Friday, December 4, 2009
This was a stashbusting project; I felt like I needed to sew something from stash to balance out sewing exclusively with new fabrics, which is always a problem with me! I bought this about a year and a half ago from G Street's $2.97 table. At the time I was seduced by the turquoise in the print, as this is my favorite color. However, I got it home and realized that it was a stealth stripe fabric. For some reason, I often just don't like stripes that much. I like them sometimes, but they are not my favorite. I find stealth stripe prints to be such a nuisance because then you have to think about directionality and which way is more flattering and it is all too much trouble. So this sat in stash and I fell more and more out of love with it, to the point where I thought I might have given it away. But there it was, at the back of the shelf.
I was iffy on the pattern, Vogue 1056, as well. I don't normally wear anything with a high neckline as I have a very low choking feeling threshold, and plus I like my collarbones. But I was really intrigued by the design and it is something a little new and different for a knit. I figured I'd combine the so-so fabric with the so-so pattern and wouldn't be too sad if either turned out to be the wrong decision, and I'd finally get the blasted fabric out of stash.
In the end, I am very happy with the dress! It was quick and easy to put together (I omitted the zipper because it's a knit for crying out loud) and the woven lining (ditto). The neckline is not stretchy because of the facing, but it slips over the head. I did it over my *crazy* I-haven't-sewn-in-forever-so-I-must-do-nothing-but-obsessively-sit-at-my-machine weekend and it took around 4 hours. The only remotely tricky part is the neckline facing, and it's really not that tricky and the pattern directions and illustrations are good.
Although it's evident in the line drawing and should be a logical conclusion based on the design, I was somehow surprised when this turned out to be a triple keyhole. I was focusing on the center keyhole, which the model photo emphasizes, and you can't even see the side keyholes in the pattern photo. When I first put it on, I thought I had done something wrong! The side keyholes were very prominent and the center keyhole completely disappeared. I ended up inelegantly just bunching a couple layers of fabric together on either side of the center keyhole and tacking it down to make sure that it stayed open.
Because of my "striped" fabric, I couldn't follow the cutting layout. The front is kind of crazy as the two halves are cut as one at the neck, and then has a center seam below the keyhole (so the final cut out front is sort of a butterfly-shape variant; I feel like I'm not explaining this well) so you have to cut it out single layer and it's on the bias. This would have made my stripes all kinds of crazy, so I put a seam at the center neck joining spot and laid the front out on grain. This knit is thin (not to say cheap) and I used serger construction so that front seam neck isn't *too* bulky, but I would not recommend adding that seam rather than cutting as one in anything but a thin, drapey knit.
I ended up loving the way the stripes fall on the front--their subtle curve makes my bust look big and my waist look skinny! Perhaps I should give stripes more credit in the future.
As with the Butterick 5130 Muse dress I was a little too enthusiastic about how much I needed to shorten the skirt in cutting. Oops. So, as I did for that dress, I added a band at the hem. Here I actually thought this was a very fortuitous accident, because the horizontal striped band at the hem I felt really added something to the design (and helped balance the play of stripes at the back neck yoke) and made the dress look more finished than it had with just a normal hem rather than just being necessary to cover a mistake! Wearing this yesterday, however, I still felt like this dress was a skootch too short for work. But since it's for Fall/Winter I'll always be wearing it with tights, so I guess it's ok.
I clearly felt I needed to review this soon because I took pictures of it both times I've worn it. I totally forgot I'd done the first set of photos! So you can see it with different legwear in the photos. The review is here.