Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BWOF 07-2008-107, Yoked Tunic Dress

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This dress, BWOF 07-2008-107, hadn't really caught my eye in the magazine. The voluminous tunic is not really something in my style lexicon, I think because of my height I worry it won't suit me. But several people have made several cute versions and when I saw the one Christina made recently it pushed me over the edge. I absolutely loved her hem trim on the dress version. When I visited Anthropologie in Miami, I was really drawn to their use of embellishment and trims. I love them in theory, but rarely find a way to incorporate them into my garments. I always fear that it will be too cloyingly girly. But a lace trim on a simpler, edgier, less girly garment really works. And since I really can't figure out how to use trim on my own, I had to completely copy Christina. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

I bought the blue print fabric last July as a remnant at G Streetf for $3. It's a lovely, airy lightweight cotton woven and the print is perfect--graphic and bright but very on trend. I had thought to make it out of Simplicity 4589 with a white contrast yoke (from the G Street $2.97 table, of course), which I made several years ago, but just wasn't enthused about the pattern. Then when I saw Christina's dress, a light bulb went off and I knew it was destined to be this pattern.

The first step was to grade this down two sizes at the top, from a 38 to a 34. I haven't done that before and found it more difficult than grading down one size. Now, this would probably be remediated if I were more precise and used a ruler instead of eyeballing, but I'm pretty good at eyeballing and the final fit is good. It's good that I have this experience because there are very few pieces in the May 2009 BWOF that start at a 36 (and almost none at a 34).

I needed to fully line this garment because the blue was rather sheer and lining seemed the easiest way to finish the yoke. Christina and others observed that this doesn't really need the back zip (it pays to take almost a year to get to an issue!) but I kept the center back seam on the yoke so that I could attach the lining to the fashion fabric at the neck and armscye edges by machine with no hand sewing, as I did for the Tracy Reese Dress and, with illustrative photos, Vogue 8386.

Batiste LiningSew the shoulder seams of the fashion and lining fabrics, leaving the side seams and center back seam unsewn. Place right sides together and stitch the neck and armscyes seams. Turn right side out, and then sew the side and back seams of fashion and lining each all at once, stopping at the seam line for the dress part. Works a charm, easy, and creates a really nice finish.

Once the yoke was completed and turned, I sewed the front and back of the dress to the yoke and lining. This is why it's important to stop your side and back seams on the finished yoke at the seam line. I eliminated the back seam on the dress, so I couldn't sew the dress to the yoke before turning. Then sew the side seams of your dress and lining. As you can see, this creates a nice clean finish on the inside.

FrontI was pretty sure I wanted to use the white lace, but I pinned it on before just to make sure. I didn't want to cut the length off until I was certain I'd use it, so I just flung the long tail of the lace over my shoulder to get it out of the way. And what a lucky accident, because I saw that it looked so cute hanging off the sleeve! I really love the extended drop shoulder sleeve shape the wide lace creates. I was thrilled to have my serger for this project, because it was the perfect way to trim the lace to length and keep it from raveling.

As I presumed when I first saw the pattern, I don't think that the unbelted style really suits. It's hard for a pear to wear this shape, because it doesn't take advantage of a smaller top and does nothing to hide larger hips. Although you lose the trendy shape with a belt, I think it's a much more flattering look for me. And the belt is so perfect for it! I got it at the Target girl's department with Cidell a couple of years ago and I'm not sure I'd ever worn it before I finished this dress. This reinforcing of my pack rat, doesn't like to get rid of anything tendency is bad! But I'm glad I kept the belt around.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

29 comments:

BConky said...

I think it looks cute with the belt. I think you're right, you're to slim for this style without the belt. I finally started a blog, if you have a chance take a peek.

rosesred said...

I've always liked this pattern, but with the lace sleeves, I love it! great idea, and I might borrow it.

Little Hunting Creek said...

I LOVE the lace on the sleeves! This makes the dress so cute and it looks great with the belt. Now I am thinking about putting lace one an extended shoulder top. It looks great.

Lisette M said...

Very cute! I like the way you used the trim.

JoanneM said...

Could this be any cuter? This dress says SUMMER!

Carol said...

I adore this dress on you. It's so cute and so summer and so fresh. Like you, I've avoided this style. In fact, I really don't very often wear things without a waist. When you're on the wrong side of 40 you need to have a waist! After seeing how cute this looks on you, I might just have to try a similar style, if not the very same one. Tell you what, I'll make one of these if you make a pair of jeans ...

cidell said...

Is this the same trip that you noticed that my Pantene for Women of Color was dark brown and all the other Pantenes were not? I knew I liked you for a reason!

Adriana B. said...

This is an adorable look for you - girly, with a vintage feel to it, and fun! Love the punch of color you added with the purse:)

BeeBee said...

That's really cute, I wouldn't have looked twice at that pattern, but it made up great.
And, yes, I kept thinking of your maxi dress when I was making my skirt. It was part of what prompted me to do this, thank you for the inspiration and ground breaking (at least as far as my sewing world goes..._

Elaray said...

That's really cute. Love the lace. and I love the cyclist in the background. It makes the photo look professional! Better than most BWOF photographs!

Adelaide B said...

It looks super cute with the belt!

Holly said...

The dress looks great- but I also liked the photography (subject in sunlight against dark background) and the picture catches all the details of the dress
Holly

ClaireOKC said...

What a great take on this dress. I really like the belt - it makes it.

Christina said...

I am flattered that my dress inspired you, but really you took it to a whole new level with the trim on the sleeves. BWOF would call it "clever" and I agree!

Cindy said...

I like how you made it your own! The lace is a nice touch. I have been wanting to buy some for a summer dress! Nice job.

AllisonC said...

I know this would look like a sack on me, but it looks really cute on you. Great photography by the way too.

Trudy Callan said...

I love the lace trim. It looks great with the belt.

www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

Marita said...

What lovely dress!!! Love the lace and belt too and those sandals also, very nice:-)

senaSews said...

Your dress turned out soo beautiful. I love the trimming and the white yoke. Great work!

Katharine in Brussels said...

It looks great with a belt! Much better than without.

gwensews said...

Sweet dress! It's definitely enhanced with the belt.

Lindsay T said...

Love that top photo of you. Très parisienne. I adore your embellishments on this dress and think it looks très cute on you.

Audrey said...

Cute, cute dress! Love your version of it. The belted version looks great on you!

Claire S. said...

This dress looks great ! Like you, I have trouble with trim. You did a wonderful job with this one.

melissa said...

This looks great, inside and out! I love how you took a very mod tech drawing and completely transformed it with the lace and fabric.

Kim Hood said...

I made this dress last summer - but I like your treatment better. Think I may have to revisit my dress and 'fiddle' with it!
P.S. Great with the belt - perhaps thats why I felt mine was a little maternity - not a good look!

Vicki said...

This is really lovely. The blue and white is so fresh and the trim is perfect. I have ignored this pattern (well I haven't made anything but that is beside the point) due to the shape but you have it looking hot with the belt.

Ingrid said...

I love this on you! What a fabulous rendition of this pattern, looks fantastic!

Linda said...

I thought I had commented on this dress, maybe at Flickr. This turned out great. Very summery feeling.