Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I bought this knit print from Jomar in October 2009, over a year ago, so it seemed a good candidate for the stash contest. To me, these colors say Fall/Winter so Burda 06-2009-129 with its long sleeves seemed perfect. I also wanted a pattern that would break up the print a little because when the fabric was laid out for cutting it became very clear that the print looks like, um, sperm (look at the white thing in the middle of the motif). With them swimming downhill and multiple pattern pieces (at least in front) I think this effect is mitigated, thank goodness! So I will call this the Junior Mint dress rather than the alternative.
The white parts of the print are rather sheer, so I determined about halfway through construction that the dress needed to be lined. It is a rather standard thin poly knit, so the lining was a good idea anyway for a dress to be worn in cooler weather. To keep the lining from shifting around too much, it is sewn to the dress as one at the back neckline and the armscyes and then caught into the back darts. It made sewing more difficult than necessary, but it behaves very well. The sleeves are unlined.
The front is partially lined as drafted, as there is an underlayer below the front crossover. After I completed this I realized it's actually very similar in style to the Kate Middleton/Issa Dress (the original, not mine) and would make an easy substitute for such a project, although it is a faux front crossover, which is caught in the side seam, rather than ties (could easily be converted). To jigger the lining in, I sewed the front to the back with both linings as one at the side seams above the waist, and treated the lining and fashion fabric layers separately below the front waistline seam. Rather than gather the front lining at the waistline as for the fashion fabric, I pleated it to reduce bulk.
The front underlayer is the only thing I don't like about this dress. It is drafted as a low V neck that is not intended to show under the crossover. However, I liked the idea of it as a faux camisole so I cut it with a higher scoop neck out of black double knit purchased from Kashi at Metro Textiles in NYC in November 2009. It is very odd for Burda, but this is so hugely gapey. You can see where I cut out a scoop at the top and replaced it with a narrower scoop, but this hardly made a dent in how gapey it is. The neckline is several inches wider than I am. I then added neckline darts, which took care of the problem. If I were to make this again, I would take about 3.5 inches out of the neckline width.
The back neckline is also quite wide, which I have no opinion on as a style but I should have sewn clear elastic into it. Not sure if I'll go back and do that as the poly knit doesn't take kindly to seam ripping as the stich line leaves a series of visible holes. The neckline is wide so I sewed in a pair of bra strap keepers (I'm going to have to go back to NYC soon to get some more of these from Steinlauf and Stoller).
Although the drafting is not quite what it ought to be in the front underlayer and the slightly too wide or low back neckline, for the most part I really like this dress. It is a very flattering style for me and fairly easy to construct. I am quite pleased with how well the swayback adjustment came out--no puddling at all! I am also pleased to have moved this fabric off the stash shelf. I have now completed all 7 fabrics from that trip to Jomar (well, I still have a bit of this left, enough to make a top I think)! I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I complete large lots like that.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.