Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fabric Mart Fabricista Challenge Week 2: When Garments Attack

WARNING: LOOOOONG and PHOTO HEAVY POST!  
(I broke it down to photos, construction, fabric)
 
Oh yeah, this week's garment fought me...but I emerged victorious!!

PHOTOS

We found out on Monday that the deadline for submission was bumped up a bit. At first I was all...eh...but then I realized, HOLY CRAP this means I have to get photos Monday evening after hemming it!

So I am not happy with the quality of my photos. I took over 100 and chose those that best show the details of the dress. Ok except for the first one here on the left... lol! It is dark but it's my favorite pose!

I LOVE IT!!!


  
it's a wee bit snug across the back waist/butt. Dang it. Not uncomfortable and I was able to sit and bend in it! :)

CONSTRUCTION/FIT

When we got the challenge and learned that it was a fitting challenge, I went through about 82 options in my head in about 90 seconds, flat.

My first choice was to make another B6104 jacket since I want one that's more traditional with the lapels and in a pretty tan/brown wool that I've been hoarding for awhile. I had my red one as a "wearable muslin" and knew what adjustments to make. But then I decided I should push myself and do something I've never done before.

>see where this is going?<

I decided I was (finally!) going to tackle a lined sheath dress.

According to the pattern stash feature on Pattern Review, I have 72 dress patterns (that includes casual dresses...knit dresses..but excludes dresses in a wardrobe pattern). Vogue was on sale at Hancock this past weekend and I was *this* close to buying a new pattern. But I didn't! I have 72 dress patterns!!

Last year I was all set to make New Look 6123 as an anniversary dress. I got discouraged by the pattern pieces (hahaha!) and after tracing them off I put them back in the envelope.

   

There are TONS of cute versions of this dress all over. The only thing I began to fear was the fact that so many had made this in a ponte. Now, this weeks challenge did not require a woven fabric but I knew I wanted to use a nice wool and started getting scared to fit it.

Because it's my new thing (ha!) I made a muslin. It looked pretty good but of course, some changes needed to be made.




Edited to add: Pinned out excess on the left side, right side still has the extra fabric.

 

There was too much fabric from shoulder to bust, and too much at center back. However, I was fooled into thinking the skirt fit well! I made changes to the bodice and made a second muslin of the bodice only.

Front pieces: narrow shoulder, armhole gaping adjustments


I ended up "phoning a friend" to ask how to take out the extra fabric at the armscye and she told me "take a tuck" is what people usually do. I then found a handy tip for rotating that into the bust dart - GENIUS! 

(Sorry, I never remember where I find these things. I swear I'm going to start writing it down)

Basically, once you "take the tuck", you make it a dart. Now, you could totally leave it as a dart or you can rotate it into the existing bust dart. You slash the lower dart leg on both darts and close the armscye dart. This leaves a funky looking armhole but you have to just fix the curve there.

After doing the 2nd bodice muslin I realized I need to lower the armhole a tad and move the dart point back about 5/8". I did not muslin again, I just made these changes. Ooh, on the second bodice muslin I also added the flange sleeve and decided it was too much on this one.


I often add a wedge on straight/pencil skirts. The sharpie note is reminding me to add to the side seams next time as I need a little more width in back as well.


3/4" swayback adjustment, narrow shoulder adjustment and I shaved off 3/8" from the upper back tapering to nothing near the waistline.

WHEW!

I was trying to do nice construction here and I interfaced the 'bias' line of the front pieces, the zipper area, and the hem.

And I decided to line it.

Did you know that lining a sleeveless dress is a 'thing'? EEEEEK!

I spent a good 2 hours scratching my head and staring at the pieces and reading 813 tutorials and watching 1,288 YouTube videos.

In the end I decided that it's impossible (yes, I decided that it is impossible) to to a "normal" full lining with the crossover front bodice. 

((If you can tell me what I SHOULD have done, please do!! I want to make this again, sans flounce, with sleeves as my LBD))

I was frustrated and near tears and the people in my house made me take TWO breaks! haha! So I mostly lined it and then treated the side seams like underlining and serged them after sewing.

Interfaced neckline - sorry about my bra on the floor! lol!

Ok, I took this pic to prove to my friends that I almost drank an entire pop! 
But this also shows the process of hand-stitching my lining to the zipper tape.

I followed Fashion Sewing Blog's tutorial for clean finishing the bodice. I lined and understitched the fronts and backs, leaving the shoulder seams open. I then pulled through and stitched around the lining/fashion fabric pieces, and when you pull them out - tada! You have nicely finished pieces! Obviously you can't complete understitch here so I went as far as I could and pressed the rest into submission.

