Burda 7-2014-113: Cycling / Sport Dress

We are back from our grand tour and I have so much to share about the kindness of international bloggers, lingerie fabric shopapalooza and our fantastic trip in general. But, I figured I’d start with the most sewing related, which is my cycle dress previewed before I left. I’m not sure how long cycling dresses have been around. But, it was Ann Marie from Montreal on Facebook who first suggested one to me. WHO KNEW? Plus, Claire has done all these terrific posts on making her own biking gear. I decided I wanted to wear bike dresses for this trip for a few reasons. 1. I do not look good in bike shorts. 2. I love dresses. 3. Packing is so easy!

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As soon as I saw this pattern in the July 2014 BurdaStyle I thought it was perfect. It has a short flared skirt, the zipper in the front is great for venting and I wanted to keep my shoulders covered. I’ll tell you this much, it was referred to as a tennis dress on our trip more than once! But, overall was a hit with the women in our group.  What I found amusing is that our group was dressed in serious biking gear. All bike shorts, jerseys and racing helmets.  I felt my outfits were right in the middle and I didn’t look too athletic for our 50km a day rides. And, um, I’m not wearing a stitch of makeup in 80 percent of these photos. Please, don’t judge me :)

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in Ghent, Belgium

Anywhoo, a few details.  Alterations included unpetiting the pattern and making a FBA. I made three versions for the trip. The first in blue and grey was really my muslin. It’s made from something or the other from some online store or the other. I seriously have minimal recollection.I think it’s four years old.

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This fabric was TERRIBLE for this. It’s too thin, not enough recovery and you can see my drawers. I made the back all dark grey since I thought light blue would make my rear look wide as a trailer. This fabric was a BEYOTCH to get through my Brother Coverstitch. I, um, don’t know that this version is staying in my collection.

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I also recommend adding several inches to the length if you make this one up. It’s short. Especially on a bike. The other change I made was just to use an invisible zipper at the center front instead of an exposed zip. I totally would have done one if I’d had a sport plastic style on hand. But, I didn’t.

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The other two versions were fabric from the DelMarVa blogger meet up 18 months ago. I got it from Beth who I think was planning golf clothes. I don’t remember why she gave up the ghost. But, it worked out well for me! The fabric was from FabricMart probably three years ago and some kind of wicking athletic fabric. I essentially let the amount of fabric I have dictate the print placement.

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On the reddish burgundy, the print is through the center front and center back only. Super narrow cut. I also added an inseam zipper pocket for my phone or snacks. I ran out of the print and used plain black jersey from my stash for the neck and sleeve bands.

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On the tan/ cafe au lait, the dahlia print is on the outside edges. The tan version proved to be my most popular one on Instagram.

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You’ll note I didn’t follow Burda’s suggested color blocking. Because, when you sew you don’t have to.

For all three versions, I used my coverstitch to finish. And, on the tan, I added an extra inch. I am so not well versed in my overstitch usage. This project was good for getting me to use it more. But, I notice on thin fabrics it was really stretching it out (note the neckline on the red version). But, it loved the beefier Fabric Mart knits I made the final two from (note the flat neckline on the tan version).

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I’m wearing padded shorts underneath all of them.

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I wore these dresses for the one week we were biking (washing one each night in the sink) so they were worn twice each. In the mornings I would put on my Under Armour cropped studio jacket. It also helped make it look different.

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As for the weather…It was kind of terrible some days, lol! There was one day I didn’t bike at all because it was freezing and starting to sprinkle. Me and two Brazillians stayed on board. At the end of the day, Jordan came back and said it was awful. The temps dipped below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 mins into the ride, cold, horizontal rain. Some of the people came back having used the lunch sandwich bags as little gloves to keep the cold and rain from their fingers. I went from feeling lazy for staying on board the barge to super smart in 22 seconds. It also was a cold snap in general with temps about 20 degrees (F)  less than they were at home and ten degrees (F) less than is normal for that time of year. We had to go to H&M our first day in town and stock up on warmer clothing. Like, fall coats. Layers I had. But, not enough long pants to keep me warm when not biking.

