. I still have about 2 1/2 yards of this blue left too.

I wish you could see the details better. It was hard to get a picture of. Usually I take them until I get one I like but DH offered to take the picture and wasn't really patient in getting a good one.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Plan B

Well I made a practice dress for the McCalls knit dress. I liked it, but didn't love it. I think it was the fabric I chose. It was just some thinner rayon knit and it kind of drooped in the bodice on my. I cut out a 14 based on reading reviews that it ran big, yes, it does run big. I will definitely cut a smaller size in the shoulders on the next one. My practice dress is very salvagable but at the moment it just didn't interest me. I thought maybe once I got started on the good stuff I'd be happier. I laid it out all neat and was about to cut into it but just couldn't. There was that little voice in the back of my head telling me it wasn't right...ok, so maybe I'm crazy but whenever I have ignored this little voice, I don't like the garment. So, I listened this time instead of cutting in to the gorgeous silk jersey. I folded it all up neatly and put it away for future inspiration.

So, it really wasn't that I lost my mojo, it was just not the right pattern or the right fabric for the moment. Instead, as I told my husband, I was more in a $5.99 yard poly/rayon/lycra mood versus the $30 a yard silk jersey mood. I cut this out last night. It's Butterick 5559. It's not a neckline that I normally wear and may stretch it out a bit into a boatneck but I'm waiting to give it a try first. But holy darts and lines Batman! It looks like an easy pattern but there is a lot of prep to mark all the darts and folds. I cut out a straight 14 with no FBA. The measurements say it's 38 1/2 inches in the bust finished which is a smidge too tight for me, but I find that Butterick runs larger than they say IMO. I'm going to take 1/4 seams instead of 5/8 inch seams and then take in as I need to or not. I don't even know how I'd do an FBA on this. It has side darts on both sides of the front but they aren't even and there are three darts on one side but only one on the other. I have the front and back bodice marked and will take a picture before I sew them in.

And just to make things difficult, the pattern did not include one of the facing pieces in size 14. There were two size 16s. I even laid them on top of each other and they were the same. Printing error! So I had to grade down the 16, hopefully it will be right. It's just the facing so I can tweak it if necessary. I may end up redrafting them anyways if I make the neck more boatnecky.

Pictures to follow tonight.

Here's the fabric. It looks like it's $6.99 a yard but I got it on sale at FabricMart.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Party Dress Number Two

I seem to have lost my mojo...oh were did you go mojo??? I have a second dress to make for my husband's work party. But having found out that jeans are acceptable to wear, I'm wondering now if I'll be too dressed up. It's in a big ballroom and an event center. I guess there were several people who complained years past that it they didn't want to dress up. Well I just don't get it, I guess to each his own though. There will be several hundred people there so I'm sure there will be a variety.

At this moment I've decided on McCall's 5974 - Palmer Pleitsch Perfect Knit dress.

I didn't even have this pattern which is strange for me. I buy so much when they are on sale. Luckily, Joann's had a sale this past weekend. Someone brought up this pattern as a copycat for the Kate Middleton engagement dress. I'm not trying to copy it, especially since my fabric is a light tangerine color, but I thought it would really do the silk jersey justice.

I like to make a practice dress out of a casual/work fabric. I hate making muslins, especially for knitwear, but do make some for fitted things. So instead, before I cut the good stuff, I make a practice one I know I will wear. I don't doubt I can get it to fit and that I will like it. I just want the experience of making it once before I used the $30 a yard stuff for it ;-)

I've been working on a vest as a third piece in the Endless combinations but it's not going well and I got frustrated. So, I'm going to put that down and work on the dress. If I get the dress done, which I also need by the 15th, then I will return to the Endless combination contest. If not, then oh well...

It's so cold here that I will likely move on to my winter coat!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Burda Magazine 10-2008 Issues for Sale

I ended up with three copies of this issue. I have two complete issues that I want to sell. Now I think I've used all the issues, long story!, but nonetheless each one has all their pieces. The pattern sheets have all been removed from the magazine but are all there, however a couple may have been cut in half for ease of tracing.

$10 per issue not including shipping. Actual shipping charged but I have no idea what it would be.

Link to the archive on the Russian Burda site.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Party Dress Numero Uno

It's finished and I wore it last night. I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. This is a great pattern and I can't believe it doesn't have 50 reviews on Pattern Review. I found it shearly by accident. I was trying to figure out what to make and was perusing through the old Burda's I have. I need to pick up some more back issues. Anyway, this dress jumped out at me from the page because it was made out of metallic jersey, which is the exact fabric I was looking at making the dress out of. There were only two reviews on PR for it but both were good. So I made a practice version. I knew I would like the style and pretty much figured it would be flattering so the one I made was out of some nice fabric from a new to me ebay seller, High End Fabrics. This is some of the European Viscose fabric. This print is gone I think but the fabric was wonderful!

This isn't hemmed yet since I put it aside to work on the party dress. I didn't have enough fabric for the inside bodice piece so it is some grey poly. However, I think I laid out the pattern wrong. When I laid it out on the party dress fabric I didn't have enough either, but when I went back to the picture of the layout and actually followed the instructions, I had enough. I SMART! It really didn't matter though because you can't even see the inside bodice at all in the finished dress.

You can see here how it pulls a bit on the sides. This is why I added a little to the drapes. My party version did this too though, but not quite as badly. The other reviews mentioned something about this too. The dress is pulled together at the waist and over the bust by the drapes so I think this is just a bit inherent in the design.

Edited to add a picture of me in the print dress. I finished up the hems on it tonight. I see this as a major go to dress. I can see me wearing it a ton! It's that great combination of feeling like you're wearing jammies, being stylish and flattering all at the same time. A win-win dress!

I find I don't photograph well in prints. I'm pretty unphotogenic to begin with though. Despite the photos, this dress is probably more flattering in person than the party dress is in my opinion.

For the party dress version I did a bit of an FBA on this which amounted only to adding 1/2 inch to the drapes. The bodice underneath is plenty large enough without any additions. My party version is fully lined with either a nude color poly (at the bodice) or power mesh. The fabric was very thin and while I don't think it is see through, I think the lining makes it lay a lot nicer. If you hang the dress on a hanger, the front pulls the sides forward. Even though this looks like it should be wrong, it's not. It's the design of the dress. But as I said, I did add 1/2 inch to the drape side for myself as an FBA. You also might need to fiddle with how they lay. The first version I didn't have any bulging out of the drape, probably because it was tight. On the second version, the spot where the top of the drape attaches to the side bulged out a smide. This is the side where the drape is on top. The other side, the drape is buried underneath the other drape. I just pulled the edge a little tighter before basting down the sides.

Now for the party dress. Sadly, these pictures don't do this fabric justice. And these pictures were taken at 11 at night after the party. No wrinkles, stretching, etc! It's from EmmaOneSock and is the most gorgeous cream/gold metallic jersey. It's soft and yummy! It was a big seller on her website a year or so ago. I missed the first batch but then she got some more in and I grabbed it. It's been aging in the stash for awhile for the perfect thing to make with it. I was considering a shirt like the Jalie tie front top but then thought about a party dress out of it. I think she actually as some more on her website now.

I'm pretty sure this is the same fabric.

Metallic Jersey

Some interior shots.