 
It's not maroon or bright purple; promise...

The front has 3 pleats going down and then the skirt has 3 pleats going up. But, the skirt is ALSO gathered. It's a very flattering effect.

And, I did my first ever vent! And with a lining! Another moment to almost cry and another HUGE thanks to Colleen of Fashion Sewing Blog for a great tutorial!



The hem was interfaced, serged (I didn't know if I was "supposed" to do that or not) and blind hemmed. I am getting pretty dang good at blind hemming!

A nice invisible zipper! And an almost perfect matchup of back darts and waistline across the zipper!

FABRIC

I knew I did not have anything in the stash that was a solid color and that would be suitable for this dress AND that wasn't black. 

Since I had my awesome-sauce meetup planned at SRH, I decided I would buy wool crepe. Yummy delicious wool crepe. It's an eggplant/plum color and of course, it was wonderfully amazing to cut and press and sew. 

I pretreated in my dryer with steam and everything went fine.The lining is Vera Wang acetate from FabricMart, purchased well over a year ago (GO STASH!). 

Fashion Fabric (2.5 yards at $11/yd) = $27.50
Lining Fabric (2 yards at $1.99/yd) = $3.98
Thread = $1.80
Zipper = $2.25
Total: $35.53

Now, some of you may laugh (go ahead, it's okay), but this is the most expensive project I've ever made!

It was difficult but super rewarding. I think I spent 12 hours on this dress. TRULY the most expensive project ever! :) But I am proud of it and I keep touching it and wanting to try it on because it makes me happy!

Yeah, loving the flounce!

So, I will be wearing it with this necklace and shoes (that I wore on my wedding day!!) for our anniversary in 2 1/2 weeks. Yay!! (for more reasons than one!)...except my hair will be done, I won't have sock marks and I won't be wearing my pink FitBit. Cool? LOL! :)



See all 7 entries (somehow 3 of us made purple dresses!!!) and vote HERE

VOTING IS OPEN THROUGH THURSDAY! 
Hopefully I'm your favorite, if not, don't tell me, just smile and nod. LOL!!!!! 







57 comments:

  1. Another great looking entry, you're on a roll! I'm rooting for you.

    I think you're muslin photo is after you took a dart out of the armscye, right? I don't see the extra fabric in the photo, but if it looks like the problem I always have you can take it out of the shoulder as well if you want to avoid making a dart. I get that extra fabric pooling at the armpit above the bust because I have sloped shoulders or short shoulders or something like that.

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    1. Thank you!

      yes, I went back and added the other photo showing the "poof" of fabric.

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  2. A beautiful rendition of this pattern and a perfect anniversary dress!

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  3. I love this! It looks so elegant. You should definitely make another one!

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    1. Thank you!!! I was perusing Mood today looking at black silks and wools :-D

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  4. I love the dress you made Nakisha! All of your hard work shows, and it looks fabulous on you! I checked out the other entries as well, and you all did a great job. This is going to be a tough round!

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    1. Thank you so much!

      Voting will be hard!!

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  5. Way to go - Not only do you have a beautiful dress, you've stretched yourself by trying some new techniques. I love reading about others pushing themselves because it inspires me to get out of my own sewing rut :)

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    1. Thank you Robyn!

      Agreed. This contest has been really good for me; win or lose, it's pushed me more than I would've pushed myself!

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  6. You really look great in dresses! This one really flatters you well, fit is really good considering your point about the back. I actually like my back snug at the waist. The flounce is gorgeous...I have made a flounced dress before and loved it.
    Thanks for keeping us posted on your progress.

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    1. You know what Natasha, I just remembered that my dress that is quite similar to this has instructions for the lined surplice bodice. I should have put that information in the pattern review. I forget so many details and don't take notes as I work, at least not yet. Your reviews and what you share are always so informative as well as entertaining.

      The lining was a little confusing but well worth it. Take a look at my blog post for McCalls 6713 titled "pucci dress" (http://sewtofit-andrea.blogspot.com/2014/05/completed-pucci-dress-mccalls-6713_5.html) or my review on PatternReview.com. I would venture to guess that you have that pattern.

      One of the main reasons I like sewing with Vogue and some of the McCalls, is that they give you more advanced techniques to complete the garment...this is where I learned such a great deal back in the 80s and 90s just sewing their patterns and also Burda. They really push your limits.

