During the week of the Snowmageddon I decided that I should use the bonus sewing time to sew up some stash; with the stash contest going on I decided it was a good time to get some of that fabric that's been staring at me for so long off the shelves.
I bought this stripe rayon/poly/lycra (I think that's what it is) at PR Weekend in NYC in 2006!!!! Seriously, that was a long time ago. Before I sewed the dress I had only used 3 of the 8 fabrics I bought that weekend. At least now I've sewn up half of it. I bought the fabric to make a wearable pants muslin. Three and a half years later I still haven't made any pants so I decided to release it from its theoretical servitude and make it into something I actually wear, a dress.
I looked through back issues of Burda to find a pattern that would make the most of the stripes and ran across 12-2008-121. It's designed for a plaid but I figured it would work just as well in a stripe. I only later realized this came from the same issue as the Tuxedo Jacket of Doom, so it's good to have a success from that issue.
The pattern calls for a lining but I didn't think it was necessary as the fabric has enough weight to be worn alone. To give it a nicer finished look inside I used leftover fabric from the lining of my inauguration coat to make bias binding for the edges of the facing. I should do this treatment more often; I think it looks nice.
Seriously, how does this happen? I cut them both out with the same care and hand-basted *both* sides of the invisible zipper. The front is flawless and the back looks like I did it blindfolded. After fretting about it for a minute I decided that I really don't care that much and can live with it that way. The chevron effect is still there so whatevs. I am pretty proud of the front, though. However, it looked a little weird because with the faux placket the stripes meet perfectly...but off center. I think the (nonfunctional) buttons took care of that weirdness. In fact, I'm surprised nobody on PR had put on buttons before! To keep the little front flaps folded back I hand-tacked them down from the inside. The pin is merely decorative.
The cuffs are to be cut on the bias as well. I considered skipping them but in the end I'm glad I didn't. I cut them in two pieces so the stripes would chevron at both the inner seam and the outer edge.
The back has those dewlaps again. *sigh* I don't know why my back is so hard to fit! The swayback I understand and mostly have it covered now. But the narrow shoulders/wide back thing is a mysterious pain in my @ss and now this is the second time I've had this dewlap droopy back situation. I think I need to start cutting a size larger at the front hip, as you can see some pulling on the side, but the front otherwise looks good.
I don't wear a lot of dark colors but as I wrote several months ago I don't really have a funeral dress. I think that this is both kicky enough to feel like me but sober enough to wear to a funeral in a pinch. I was really pleased with the 40s vibe it has going on. I added some small shoulder pads because all the 40s patterns I've worked with call for them and it made the dress fit a little nicer.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.
Gretchen the Household Deity