Overall, I REALLY like this pattern. I’m totally making it up in the winter with 3/4 sleeves in wool jersey.  The pattern needs some tweaking in the upper bust for fit (wrinkles) before I make it up for regular wear. But, as is, these are great for running, tennis, golfing and biking :-) It’s a little Star Trekie. But, I happen to really like Star Trek. And, Star Wars. And, the X-Men franchise. And, the Avengers….

BWOF 11-2007 #107 : Pink and Cream Seersucker Cross Dart Dress

Oh, hey.

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I don’t know know that there is a seersucker I don’t like.  I started this dress almost two months ago to wear to a summer ‘picnic wedding’ in upstate NY where the dress was ‘summer semi-formal’. I didn’t get it done in time :-(

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My sewing of this dress greatly benefited from having lots of extra fabric. I had to recut the bodice three time due to incredible user error. I first used this seersucker to make a sailor-inspired skirt two years ago. The fabric is kind of see through, so this time I underlined the bodice with cotton batiste.

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I’ve wanted to make this dress since it came out in 2007. I thought the bodice darts were so interesting. Add a full pleated skirt and it’s totally speaking my language.

 

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Not only did I need an FBA, I had to move the darts down a good 1.5 inches too in addition to changing the angle of the darts downward. So, while it doesn’t look exactly like the original, it fits and flatters me so much better.

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Like a dolt, I sewed up the shoulders and sides before remembering the correct sleeveless construction order. That meant I needed to use a bit of bias at the neckline so I could clean finish everything. This would have also looked awesome if I’d used the binding at the armholes too (thought for next time).

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The inside of this dress is really my favorite. I used the time consuming but my favorite method: facing lining combo.  I drafted the bodice lining using the included facing. I looks so ready to wear to me! It’s much more work, but worth the effort I think. There is no peeping out of lining from the sleeves or neckline this way.

I used ALL the machines on this dress. Sewn up on my Bernina 830 using the AMAZING invisible zipper foot.

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Seriously. Perfect insertion every time. I hate to admit that this sucker was worth the $40.

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The hem of the lining is made with my Brother Coverstitch (my new favorite way to do lining).

 

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And the hem of the dress itself is secured with rayon tape and my Japanese-made  blind hemmer (using the invisible thread).

Seriously. All. The. Machines.

I think this dress would benefit from a belt. But, I don’t have one that works. Yet. I’m thinking a pale blue or teal? I would also make the tulle underskirt if I need this for dress up rather than work.

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Overall, I’m meh on the dress. I put a ton of effort in to it. But, I really don’t like it on me. On the dressform it’s rocking. But, the proportions are ever so slightly off on me and I look like a rectangle.  I’m sorry it didn’t make it to the wedding as thematically it was perfect. I am just off my sewing game as of late. I have one more skirt to post that I made a few weeks ago and I’ll be caught up in project back log.

Granny’s 90th Birthday Party Dress: Vogue Patterns 8633

As I started to write this blog post, I looked up Carolyn’s blog. It was her post that alerted me to this fabric at Metro three years ago (and she sent it to me too!). Then, I clicked the link to Allison C’s blog (she bought the same fabric) and see she used the same fabric, on the same pattern, on Fourth of July weekend three years ago. How funny is that?  I actually said out loud, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”  hehehe.


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For my (maternal) Granny’s 90th birthday party this past weekend in Brooklyn (New York), I went in to deep deep stash and pulled out this border print cotton.  One reason I was committed to sewing and wearing a dress is that my grandmother was a seamstress in Carriacou, Grenada, WI. She was sent as a small girl down the road to a woman who taught her how to sew. My grandfather was also a tailor in Grenada. It makes me feel incredibly connected to my roots when I make clothes. I caught my mom looking at me once when I was adjusting a garment on her. She said it reminded me of her father. I never met my grandfather, he passed before I was born. All that being said, granny didn’t teach me how to sew. I learned in Home Ec and from books. But, I do remember her making a dress for me in college. And, I remember her inspecting my work when I started sewing. Granny thought I did a good job even though I needed a pattern (that I paid good money for no less!). Oh, she said I also needed to work on my  finishing :-) 

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From the Vogue website. View DE.

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I decided to let the stripes speak on the border print. I did think about the stripe placement. The possibilities (with enough material) for placement with this dress are endless. I could have done the entire bodice in stripes. Or placed the stripes on one side. Or, just did the skirt in stripes and kept the bodice solid. Seriously, endless possibilities.

