My first pick was McCall's 5972, the curved collar design. I made a muslin but could not get the skirt portion to fit me. Fine. I'll just use my TNT straight skirt pattern for that part, McCall's 5972. Of course I did not muslin the collar. Those never give me fit issues. I finished the entire dress plus the lining before trying it on and guess what? I hated the collar. My fabric is really thick and the seam along the edge kept rolling out. Ugh! What to do? Take off the collar and have a plain sheath dress? Find another pattern with a collar I liked better? Did I mention I was totally out of fabric? I decided to make another collar using NewLook 6968, but had to wait another month to use my September Mood fabric allowance.
|Yes, these shoes were the wrong choice. I should have chosen my brown high healed loafers. Just look at these pictures with your thumb over the shoes, okay?|
This fabric has subtle horizontal stripes, which I was careful to line up along the sides.
The collar on the NL pattern was cut on the bias so there was no seam to roll to the outside. That pattern has a back zipper and the collar relaxes on either side. Mine already had the side zipper per the original 5972 pattern, so I sewed my back collar pieces together.
Isn't the texture of this fabric pretty?
You may notice that the front tie of my dress is a bit different then the front tie on the pattern example. Because my fabric is thick, I thought I might need some extra length when I was tying the long tail of the collar, so I lengthened it by 4 inches. That turned out to be entirely too long. I tried looping it around another time. I tried tucking it in rather then looping it. I thought, "Holy smokes! This is another dud collar!" Then in a moment of divine inspiration my hands suddenly knew what to do and I tied it in this perfectly lovely single knot. It made a well fitting dress in a pretty fabric become something really interesting and special.
The full lining is made from bemberg Ambiance, also ordered from Mood. The armholes were finished with bias tape as per the pattern instructions. Can I just tell you how much I love this method of finishing sleeveless lined garments? I am pleased that pattern companies are starting to incorporate this technique in their instructions. The neckline is also finished with bias tape, but that is because I removed the original collar after the armholes and lining were completed. That was kind of fiddly to do since there were 3 layers of thick fabric, one layer of lining, and one layer of underlining, all to be graded and tucked under a narrow strip of bias tape.
The entire body of this dress was underlined with polyester organza. I needed something to sew the outer fabric to so that it had some structure. Also, the loose weave of the tweed unraveled just by looking at it, but behaved itself much better after being stitched to the organza. This is the first time I've underlined an entire garment and I really liked the process and the finished result. My bottom hem was easily slip-stitched up to the organza and is invisible on the outside. I added a pretty lace hem tape to keep all the strings tamed inside.
Here are all the patterns I used for this truly frankenpattern dress:
This dress was a LOT of work, and a bit of drama, too. It was totally worth it, though. It feels expensive, you know? Heavy and substantial. I think this must be what a designer dress feels like.