Tuesday, April 21, 2009

BWOF 02-2009-119, Bubble Sleeve Dress

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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.

Side 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.

Sleeve StayMy 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.

31 comments:

Cindy said...

So cute! You are so quick sewing! I love this style--I finally learned to thread my serger...only took 10 months. Maybe a knit soon!
You look adorable!

wendy said...

that print is gorgeous- it really works well with the pattern :-)

Netty said...

Excellent fabric choose now I have to sent down and make it.

Christina said...

This is super cute. The fabric is the kind of print that I love. Everyone says the sleeves are confusing, but I guess the worst part ends up at the underarm which no one will ever see anyway!

goodworks1 said...

I definitely agree. You chose just the right amount of fitting for the waist!

Sewfast said...

Love it!!!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Super cute, and the fabric print is perfect for this style.

Elaray said...

I can't speak for the "oddly complicated" but it really is "super cute"

Lory said...

Very, very cute! Kudos.

Lisette M said...

Love it!!!I have my fabric all picked out to make this one...

sewducky said...

I love it! It's a great print and it looks fantastic on you, as well as comfortable.

Birgitte said...

That is just PERECT! The silhouette on you is sooo flattering and I adore it with the cropped leggings and clogs.

Dawn said...

I really like your version. I haven't done a dress with it but I love your back alterations. It's perfect.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

This is really cute on you and very instyle right now!

Large floral fabric - check!
Simple style - check
Bright colors - check, check

Yeap...you are definitely styling in this dress!

geek sewing said...

Thank you, thank you(!!), for all your photos on SBAs and swaybacks, two of my biggest alterations on commercial patterns.

That side view shot is fabulous.

Sew4Fun said...

I totally love it too, especially in this fabric.

Btw, your sewing plan collages inspired me to create my own. I'll be posting about it soon with a link back to your blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

Susan said...

I think your version just became my favorite! Very nice.

Jackie said...

Your dress is so cute! I really love it on you!

Lindsay T said...

This is so, so, so, so, so cute on you! One of my faves in your closet.

Faye Lewis said...

That is too cute on you!

Sue said...

That looks so great!

Uta said...

Very cute dress! I also love how you wear it with the leggings. And if I ever sew down my stash, I'm coming to Washington for a buying spree a G Street Fabrics!

gwensews said...

Totally cute dress. It showcases that large print very well.

Kim Hood said...

Great print - great dress.I wish I sewed for myself as much as you! (But I guess thats down to me so I will just have to try harder!)

Beth Conky said...

It looks cute on you. I've seen that on some ladies with large breast and it looks awful because the puffy sleeves are at the same level as the full bust. See sometimes not being chesty learue has it's advantages.

melissa said...

Super cute!! Knit day dresses for all!

Amy said...

That is such a cute dress! It looks great with your leggings. I love that fabric. I'm going to have to see if I can find that issue of BWOF...you've inspired me!

Adelaide B said...

The print on that dress is great! I shy away from knit dresses myself, but maybe one day I will be inspired.

Cennetta said...

You are right: Super cute. I'm planning to make this one too.

Trudy Callan said...

I absolutely love the fabric you chose for this dress!

Mimi said...

Lovely! I'm trying to sew a dress with a bubble hem, and had absolutely no idea how to! I don't really use patterns, as it feels like cheating to me, (Yes, I'm strange like that) so this is helpful. Thanks!