Friday, July 23, 2010
Right after I posted last week about my silk jersey score from G Street Fabrics I visited AllisonC's blog to see her fantastic self-made border version of Burda 06-2010-123 (you have to scroll through to the pink dress). Not only did I love the dress, but it was the perfect pattern for my find. The motif is 36 inches long, which is a dowdy, stumpifying length for me, but because the front of this wraps over the shoulders to the back I was able to use the whole length of the print, and the straight hem of the dress was made for a border print. Note that because of the limited length of my motif, I cut the dress about two inches shorter than drafted and with no hem allowance.
Burda tells you to finish the neckline with bias strips after it is all put together, which is crazy because there is very little room to maneuver at the center back neck once the front and back are sewn together. I used a cotton batiste bias strip because I wanted a woven to stabilize this very wide neckline. I sewed the bias strip on before sewing the center back neck seam--because I find it easier to apply bias to a line than a circle--and before sewing the front to the back.
This actually ended up being a little short and I didn't want to lose any length in hemming, so I used a closely spaced zigzag stitch instead of turning up a hem. I considered a faced hem, but the zigzag doesn't look bad so I stuck with it. I checked out how DVF finished one of her silk jersey dresses; looks like she uses either a coverstitch or a twin needle. You can see that I also pinked the side seam edges rather than finishing them with a zigzag or serged finish. I was given a pair of pinking shears recently and I wanted to try them out.
Although I took shortcuts on the hem and the side seam finishes, I decided that the best looking finish for the neckline and armscye edges would be a hand stitch. It didn't take *too* long, and looks quite nice from the outside--mostly invisible. I always get nervous doing a hand stitch and only taking one thread of the outer fabric, because it seems like all that will do is break a bunch of threads and your hem will fall out anyway. So I took more like 3 or 4 threads with each stitch. It still worked.
I wore the dress to a party on Saturday and felt very luxurious in silk jersey. Mine cost about $14: $5.22/yd for the jersey plus tax and I used two yards, plus about $2.50 for the magazine (each issue costs approximately $6.67 and I assume I will use an average of 2.5 patterns per issue, though that is a bit generous), plus thread. I decided to see what I'd pay for a similar dress in ready to wear. I love how Sewspicious Minds does this for all of her pieces--it's such fun. The closest match is probably this Donna Rico silk jersey dress ($128), although I think mine is much prettier. However, I prefer to compare myself to these babies. Unfortunately, Spring/Summer clothes are already gone from my snoop shopping websites so I have to compare to Fall looks. The Peter Pilotto dress has sleeves and some ruching along one side; these features cost an extra $1781.
Admittedly, your extra $2081 will buy you much more from Pucci. I love the allover ruching on this with the wandering external tucks, which create slimming lines. So I can't *really* compare my dress with this one. Not quite ready to pay the price tag for it, though.
Totally love this dress. It's trendy, luxe, and yet still me (I am usually neither of those things). The pattern was the perfect find. You can see how the vines wrap over the shoulder (pardon the hunchbackedness of the shot; my photographer decided to get cute and do "candids"). I did not even glance at it in the magazine, so a huge thank you to AllisonC for bringing it to my attention!
Not only is it stylish, but it was super easy, other than grading it down two sizes on the new roadmap pattern pieces over one of those odious "extra pattern in pink"s. It does not present any fitting woes, though I should have taken a wedge of fabric out at the upper back, about 1 inch at center back tapering to nothing at the side seams, for a swayback adjustment. I may go back and do that at some point. You could make this in an evening, especially if you are not compelled to try on every shoe, belt, purse, and accessory you own once a garment gets to a stage where it will stay on your body in one piece. Not that I do that. (I would have worn cuter shoes for the photo shoot, but we were on our way to the party which was about a mile walk each way and I didn't want to carry a ginormous purse with extra shoes in it.)
The back on this is not bra-revealing low, but it is kind of office-inappropriate low and the dress is short, so this will be play clothes. I'm getting a little too many of these lately, gotta focus on work stuff. Luckily, my work is casual so I can still wear bright colors and prints, I just need to be mostly covered.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.