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The cotton has a thinner hand. So, I underlined the bodice and waistband with silk organza. The dress is lined throughout with black cotton batiste. I finished the skirt hem with my blind hemmer and a little hem tape. I am in love with my hemmer y’all!

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I despise facings. But, on this, I see how it works. I was able to use my blind hemmer to attach the facing so it wasn’t floppy. I’m still getting the hang of it….. A colleague wore a similar dress last week. The ‘V’ is lined with lining all the way to the edge (rather than a facing) She said her neckline always flips out. So, for that reason I’m glad I have the facing.

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I cut and sewed a 14. Made a 1/2 inch FBA and took in the waist about one inch.  I also did not make a swayback. The bias skirt give a TON of volume and awesome swing. 

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This skirt is not rear end friendly if you’ve got some junk in the trunk. On me, I think I look wider than I am in the butt and hips because of the folds of the bias skirt.

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Even on the dress form, I think it adds some width. Or, I’m just telling myself that…

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I was super happy to see my parents this weekend too. They drove up to NYC from Florida.

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 I don’t know when my dad got so grey in the beard. He’s a handsome devil isn’t he? My mom is standing with a first cousin below. And that’s a cousin behind us.

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So, peeps, I’m getting old. My cousins are having babies and I’m a second cousin to five (the oldest being a pre-teen 12). Here’s a photo with the newest addition to our family (she’s an identical twin). You can see her sister in a matching outfit through the door. I remember when her mom was still in diapers!!  She’s so STINKING precious. Oh, those are two more cousins behind us.

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Here’s a first cousin. We’re only 30 years apart :-) That’s another first cousin behind us to the left.

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And a first cousin from my generational cohort.  That’s another first cousin behind us. I can’t even count all the cousins. I think… 15 first cousins plus the five second cousins were in attendance.

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Super happy with my dress. I’m very pleased I was able to wear it in honor of my grandmother. Because of an incident, she was not physically able to attend her celebration on Sunday.  It was a wonderful tribute to her to see how many people she’s impacted. If you have any extra prayers and positive vibes to give out, they’d be greatly appreciated right about now.

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Burda Magazine 9/2012 #109: Blue Wool Sweater Dress

I’m continuing my current passion for sweater knits in this Burda sheath dress from September 2012. While I’m still tracing mine from the magainze (tears), you can download it for a mere $5.40 from the BurdaStyle website here.

This marine blue knit was purchased in the same bundle as the autumnal pullover I just completed. The knit is incredibly soft. I love the way the colors meld in this knit. I originally sewed this dress to wear to a Hanukkah party and have pulled it out a few times for work since then.

Since the pattern uses the same upper body model as my recent pullover, the FBA alterations on the French darts / busts were already done.

I love the sleeve technique used. See the pleat at the deltoid? It’s sewn in one fell swoop with the shoulder seam.

Next time I make this dress (and there will be a next time) I’m going to use the same back neckline  from the original pullover. I decided to skip the zipper, but you’ll see here in the back that this dress version doesn’t have the v-shape back necline as the pullover.

That makes the dress little bit of a stretch to get in and out of since I use interfacing along the neckline and armholes to reduce… well, stretching. Also, I think this a lot of dark fabric too close to my face. I thrive in color and I think something more open in the neckline might be more flatterning.

Is it strange that only in the last two years I’ve noticed how incredibly short my neck is? Strange because I’ve always thought my mom had a short neck. Now, I think *I* have a short neck. Which means, of course, that I’m well on my way to becoming my mother….

Notice I’m not holding a remote nor am I in my backyard or dining room? It’s was so foggy when I wore this dress. So, I talked my friend Liz in to being my photographer and this is our conference room. Man, it’s so much easier to have someone else take your pictures (as long as they know you need 60 to have one good shot).

Look at me! I’m ‘working’.

Look at me! I’m ‘modeling’

Heh.

I’m a fan of this dress and have to thank Caroline for turning me on to the style! I feel more coming in wool jersey, don’t you?

I have two more sweater knit projects coming, including something I never thought I’d make. A cardigan! Stay tuned :)

The material for this dress was purchased in part using an allowance from Mood Fabrics for the Mood Sewing Network

Burda Magazine 5-2011-111: Purple Friday Wool Tunic

I’m on to my second Purple Friday ensemble for this football season. Hey there Oona… how about that game on Sunday?