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  7. I'm getting some serious dress envy. It's beautiful and you look fantastic in it. You've got my vote.

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  8. Awesome job!!! Your dress is beautiful.

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  9. As usual, a wonderful job. Your fitting info always inspires me. I LOVE the color you selected for the dress AND the shoes are perfect! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. You knocked it out of the park girlie. I am impressed and so very happy and inspired to see you tackle something you've never tried before. You SEW girl! Hah. See what I did there? =)

    I got my vote!

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  11. Fab.u.lous... you look great, perfect color, fit ... just fab.u.lous.

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  12. Perfect fit. Lovely color. How can you not win???

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  13. You got my vote.... good luck.

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  14. Stunning, Stunning, just Stunning!!!!

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  15. Yeah, you! This is awesome. The ruching detail is amazing. I feel for you on all the changes, though, since sheath dresses nearly always have to have changes to fit a female body correctly (my own, as well--good gracious!). You even look cute in your muslin. :)

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    1. Thanks Dina! :)

      My favorite part is looking at the crazy pattern pieces after the fact!

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  16. Gorgeous dress, you worked those detail magnificently! Love the color--eggplant is one of my favorite fall colors. Looks great on you!

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    1. Thank you Robin! It's not a color I'd normally go for but I'm SO glad I did!

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  17. A purple anniversary dress! Great minds think alike, LOL! It's amazing we didn't make the same pattern! What a fantastic job you did on the fitting. I know how tough that was. Enjoy your anniversary!

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    1. You should've seen my mouth drop Ann! Ha! Thanks so much. Happy Anniversary to you too!

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  18. Yay! It is so beautiful! you really mastered some hard techniques here Nakisha! I love the fabric you picked and I'm with you on the expensive-ness. I sew because I love it but I'm also frugal... :)
    It was worth the cost and time and tears though because your hubs will love you in this for your anniversary!! Congrats! (mine was yesterday, lol). I'm going to go vote now, keep up the great work!

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    1. Happy Anniversary!!!

      Thanks so much! I'm pretty excited to wear my dress now!

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  19. Do you and Ann have the same anniversary haha? Mine is October 10th...if we all stay in the competition long enough we might be sitting at home sewing instead of celebrating!! Great job on this dress!

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    1. RIGHT!?!? LOL!!!

      I'm October 2nd! Happy early anniversary! :)

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  20. You look stunning!! Beautiful color on you and the fit is spot on!

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  21. You look amazing in this dress! I can't believe how short of an amount of time you all had to complete this challenge, especially when you'd think that a "fitting challenge" would likely involve multiple muslins for most people (unless they crank out something that's already a TNT). With the way that you're stretching yourself for this contest, I think you're going to see your sewing skills grow by leaps and bounds in a very short amount of time.

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    1. Thanks so much!

      I know, right?! I was thinking I needed to just use a TNT. Would you believe that due to family commitments I did *NO* sewing Friday & Saturday?!?! This is why my family had pizza on Sunday! LOL!!!

      It sounds super corny but honestly, if I don't make it another week I have learned SO much in this short time!

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  22. I LOVE this! Perfect color, too. Another really killer week for you. Prepare for next week, you're gonna keep on keeping on in this contest for sure.

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  23. WOWZA! You are rocking this girl! I love everything about it!

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  24. Great photos and great alterations on the paper pattern. So much thinking and preparing goes into a dress that I am amazed you only worked 12 hours on this puppy. It turned out so nice and so sexy too. Good luck on the voting...you really shine this week!

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  25. You look beautiful in your new dress.It is perfect... SO funny that everyone chose eggplant color fabric.. Love it.. Will go vote for you.

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  26. Beautiful dress and awesome job! You definitely have my vote.

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  27. Lady, you look amazing! Perfect anniversary dress. It's gorgeous - job well done!

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  28. Great job! You made that dress super fast!

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  29. Beautiful! I think it was definitely worth the time and effort you put into it. Have a wonderful anniversary!

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  30. Great job! This is one of my favorite patterns as well. Happy anniversary!!!

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  31. Beautiful dress!! You look great in eggplant color fabric. Hope you win the challenge and Happy Anniversary!

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  32. Beautiful dress! All of your effort with the muslin and everything else you did really paid off because it's just gorgeous. You look beautiful. Happy Anniversary!

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  33. It's really gorgeous and fits so well. It's fun to see what you did with that purple fabric! For the record, I would definitely have underlined the bodice as well.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one; even if I don't have time to respond back!