Friday, 8 June 2012

Mock wrap knock off - part 2

So, the problem I had with the first version of this dress was too much fabric at and below the waist. To rectify this, I closed up the areas I'd spread below the waist. I left a small amount at the waist, and opened up the slashes on the bodice a bit (not as much as the original pattern though). The width of the growth was also reduced. Compare the resulting pattern piece with the first one:

The change in amount and area of spreading of the pattern has made a big difference. The pooching below the waist has been eliminated, and the shorter length of the "growth" means that the ties can be fastened slightly towards the front, which is more flattering. If anything, I may have taken a little too much fullness out, as when it is fastened, the ties pull the side seams forward at the waist. If I make this up again (or rather that should be when I make it again), I will spread the slashed areas a little more to add some length back into the edges of the growth.

This fabric has the effect of stripes in the print, so I remembered to position these so they were reasonable symmetrical and flattering (although they're not actually as obvious in real life as in the photo).

The fabric itself is a very drapy medium weight jersey. It's extremely soft and not at all sweaty feeling, so I'd assumed it was rayon, but it dries pretty much instantly after washing so I think it must be a rayon-poly mix. The armscyes, neckline and hem are stabilised with strips of fusible tricot interfacing cut on the stretchiest direction, then they are finished by simply folding over and stitching with a twin needle (no photos of this, sorry).

As it's a little hard to explain in words how the ties and growth work to fasten the dress, I took some pictures. Apologies that the print obscures the detail a bit, but I think you can get the gist from these. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

Top left: The ties are both sewn onto the left side (the same side the dress is fastened, the opposite side to where the growth was added. One is caught in the side seam and hangs outside the dress, the other is sewn to the seam allowance at the same place inside the dress.

Top centre: This is what the growth looks like before fastening.

Top right: The inside tie is passed through the opening in the growth.

Bottom left: The seam of the growth runs from where my hand is to the side seam (you can see where it is starting to pull at the side seam, as mentioned above)

Bottom centre: Use this inner tie to pull the growth towards the left to tie with the outside tie.

Bottom right: The dress fastened. You end up with the growth seam visible at the waistline (although it's hidden in the draping, and pretty invisible with this print).

I'm very very pleased with this drafting adventure - this dress has been worn a lot since being finished. It's super comfy and (I think) very flattering. I will definitely be making up some more versions of this (with the extra spread mentioned above) - I'm obsessed with making a black maxi dress version, as shown on the pattern envelope, but I need to find some suitably drapy black jersey. I think the principle of the growth and draping on this dress would also work in a lightweight woven (with appropriate darts added), so I'm looking forward to trying that out too. All in all, a successful exercise!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Me-Made-May '12 round up: days 25-31 (water)

Day 25

Dress: me-made | Cardie (on bag): Uniqlo | Sandals: M&S | Bag: Fossil

Worn: out for a drink and dinner with a big group of Bulgarians. Jeez, they like to drink... I had big plans to do a classic photo involving the jet, but it was too windy today so it was switched off :( This is by the bottom of Lac Léman, just as it turns back into the Rhône. And don't worry, I didn't do any fishing.

Day 26

Top: me-made | Skirt: me-made (self-drafted) | Cardie: Uniqlo | Necklace: Modcloth

Worn: to dinner with friends, then to watch Eurovision... I'm pretty certain this top has grown sideways and shrunk lengthwise.

Day 27

Dress: me-made

Worn: around the house, then to sit by the river for a bit in the sunshine. I dangled my feet in the river to cool down. Didn't take long as it is still pretty freezing - I think the Swiss are a hardier breed than me as there were already are lots of people swimming...

Day 28

Dress: me-made | Belt: eBay | Flip flops: Accessorise |Bikini: Esprit

Worn: to lie in the sunshine in the park. It was a bank holiday here in Switzerland, so it was nice to just chill out as it was such a lovely day. I read an entire book! (Paul Auster's Invisible - not his best, but still good. And disturbing).

Day 29

I was feeling very uninspired this day, and didn't take a picture. My me-made item was my yellow fabric necklace

Day 30

Skirt: me-made but not blogged | Top: Uniqlo

Worn: around the house. Watering my geraniums, they've been very thirsty during the warm weather.

Day 31

Dress: me-made

Worn: out for dinner with friends (Lebanese - yum!). I finally got round to adding the zip to the back of this dress. Despite carefully hand basting and checking the placement, it still turned out rather bubbly, but it's good enough, and I've got too many other things I want to sew to unpick and re-sew it!

So, that's it for Me-Made-May '12! I'm going to have a think about what I got out of this challenge and post some musings on it soon...

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Me-Made-May '12 round up: days 18-24 (green)

Day 18

Dress: me-made | Belt: eBay | Tights: Tabio | Coat: Manor | Shoes: Payless

Worn: out for a drink with friends, then to dinner, then meeting more friends. I did a lot of walking in this dress as we walked right across town to discover the restaurant we were planning to go to was heaving, so walked back again to go somewhere else.

Day 19

Skirt: me-made | Top: H&M | Pink leopard print leggings (unfortunately not seen): Uniqlo | Coat: Manor | Shoes: Payless

Worn: to do my recycling, then some shopping, then doing a bit of lounging round the house and on the balcony. I've got an awful lot of wear out of this skirt, despite it not being perfect. I've noticed unfortunately that the CB seam under the zip has gone a bit weird and the fabric stretchiness there is going. Hopefully this will be ok if I lose a bit of weight...

Day 20

Shorts: me-made | Top: Laura Ashley for Uniqlo | Jacket: Uniqlo | Necklace: Accessorise

Worn: to go swimming, followed by panaché in the sunshine, then a trip to the market to get tasty food for lunch. When I made these shorts I was really pleased with the fit, but having actually worn them out and about, they actually need a fair bit of adjustment - I've discovered they're way too big in the front, making them rather poochy, and also droopy at the back. I need to fiddle with the fit, but may just make a new pair to save unpicking all the waistband...

Day 21

Top: me-made | Jeans: Uniqlo

Worn: around the house. I'm eating me-grown salad! Served with rösti, smoked goat's cheese and quorn "ham". Yum.

Day 22

Top: me-made | Jeans: Uniqlo

Worn: around the house. Not a great photo (there's an even worse one here), but this is not a great top! I didn't know much about either sewing with knits or fitting when I made this, so it desperately needs an FBA (you can sort of see the pulling at the front in this photo), and the inside is very very ugly. However, it's comfortable and fairly warm, which is what I wanted today.

Day 23

Dress: me-made

Worn: to go swimming, then around the house. This is a squash seedling, I planted it up the next day.

Day 24

Dress: me-made

Worn: to do some shopping. This was the first time this year we have been able to eat dinner on the balcony!