Friday, August 16, 2013

NewLook 6643 - Aqua brocade dress w/ keyhole neckline

About this time last year, Mood fabrics got in a wide array of Italian brocades with raised floral imprints. They were divine and I had a really hard time picking the exact one I wanted. Eventually I settled on this one in aqua with red, yellow and navy color accents. It looks like an abstract painting and the red bits look a little like dripping blood. It's so interesting and unusual. Then, because I loved it so much, it sat around in my to-do pile before I could finally muster up the courage to cut into it. Unfortunately, after all that sitting around, it has completely sold out. You can see similar brocades from Mood fabrics here.

I only got 1.5 yards so I knew some sort of sheath dress was in order. I didn't want to cut up the large aqua flowers (which you can see in some of the other pictures) so it had to be relatively simple. Also, I try to make things that are interesting and that have some sort of design detail at the neckline. I combed through my pattern stash and Burda magazine collection and then my pattern stash again, at last settling on NewLook 6643. I made view D with the keyhole and bias bound neckline/armholes, using the same fabric for the binding instead of a contrasting color like the envelope picture.

After making a muslin I had to remove 1" from each shoulder. I also widened the shoulder straps inward by 3/4". The bust measurements printed on the pattern are incorrect - I suggest you flat pattern measure or make a muslin if you want to attempt this design. Since I could walk easily without it, I omitted the back slit. There wasn't enough fabric for one anyway.

 The bias binding really wasn't very difficult, especially because the fabric was not in the least bit slippery. I just love the keyhole detail. You can see the raised aqua flowers better in this picture:

Dressform pictures:

 Originally I was planning to use a princess seamed sheath dress pattern. It called for a side zipper which I special ordered from NYC in the perfect shade of aqua. After I figured out I needed something with darts and went with this pattern, I didn't want to have to special order another zipper. That is why the zipper is on the side, even though there's a perfectly good center back seam that it could have gone into.

A lining was definitely called for, and I found the perfect color match among all those Thakoon fabrics Mood listed this past spring. It's silk crepe de chine, a fabric I've used only one other time which ended in disaster. Gosh, it is beautiful stuff. It feels so delicate and soft and I was a bit afraid of ruining it. I went slowly, taking my time and not rushing through. Now that the dress is completed, the silk feels strong and really makes a perfect lining.

This was a fun dress to make once I got past my nervousness about ruining the fabrics. And lest you worry about the seasons changing, rest assured that it will be hot here in Texas for a few more months. I'll have plenty of time to wear my new dress.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

McCall's 6058 - Black + white zigzag toddler dress

I had a large remnant of black and white wavy lace left over from last month's Mood Fabrics skirt. One of the things I loved about this fabric was the solid black wave along the selvages. I couldn't utilize it in the skirt, so I went looking for a simple dress pattern to make something for Rachel.

This is McCall's 6058, a pillow sack dress pattern that's reversible. The inside fabric I used is the same tan cotton blend that I used for my skirt. Since the pattern was for an infant, I made the largest size and added 6 inches to the length. It was really wide in the neckline when I used the elastic guide that came with the pattern, so I recut the elastic several inches shorter and redid that area. If I make this again I'll use the medium size with the added length. She's pretty tiny but this pattern is super wide.

I was careful to lay out the front and back so that the bottom black wave was uninterrupted, which you can see in the below picture. The side seams of this dress match as well, although some of the waves are a little cut up. That couldn't be helped since this dress has an a-line shape.

Instead of using fabric for the straps, I used 1" black petersham grosgrain ribbon, also from Mood Fabrics. Petersham is 100% rayon. It can be ironed into curves, unlike regular polyester grosgrain, and is just a better quality ribbon.

The back:

I have now successively used up all of this fabric. It's really fun to have a little person whose clothing doesn't take much yardage.