In Baltimore, we wear purple for our American football team the Baltimore Ravens on Fridays. Why? Well, they mostly play on Sunday and Purple Fridaysare a way to show pride and support in the team. Did I mention my house is right behind the old Memorial Stadium?

Every Friday of football season is PURPLE FRIDAY!!!! Proudly wear your purple to work or school to support the Ravens! — Ravenstown

This is the true color of the dress

I wanted to make a simple shift for Purple Fridays that could also be worn on the weekend during winter. I want more casual clothes   that look nice and not ‘I rolled out of bed and threw on yoga pants’.

I started the shift dress from the May 2011 Burda Magazine during Superstorm Sandy. It was a simple project that I could complete in a day. And, I did. A few hours actually.

But, I’m salty about the fit with those fold lines under my bust. I’m not sure if the need for an FBA would solve the problems.  I know it’s a another sack dress but the folds are A-nnoying. Maybe one fold for each 1/4 inch I should have adjusted for?

I asked a few friends that are smaller up top to try on and the folds go away.

Here on Trena (obviously three sizes too big for her too) and below on my B Cup dress form.

I decided to forgo the facings and use a woven bias binding. This is my first time doing this kind of finishing technique on a woven and I’m really pleased. I also like leather and contrast bindings I see on RTW and now I have a good way of doing them consisently well.

The material is a wool in a violet shade of purple from the Carol Collection. I originally thought I’d make a skirt in the fabric but Purple Friday called and I thought this shift would be fun.

Oh, here’s a photo of the back. I omitted the ties (and the pockets). I can kind of picture metal chains instead. Hmm, maybe a T-back shirt in black too (my bra definitely shows without). Ooh, a lacy T-back would be hot.

I’m wearing the dress with leggings. It’s too short for me as drafted to wear with pantyhose.  I’ve already altered the paper pattern for a FBA and a swayback adjustment. Why didn’t I when I started? I thought it just wouldn’t matter :)

The dress looks pretty good in movement and I think it works well with the leggings and boots. It’s fun because the front is simple and all the interest in really in the back. It is just the look I wanted. Casual, but styled.

My immediate boss was a fan. She said I was dressing rather chic lately. I realized after she said so that she never wears prints and for work only wears black, navy and sometimes white. Her clothes are very tailored and architectural. She also specializes in large earrings and big jewelry. I like her style.  I wouldn’t say this was chic exactly. But, very minimalist. I have about three garments she’s really complimented. Hmmm, that might make an interesting post!

I think I’m going to make two more Purple Friday items. That let’s me get through a month without repeating.

 

I hope you (Americans) have a Happy Thanksgiving! I’m not going to see my parents this year (Can you say $600 tickets!?!?!) and I’m a little pouty about it. But, as I detest traveling on the holidays (chaos and stress) there is a silver lining to hanging out with local friends. Plus, I get to put my new *pink* Christmas tree up as soon as I digest my Thanksgiving dinner :-)

Vogue 1252: Tracy Reese Ruched Leopard Print Dress

Tadaa!! It’s finally done, Vogue 1252: the Tracy Reese Ruched Dress. While I still have a little Golden Girls vibe from the animal print, once I added the skirt, I started to like it a lot more. I found myself having to just walk away several times in order not to give up on this pattern.

Issues: As Amanda pointed out, this dress has no negative ease built in to the outer fashion fabric. I had to take a total of six inches out of the bodice to get a ruched look.

And, I still don’t think it’s ruched enough at the front since I only took out two inches from the front bodice vs four inches in the back.

Also, I didn’t make a FBA — which I could use. Paticularly in the drape. Some extra length and width there would make it lay the way I want (all the way across the boobage).

When you sew this dress, you’ll notice that the lining needs to be stable because it must carry the weight of the very full four-panel skirt and support the ruching of the bodice.

I decided to skip the elastic at the skirt waist casing. Well, I didn’t decide. I forgot about it during construction. The dress is snug  enough at the waist without it. But, I’d likely take in the waist another inch or two if I were sewing again. I think this cut (or maybe the gathered skirt) makes my waist look a little thicker. This might be better suited to someone who is not as well defined in the middle.

