Friday, August 26, 2016

Bet This Wasn't The Dress You Were Expecting

Bet this isn't the dress you expected to see, is it?
After sewing 2 muslins of Hot Patterns 1201 Montpelier dress I decided that it was not going to work for me.  I thought that I could make a very loose fitting dress into the semi fitted vision I had in my head and that I had drawn on my croquis.  I was running out of time and I still needed a dress for the Orthodox wedding we attended this past Tuesday, which is why I just didn't wear the black and white dress I wore to my cousin's wedding.  It was a Boro Park wedding and very traditional.  Ok, if you are knowledgeable about Jewish custom, you're saying,  scoop neck?  bare upper arm?  Well, by this point I really needed a dress and it wasn't all that immodest. No comments or looks were made, but the other dress, really not suitable.  This is from oop V2882 by Tom and Linda Platt that I'd made a few years ago. It was published in 2005.  Wow, I must have made this a lot of years ago!  I made this top  but not this skirt.  This pattern, unusual in designer patterns these days, has two different tops, two different skirts and a pair of pants.  I had made the knee length skirt before and it doesn't fit me. While the top did fit, I decided to make both pieces in the same fabric.  I made the long skirt which I love and I envision wearing it with boots and more casual fall and winter tops.  The fabric is fairly heavy so I got lucky it got cool that day and that the catering hall was freezing! 

Fabric: 6 yards of Rag and Bone acetate polyester lycra stretch crepe from Mood.  I already had 3 yards of this and since Mood still had  stock, I ordered 3 more yards.  I wanted a pair of pants out of it too, which is what I had originally bought it for.  I managed to cut out the top, skirt and pants.  The fabric true to crepe, drapes beautifully.  The only issue I have with it is the description on the Mood website.  I often find that their overly flowery, wordy descriptions don't really give me the  information I need to understand if the fabric meets my needs, and this was true here as well.  It was described as 4 way stretch, or stretch in length and width. If I hadn't checked to make sure that it had the required stretch for this pattern I would never have realized that there was minimal stretch in the cross grain, and the required stretch was in the length. I ended up cutting it in a single lay on the cross grain.  

Changes made:   The top pattern was already cut out in size 14.  I use a 16 these days, which was in the pattern, but I stupidly didn't re draft it back to a size 16!  I had tried on the previously made top, which was made up in matte jersey.  Thinner, and maybe a bit more stretch. Anyway, I ended up lowering the underarm and using up about 3/8" of my extra seam allowances in the body and sleeve. Fortunately, I always use a 1" seam allowance to side seams.  The top calls for side seam slits at the hem, but I didn't find that they were flattering so I left them out.  The top also calls for a cb invisible zipper but I had enough room to leave it out.  I made a few minor fitting fixes, especially narrowing it at the front chest.  

Because I am larger than a size 16 on the bottom I added about 6" to the hip and waist. This pattern has 9 gores with 2 in the front.  I love skirts that have different size and shapes to the gores and this one works beautifully for me.  I don't find A line skirts flattering, but this fit and flare skirt works for me. The other big issue I had was getting the hem to be even without ruining the flare.  I know, I should have made a muslin but I didn't.  I could have actually marked the waist when I tissue fit this, but again, I didn't.  I have a very uneven waist, with the front waist needing to come down a good 4 inches.  My left hip is lower and shaped differently than my right side; the back was fine just where it was.  I stood on the stair landing(great stand in for a fitting platform) with a 1" wide elastic that I use for fitting with a velcro fastening,  while my dh sat a step lower and he measured from the floor up as I pulled the waist up above the elastic.  When the hem was level he marked the bottom of my elastic.  It worked really well.  I did however, need to really take the waist in and re shape the upper hip.  Lots of fit as you sew went on.  
When I enlarge bottoms of multi size patterns I usually add only at the seams that change size.  I decided that it was too much to add at each side seam so I added about a 1/4" at all of the other seams except the cb.  

There is an invisible zipper at the cb. The pattern called for a narrow waistband that met at center back with a hook and eye fastening at the waistband. I hate having a hook and eye that doesn't have any backing against the skin; it's uncomfortable.  Instead I made a version of my pants waistband with a petersham facing and overlap with a heavier pants hook and eye. It's flatter and much more comfortable.