Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This was my last minute sewing for my trip to Miami with my sister. I planned the trip tp run Monday through Friday so that I would have a weekend on both ends, figuring I would want to sew up my wardrobe the two days before I left! I had finished the McCall 5752 dress by Sunday late morning and decided I'd go ahead and get this one started. The February issue of BWOF was one of the best ever, in my opinion, and I was excited to sew this dress 02-2009-119 and get started using the issue.
I bought this fabric in August from (of course) G Street Fabric's $2.97/yd table. I was drawn to the large, somewhat abstract floral motif and the colors. I don't wear a lot of purple but theoretically I like it. I don't wear a lot of large prints either. And there are ink stains all over the fabric, which I didn't realize until after I'd washed it. So this sat on the shelf for quite a while, and sometimes I would regret buying it and sometimes I would like it. I figured that the print was either going to work for this fairly simple t-shirt style dress or it wasn't going to work at all, so I might as well get it over with.
The print fabric is quite thin. I made the Tippi Hedren dress out of a similarly thin cotton-ish knit print purchased at the same time and found that the fabric really did not have enough body to be a dress. Here, I felt like I was going out on a limb with a t-shirt style dress anyway because of my self-consciousness about my belly, so I underlined it with a fairly heavy cotton/poly knit (also from the $2.97/yd table) so it wouldn't be too clingy or show too much.
Although it is oddly complicated, enough people had made it before me and shared their tips and tricks (including Dawn's photo tutorial) that it wasn't too hard to figure out. Not that the directions were very helpful. "Lay inside sleeve pieces down and stitch to seam allowances"? Huh? It took me a while to work out that they meant "Understitch."
I didn't want to try to install piping into the neckline of my flimsy fabric, knowing it would just stretch out and plus I was lining the whole thing so I sewed the shoulder seams of the yoke fashion fabric and lining and then stitched together at the neck, right sides together. This created a clean finish. I trimmed the armscye and lower edges of the lining about 1/4" so the turn of cloth would keep it from showing and then treated it as an underlining for the remaining yoke seams.
I did a swayback adjustment as I did for BWOF 10-2008-115, knowing that otherwise the puddling above my booty would be dreadful. This added a center back seam, which broke up the print some, but with this large abstract print it wasn't much of a problem and the fit is so much better than it would have been without the adjustment. You can see the wrinkle-free back here.
My only gripe with this pattern is that the sleeve and stay are the same length. A bubble shouldn't be drafted that way! I cut the stay out of my underlining fabric, so I needed to make sure it wouldn't show. To do that, I took a double-width seam allowance when stitching the armscye edge of the stay to the armscye seam of the sleeve/yoke, as you can see in the photo. If I make this again, I will lengthen the sleeve by 1.5 inches so that the bubble gets a nice overhang and poof over the stay.
I totally love this dress. I was worried about how the t-shirt style would look on my figure and figured this would be sort of a throwaway project. But it works quite well. I think this is to do with (1) my heavy underlining, that smooths over lumps and bumps, and (2) the relaxed fit at the waist. It is my general inclination to fit narrowly at the waist to emphasize that I have one, but had I done so here it would have emphasized the width of my hips and stretched the dress across the belly.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.