I also messed up by sewing in the bodice lining before the skirt lining. I had no interest in taking it off to add the skirt lining so I just left it out. I do like the clean finish the lining provides. I never really think about linings on a knit. I will now.

At first I thought I put the pockets in the wrong place. As drafted, they are in the front skirt seam instead of the side seam.

So, why is it impossible to find a non-seperating 20 inch zipper with aluminum teeth that’s not custom? My friend’s roommate makes felted wool bags (available here). He had a roll of aluminum zipper teeth on black tape and he cut one for me to my specs for $4. That’s what it would have cost to order online special – minus the $8.95 shipping. Oh, the zipper was also waaaay shorter than the opening the pattern called for.  Not sure if this is a pattern error or how you sew a vaguely exposed zipper. I confess to not reading the directions on inserting the zipper.

This dress is so far outside of my comfort zone in this animal print. I have many reasons for not loving animal prints, all are nitpicky and solely my issues. But, I’m glad I went with it for this. The fabric was a G Street / Groupon special and I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise. I do think I had this dress in mind when I purchased. And, of all the animal prints, this one seemed not so bad.

My dress was wildly popular in the office Wednesday. The women where I work are snazzy dressers. If totally get extra credit for making my own clothes. If I didn’t, I’d be considered one of the least interesting dressers at my job. My big boss is trying to talk me in to giving this dress to her. She loves an animal print.

As much as I like this dress and as good as I think it looks. I don’t think I can recommend this pattern. I love it. But it needs a lot of tweaking to work. The tweaking is in part based on the amount of stretch your material has. But, maybe the trick is to start by sizing down one or two sizes. If you’re patient, go for it. If you are not patient, leave it alone.

** It was 34 degrees this morning. I’m not ready for winter! So, I’m starting early with the indoor photography. I want to get better at getting the coloring (well… my coloring) right. I really need to check out an external flash and some classes.

Vogue 8825: Royal Blue and Gold Silk Jersey

After my Purple Friday dress, it feels great to return to my bold and graphic print roots!

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But, let me tell you. This was the slowest silk sewing, evah. Let me splain you.

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I first saw this silk jersey material in store at Mood Fabrics back in August. I hemmed and hawed and finally placed a phone order in October (now sold out).  I loved the blue and gold because they are my sorority colors and I knew I could get some good wear out of it during graduate chapter and regional meetings. Since the silk was just 45″ wide, I bought five yards at $25 a yard. I seriously debated the investment (hence the two month wait to purchase). But, both Trena and Liz pointed out a similar RTW dress would easily be twice as much.

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This is my second time sewing with silk jersey. This Prarie NY silk jersey presented some new challenges for me. The fabric was ‘tough’ in that even when pinning, I had trouble penetrating the material. I knew silk was strong (silk thread for buttonholes, silk organza for stablising, etc.). But, my serger  just wanted to eat this material. I tried both stretch and ball point needles and my overlocker was having none of it. My sewing machine was punching holes through the jersey I wanted to cry. I think I may have a little.

I posted on Facebook and had some superhelpful responses. I went out and bought microtex and titanium needles upon the suggestions of the Interwebs. Both sewed through the silk like a knife through butter. It’s my first time experiencing this challange. But, again, only my second time with silk jersey.

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I did a little handtacking of the collar to keep it in place. In a similar dress to this from Burda, there is interfacing throughout the facing and collar. I think this is a better way to stabilise the front.Photobucket

I took two inches off the bottom and decided not to ‘finish’ the hem. I made my usual alterations of a slight FBA and a big swayback adjustment. I sewed a 12 and the fit seems to be good. I am very self conscious about my lower thighs (saddlebags), so a slip is needed for me when I wear this dress.  Photobucket

The puzzle print is pretty bold. And, for a hot second I thought about trying to match the motif. But, decided not to bother.

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There is some mirroring on the upper back. Trust me, I can live with it.

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The skirt could probably be cut on the fold, but for my swayback adjustment purposes, I like a center back seam.

If you see my cuffs, they are folded under toward the inside. On PatternReview.com I read some people took length out of the sleeves.

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I thought the length of the sleeve was fine, but the cuff wide for my taste. So, I’m folding it back.

