Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Another Muslin for a Special Project

I was recently contacted by Organic Cotton Plus about reviewing some of their fabric.


To be honest, I have had my eyes on this hemp/silk blend fabric for some time.  It's pretty luscious, right?!  The color is a little more blue toned than the website photos look on my screen, but the following picture doesn't quite capture the color either.  This is a difficult one to photograph!


As I had a lovely experience with my last review of one of their organic cotton sateen prints, I jumped right on board.  (So much for no new fabric added to the stash, right?!? - except I used this one right away, so maybe it doesn't count?)


When the fabric arrived, it had a bit more drape than I was expecting, so I had to reassess my pattern choice.  Also, the "wrong" side of the satin was just as gorgeous as the right side.  The fabric is labeled as charmeuse, but this seems more like a heavy crepe backed satin than a charmeuse to me, although the weave is not a crepe.


Once I realized that I wanted to use both sides of the fabric to do it justice, there was only one pattern that would do!  I made Vintage Vogue 2354 many, many years ago in a poly crepe backed satin.  The publish date on the pattern envelope is 2001, so my dress is probably close to 15 years old.  I did wear it a few times, decided that I did not like the side opening with snaps and hook & eyes, replaced those with an invisible zipper, did not do such a great job, and to top it off it was made from POLYESTER.  Yuck!  I still don't have the heart to get rid of it, but will I ever wear the garment again?  I doubt it.


Here was an opportunity to try again.  I did attempt to add length to the torso of a fairly complex design with some success with very few years of garment sewing under my belt back in the early aughts, but it did not turn out perfectly, and a muslin was definitely going to be on the table with my gorgeous hemp/silk textile.


To properly lengthen the bodice pieces, I thread traced my muslin pieces but left plenty of extra fabric along the bottom edges.


I pleated those pieces and then trimmed the extra seam allowance.


What remained was a properly lengthened bodice!


The only real issue was that I could not be absolutely sure how those two front pieces should match up.


I took an educated guess, and continued on.


Can I just say how much I love the interesting style lines of this dress!  You just don't find this in modern design, and it's a real shame.


But, oh well, this is why we make our own clothes!


And, of course, I basted a zipper into the side seam to get a better idea of how this thing was going to fit.


Turns out, I had to shorten the left front bodice piece just a bit to make the neckline sit properly.  Other than that, there was not a whole lot to mess with.


I was a good girl and even used my shoulder pads to test the fit.  (They really do make a difference.)


A few notations regarding the alterations to the left front bodice scribbled on my muslin . . .


and it was time to rip the whole thing apart.


Now the question is, did I finish the dress in a single weekend in order to wear this to the opening concert for The Marin Symphony . . .


I just love self imposed deadlines!  But a full length gown with satin fabric involved is a bit much for a simple day at the office, even for me.



[Disclosure:  Organic Cotton Plus provided me with this fabric, but the opinions posted here are my own.]

Monday, November 6, 2017

An Eyelet Maxi Dress


It’s going to be a little unseasonable around these parts for a while.  I am still trying to catch up with the backlog of projects I have been making for the last few months.  Oh, how I wish I could magically choose the best photos without actually going through all of them!!  Or, in the alternative, not look like a complete dork in 90% of said photos.  That would work, too!


I do have to give myself  a bit of a break, though, because even though I feel like I am way behind with this blog, I created some very successful projects this summer.  This dress, just like my first version of Butterick 6453, had quite a few outings while the weather was warm (which is always a good indication of success).


It really doesn't get much more comfortable than a cotton maxi dress.


For the last few years, most of my frocks have hovered around knee length.  I love wearing all of them, but I do miss my longer skirts and dresses.   


The only real issue with the longer length happens at the office when I have to be careful not to roll my office chair over the hem as I sit in front of the computer.  Whoops!


But that is something I can deal with!


I originally thought about making the hemline more of a tea length, but when the width of the fabric allowed for more of a maxi length, I went for it.


And although I initially had other plans for this eyelet fabric, I am very, very happy that I waited until the idea for this outfit came into my mind.  Now I just have to continue that trend, and keep pulling from the stash.  "No new fabric" is going to be my mantra for the foreseeable future.  Any guesses how long that resolution will last?!



Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 6453
Bolero:  Made by me, Butterick 6354
Necklace:  Made by me
Shoes:  Vince Camuto "Hallee"