I am in Montreal for PR Weekend this week! I will leave the real-time blogging to Cidell. While arriving here was quite the ordeal, once we were all finally here we commenced with the having fun
I hadn't sewn anything from nearly an entire year's subscription of Burda and I was looking for an instant gratification "make today and wear tonight" project so I decided to give Burda 05-2010-105 a shot as a summer date night dress (last year's was my McCall negligee dress). At the time I made it, there was only one review in PR, Knitter's Delight's, which I liked.
I bought the fabric at G Street in October of last year from the $2.97/yd table for a fabric hogging design from Drape Drape. However, I haven't gotten around to the project yet. I had an internal struggle but then decided it is better to sew fabric than to save it. Right? I have several knit prints on the shelf, but I thought it would be a little more chic and sophisticated to make this in a solid. This might be the closest I'll ever get to a Little Black Dress! (Actually, I have an idea for the LBD contest on PR in the Fall, so who knows.)
This was my first time using the new twice-as-dense roadmap patterns Burda recently introduced. My biggest concern is that I have to grade most things to a 34 (the smallest size is usually 36, and sometimes 38) so the more spread out pieces were great for me, as I could always see my graded tracing line. I had to grade this down and it was definitely a little tougher to see my graded lines, but I think I can handle it. Of course, this just had two large, uncomplicated pieces. Ask me again when I trace something with lots of itty bitty weird shaped pieces.
Burda wants you to use a facing on the neckline, but I hate facings. They have you use a twin needle to finish the armscye, which is a step in the right direction. I used the twin needle for both. My neckline is a little asymmetrical, but my attitude with this was "disposable fashion." This is Forever 21 level sewing, although under better labor conditions with only slightly less pay. As an aside, a friend of mine had a fancy dress party for Oscars one year--we were to come as starlets. She was wearing a plaid dress she had gotten from F21. There had been absolutely no effort to match the plaids, and I almost asked her if she had made it and purposely done a horrible job on it. It was remarkably bad.
It would have taken about 2 1/2 hours had I not decided after it was all done that I had to retrofit it with a lining for the skirt. I was afraid of serious show through should I ever wear this in the daylight, and plus I wanted a little bit of lump and bump smoothing. I did a really sloppy job of twin-needling the lining in place above the elastic casing (made of the seam allowance). I figured the bodice would drape over it, hiding the ugly.
Speaking of the elastic casing, the pattern calls for 1/4" elastic, which I don't think would provide enough strength to hold this up. It is shown in the magazine with a dropped waist, but I wanted it to sit at my actual waist. I used 3/4" elastic because that's what I had on hand, but I think 1/2" (or possibly 3/8", if firm enough) would look best.
This is shown with a below the knee skirt, which does nothing for me. I envisioned it with a short skirt, so the bodice would be longer than the skirt (or at least seem to be longer because of the volume). I cut the skirt in a tube on the fold, 18 1/2 inches wide of double fabric (realized later that I didn't add any seam allowances to Burda's given width, but it didn't make a difference) and 18 inches long--Burda directs you to cut the skirt 24 1/2 inches long. I wish I had given myself another inch or so. It is not in any way obscenely short and I wanted this to be sexy for evening, but man, I am totally out of the habit of wearing short skirts. This would have been long to me in my 20s. Now it feels scandalous.
I totally love this dress. It is very effortless to wear and the look is current or even cutting edge. Well, as cutting edge as a retro '70s design can be! I went whole hog with the nude lipstick and everything for this, although I don't know that my period authenticity was noted! I love that it hides the belly, although I do keep meaning to work on belly acceptance. I recently saw this photo of Diane Kruger on Go Fug Yourself (a super fun blog). I have been totally uninterested in Diane Kruger in the past. She seems the epitome of the Generic Blonde Actress. She attends the opening of an envelope and does not appear to be an actress of any note at all, yet designers throw dresses at her. She seems very boring to me. But based on that photo--in which she is wearing a fitted white dress without bothering to hide the fact that she has an actual belly--I am intrigued. Google doesn't indicate that she is pregnant, or even rumored to be. She just has a belly, like most people. And she doesn't appear ashamed of it. I need lessons in that!
This was to be my Saturday Night Date dress this summer, but alas my date did not seem to love it. He is not a "typical" guy in most ways; given his general non-conventionality I've been kind of surprised to learn (based on his reactions to clothes I've worn) that his taste in women's clothes is *very* typical: short and tight. This dress is short and tight in some places, but I think he would like it tighter in all places. Well, it will be fab for having cocktails with girlfriends. I need to plan such an event!
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.