Have I mentioned my mom *hates* sashes on me? She calls them ‘that fabric in front of you hanging from your waist’. HAHAHA! She cracks me up.

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Overall, I’m thrilled. This dress is *so* me.  It’s body conscious without being tarty, the bold print, the shape of the skirt, the full sleeves. The silk. Man, the silk. I want to have a work week of silk jersey dresses. It’s so luxe.  I love that I’m wearing a dress that would start at retail around $300.  Absolutely worth the investment.

The material for this dress was purchased in part using an allowance from Mood Fabrics for the Mood Sewing Network.

Purple Fridays: Simplicity 2568

In Baltimore, we wear purple for our American football team the Baltimore Ravens on Fridays. Why? Well, they mostly play on Sunday and Purple Fridays are a way to show pride and support in the team. Did I mention my house is right behind the old Memorial Stadium?

Every Friday of football season is PURPLE FRIDAY!!!! Proudly wear your purple to work or school to support the Ravens! — Ravenstown

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I get called out on my lack of purple during football season. It’s really almost embarrassing in my particular office. I promised myself this was the year I’d have my Purple Friday dress. And, just like it was meant to be, Mood Fabrics sent me this aubergine double twill as a sample of the fall season. And, as you can see, fall is here. Someone should rake these leaves *cough*.

Yes, double twill cotton. The material is 100 percent cotton and very dense. It would make a great jacket, or a mod like dress with structure (oh, you know, like this one…). I’ve never sewn or seen anything like this before. But, it pre-washed well (and lightened a bit in color) and sews in the awesome way that natural fibers do.

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I was unsure what to make with the material and decided to paw through my pattern stash. I stumbled across Simplicity 2568 and declared View B “perfect”. I was really worried this dress would be shapeless on me. But, I think it’s flattering and the fabric is perfect!

Because the material is prone to fraying, I did serge every single piece.

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I went with black and golden brass zippers to stay with the Baltimore Ravens theme.

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The pockets sew into the side seam. So, if you are grading the skirt out at all, make sure you make the same alteration to the pocket. Ask me how I know…

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Yo! First time with an exposed zipper! The great thing about this material is it was able to support a pretty substantial zipper.

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Because of the stiffer hand, I didn’t need interfacing in the collar like the pattern suggested. It also doesn’t wrinkle much despite being 100 percent cotton.

I love this dress! I got a dozen compliments the first time I wore it to the office. Because it’s cotton I can wear it during the summer. But, because it’s a nice dense cotton, it’s also fall appropriate.

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I do not play. Purple dress. Purple eye shadow. Purple glasses.

So, there’s my first Purple Friday Dress. I have a second one planned (about three garments from now) in an amazing stretch wool I got last weekend at Mood.

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Go Ravens!

The material for this dress was purchased from Mood Fabrics using an allowance provided to me by the Mood Sewing Network

Burda Magazine 2-2009-124: The Officiant Dress

Here’s the happy couple!!

Saturday night I officiated my friend’s wedding. It was beautiful! Her dress was amazing. Like, seriously, amazing.

Not only did I finish my dress on time, I had several people tell me how well the dress colors fit into her plum and grey wedding. Since there was a large NYC / PR / fashion contingency, I was asked a few times if I was a designer. Well, first they asked if I had a theater background and then when they found out I made my dress, they asked I was a designer. It’s so funny how it just doesn’t occur to people that you might sew for *fun*.

I went back to my celebrant dress (Burda 2-2009-124) last Friday night. I don’t know why I was so unhappy with it. I’m not sure if the style isn’t me or it just wasn’t what I wanted to be sewing, but the only thing I liked was the beautiful Carolina Herrera poly jacquard from Mood Fabrics (seemingly backordered / sold out since my August purchase) . I sewed a 40 on top grading to the largest size on the bottom. Fundamentally, I realize I just sewed a dress that was too big for me. I should have made a 38 grading to a 42.

After sleeping on it, I decided:

  • to peg the hem and taper the bottom for a very narrow pencil, while adding a slit for walking ease
  • to release one inch (total) on each side at my saddle bags to rid myself of drag lines across my thighs
  • take  in one inch from each side of the waist — hoping to eliminate some of the ‘block’ look I was getting.
  • taper the shoulders by taking out two inches at the neckline and blending into the original seam line at the shoulder.

