Saturday, 25 July 2015

Floral frenzy

Guys, Guys, Guys!!!  I MADE A THING!!!

 ...Actually, me making stuff isn't that unusual, but I'm BLOGGING this thing... an honour virtually unheard of amongst the majority of my wardrobe.

So, anyway this dress. What can I say about this dress?
1) This dress feels like spring and happiness and all things right in the world
2) This is the first time I've lined a sleeveless dress bodice
3) The pattern is Cynthia Rowley's Simplicity 1873.
4) I bastardised that pattern to the point where it's barely recognisable.
5) Despite said bastardisation the fabric's print hides basically all the details, meaning it looks exactly like the original pattern from a distance. *Face-palm*
Sneaky mannequin shot to (hopefully) show bust gathers

Want me to elaborate? I'd be happy to...
This dress started as me trying to recreate one of my favourite (taken in) RTW dresses. The inspiration dress (Seen HERE and HERE-it's day 16) has a fitted bodice with princess seams and gathering all down the center front going into a button band. (Side note: it's basically the Deer and Doe Sureau bodice) I love the original dress, like A LOT, but it's starting to look a bit worse for wear and I had a drafting itch I needed to scratch. Enter the knock-off.

I used Simplicity 1873 as a jumping off point. I bought the pattern  (Ok, got the pattern free in a magazine) at the end of last year with big intentions.

You see, S1873 has good bones. It's a simple 6-dart bodice with high and low neckline variations. I figured if I could get the fit right I'd have a sloper to hack at will. As it turns out fitting was a total nightmare (too traumatising to go into detail)... but since I now have a sloper, I guess it's an Ok trade off. (Sidenote: You've already seen me use S1873 as a sloper for this dress)

Starting point: S1873 view C bodice, size 12
Fit alterations:
-Used the size 14 bust darts (they end further away from the bust-point, so no pointy nipple darts)
-MASSIVE 1.5" swayback which gave me nightmares/heart palpitations
-Took in the side seams about 1/4" at the waist increasing to 1/2" at the armscye to eliminate armhole gape
Style alterations:
- Converted bust darts to princess seams... (PRINCESS SEAMS 4EVA)
-Slashed and spread the bodice to create bust gathers.

  • Starting 5/8" below the neckline, and ending 3/4 of the way down the bodice
  • I spread the pattern to be twice it's normal length for extra fullness
-Added a 1 1/4" faux button band to the center front
On the cuff alterations:
-I sewed up the lining before I cut out the proper fabric, so I could skip a muslin and still check the fit. Turns out my alterations had created some neckline gaping. I was able to dart this out on the lining (the patch the uneven neckline with spare fabric (You can see it a bit in the sixth photo). I then made the same alteration to the pattern before cutting out the real deal.

Other things of note:


-Invisible zip, stabilised with a lightweight woven interfacing. Sidenote: Attaching an invisible zip to a lining by machine for the first time is mind-blowing!
You can see the darts I took out of the lining neckline

-When lining a bodice using this technique ALWAYS understitch the neckline BEFORE you sew the armscyes... otherwise nerve-wracking sewing ensues
Chiffon skirt lining
-Lining skirts with chiffon seems crazy but actually makes a lot of sense. You see, this cotton voile is super lightweight and a little sheer (plus it sticks to tights!) Lining it with a white chiffon 1/4 circle skirt added opacity without bulk (Plus polyester chiffon doesn't stick to tights!)
-Rolled hems for all! And look ma, no hand-stitching!

Moooaaaarrrr bust gather shots

Information overhaul over, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. You see I like this dress, but there a couple things that niggle me about it, stopping it from making the cross over to full-blown romance novel love.

1) Fabric choice
   I like this fabric, really I do- it reminds me of my favourite flowers, Poppies- but it's just so damn pink!! Like seriously I have not worn this much pink since I was 5. I'm pretty sure the first day of spring sent me into a sunshine based delirium after a seemingly never ending winter of Narnia-esque proportions and I went a bit nuts on the floral fabric!

2) Length
     The bodice end just fractionally above my natural waist which irks me more than it probably should. Also I'd prefer just an inch or so more in skirt length.  I already did the worlds tiniest rolled hem to preserve length, but I'd like just a tad more... That's what I get when you're stingy in a fabric shop!

Despite the nitpicking, I this dress has a really special place in my heart. It's just so bright and cheery, it makes me feel like a little kid, but in a good way! Plus, it's pretty much on a weekly rotation so I must like it a bit... I think with a few tweaks I could easily have my dream dress and hey, I might even come around to wearing pink...

(As I typed that I realised that the last two dresses I posted plus the dress I'm working on now have a pink print... How has my wardrobe been subtly invaded by pink?! Am I just going through my unicorn/princess faze 10 years too late?!

...Clearly I need to re-evaluate my stance on pink... But now I'm wondering how many other things I claim to dislike but have been slowly accumulating... Maybe that's what it means to mature; to
become more open and flexible when it comes to changing long-held views... or maybe I'm just reading too much into this whole pink situation... Either way I'm off to have an existential crisis prompted by the colour pink.)

Over and out.

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