This dress is part of my (still ongoing) blue and red wardrobe for Spring. Though this is a bright sky blue rather than a navy, it still matches the red shoes I bought to go with the wardrobe. I announced this project in April and as you can see, I made it long enough ago that I wore it in Paris! The photo was taken at Montmartre by Karen! I have projects even older than this still to review.
The April 2008 issue of BWOF has a lot of good stuff, but one of my favorites was plus size design 128. I like that the collar gives the opportunity to use a contrast fabric (of course!) and I also just liked the shape of it. Unfortunately, I am not so sure it works on my body. I feel like all I am is belly in this dress and I never wear it. This is partly me being overly self-conscious about my disproportionate belly, but it really does show, as you can see in this picture taken after I'd eaten a lot of delicious Ethiopian food.
Sizing was going to be an issue, but then I recalled that Burda had done a similar style top in my size range at some point. Sure enough, I found it in 08-2007-105. I even liked the little puffy sleeves better. Perfect.
So I traced out the body of the top (lengthening the bodice to be a dress and cutting it into princess-seamed shapes) and the collar of the dress and set to work. I found the directions for dress 128 impossible to decipher so I figured it out on my own.
Sew CB seam and front to back at shoulders. Then pin the collar to the neck edge, right sides together and matching centers. Sew, stopping an inch before center front, leaving the neck edge free of the collar there. Fold back this inch of the neck and sew the collar, right sides together, for about an inch and a half (between the pin markings) to finish the edge for the twist; do this to both sides of the collar, though I only have one illustrated here. Turn the collar right side out through that inch and half.
Stitch the center front of the bodice together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This takes up half of the inch you left free at center front, leaving a small bit of the upper neckline free of the collar. Stitch this down.
At this point I found it helpful to turn under the raw edge of the inner edge of the neckline portion of the collar and pin in place on the inside. This will later be finished by hand-sewing in place. It was good to have everything in its proper place. Now make the double twist. I found it a little bulky, but a single twist was not interesting enough. My collar fabric had a fair amount of body with its eyelet-like texture and rough-ish hand. In a smoother fabric I don't think the bulk would be a problem.
Keeping the twist tight and in its place, fold the collar in half *wrong* sides together and pin as one to the lower edge of the bodice. You can baste here, or if you're lazy like me you can sew the seams of the lower front and pin lower front to upper front, right sides together, with the collar sandwiched in between.
Whether you basted first or not, stitch the upper front to the lower front, sandwiching the collar in place. Sew from each side toward the center, getting as close to the center as you can. When you sew the side seams, make sure the collar edge is turned down.
Very easy with a lot of impact! It looked strange with only the collar as a contrast fabric, so I added to sleeve cuffs and hem band.
Gretchen the Household Deity