Sigh. Yeah. I’ve been slacking off in the gym and my mental state reflected this as I was sewing. I just thought the original was boxy on me and I looked like a shiny present. This though, this is better. My shoes were ordered from Zappos days before the wedding. I wanted silver to dress up the outfit, and I took some flats with me too. I cannot wear four-inch heels for six hours :) That being said, I bought them in a size 9 and by the end of the night they were a 9.5. I’m thinking of reselling them on eBay.

My friend Julia came as my date…

It’s so interesting to see the colors of the dress shifting depending on the lighting.

 

…and my mom flew in from Florida to watch me officiate.

 

And now, it’s all over! I’m so glad I stuck it out with the pattern and despite early reservations, the material was *perfect*. Gah. I’m so happy I got to pick it out in person at Mood when I was in NYC. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

The venue was the George Peabody Library here in Baltimore. My friend told me when she was my intern 12 years ago that she was getting married here. Over the years, I managed to stay on her running guest list. I never imagined I would be up front marrying her to the perfect man for her.

Here’s a photo of the library (image from Conde Nast Traveler)

I’m not in these, but here’s a Facebook sneak peak of the wedding photos from the very talented photographer. Does it sound dumb when I tell you I didn’t realize I’d be part of the posed photos? LOL! Seriously. It didn’t occur to me. The photographer even noticed my color coordination.

It was such an honor to be part of a gorgeous ceremony with two of my favorite people.

McCalls 6279: Denim Trench Dress

I am predictable about many things. If there are French fries on the menu, I will be ordering them. Given an option for a meal, I always vote for pizza or Mexican. I tend to perfer form over function. And, when it  comes to clothing, give me some trenchy military details and I’m all over it.

I first spoke of wanting a trench dress back in May 2008. But, time flies and I never got around to it. When this McCalls 6279 came out I *almost* didn’t get it because I have an April 2006  Burda with a similar style. But, I’m a sucker for not tracing.

On my list of projects waiting in my stash, I have a trench dress down in two colorways – denim and khaki. A while back someone asked me about being a little more busty and wearing double breasted garments. I’ve never really thought about it. My ribcage is small in comparison to, oh, say the rest of me, so maybe that makes a diff?

I *think* this fabric is from Joanns at least two years ago. It’s a thick denim with some stretch.  I washed and dried it three times and it’s still bleeding blue. What a bee-yotch to cut! My rotary cutter didn’t like it and my scissors just about gave up. My hand and tricep were screaming the next day!

I cut a 14 and took the dress in about 1/2 inch on each side – I could have gotten away with a 12. I made a 1.5 inch princess seam FBA. I made a 1.5 inch swayback adjustment and forgot (as I always do) to add length at center back. So, overall the skirt is is about 1.5 inches shorter than drafted.

This is me realizing that the underskirt is hanging lower than the front skirt. I’ll tell you a secret. I don’t really try clothes on while I’m sewing. I will for general fit once or twice without looking in a mirror (take in waist, etc.) but not to see what it looks like. This blows Trena’s mind. But, I’ve since fixed the wonky hem. So, for the rest of this post, let’s pretend it’s a perfect dress, shall we?

For finishing, I used my invisible hem foot and serged the insides. There is a facing on the inside and I used contrast quilting cotton for that. I wish I was a bigger binder. This would have been so pretty inside with contrast binding.

Topstitching is with Gutterman’s upholstery thread. I also, for the first time, used my edgestitching foot. People. There is some serious love now between me and this foot!

Buttons are from my new favorite source for buttons, Must Love Buttons on eBay and perfect for such a nautical themed dress. I had some simpler buttons, but after conferring with two friends went with these. I am currently obsessed with French nautical. Well, I can’t say currently. I’ve always had a thing for it. Kind of goes with my ‘trenchy military details’ obsession.

So, is this dress work appropriate? My other denim dress with military details is known at the office as my ‘Friday Dress’. So, now I’ll have two denim Friday dresses :-) It’s going to be a great weekend dress too. I can also see myself making up another version with sleeves in khaki.

There you have it! I didn’t do a review on PR. There are a slew of good reviews out there already. I would really love to try this in a peaches and cream seersucker I have, but will defer until next year.

My next two projects are in denim / navy blue. So, I hope you don’t get sick of this color on me.