Sunday, 15 October 2017

Tartan Autumn Dress

So I have this wishlist of things I would like to sew before the end of the year and I am going through it slowly, but surely. However, from time to time I get distracted by a project which usually comes out of nowhere. Like this dress.

The next item on my sewing is Rebecca Taylor Vogue pattern, which I have seen in so many cute versions that I just have to have it as well. But before I could get the pattern out of my stash, and start at least tracing it, I went to buy a zip needed for my project in progress (finished in between, I tend not to produce UFOs) and that's where I walked around the centre of Saint-Germain and saw this dress.

This fabric-and-pattern combination must be some kind of a trend because Burda features the girl's version in the November issue and I am pretty sure I could trace it back to some past defilé. I kind of liked the look, but for 70eur (after sales) for such a simple dress and in a shop which only starts at size 36, I knew I would not buy it.
For a few moments I flirted with the idea to try to find this fabric and sew the dress, but then: I am on a fabric diet, sewing the maximum from stash and not buying any new fabrics till the end of the year. Also, the fabric strongly reminds me of skirts for our folklore dance representations from when I was a kid. So I abandonded the idea very quickly and got back to the Rebecca Taylor.

The day after I went for my long run (I am currently training for a marathon, so my Sunday mornings are marked by the meditation state I get in after one hour of running) and started thinking about the dress again. That's when I realized that I could actually use this orange tartan cotton from my stash and copy the dress anyhow. The decision was taken rather quickly, I only spent a day searching for the right pattern ("prairie dress" is what you want) only to realize that with a little modification on the bodice and a straight skirt I would just use the Burda 109-01/2010 which I have already sewn in the past.

The rest was rather quick, I sewed a muslin of the bodice, just in case, rotated the waist dart to a breast dart and cut it out. Of course, I was extremely careful with pattern-matching, as the tartan is just dangerous for this. I started really sewing only on Wednesday and wanted to wear the dress on Saturday, as we planned to go to the seaside, so I was stressing about it quite a lot.

Of course, the dress was finished on Saturday morning, 15 minutes before we left. And I had to cheat with the buttons - I did not sew the buttonholes, only attached the buttons. I might get back to it and actually redo that, I do not like this kind of shortcuts, in general. I was hoping to find some matching buttons, but did not have time to go to a real "mercerie" shop, so I ended up using the coverable ones and I think it looks the best.
Can you spot that they are of a slightly different shade?

As for the sewing details, the dress is not lined which means for me French seams everywhere. I used a fine biais for the sleeves as I wanted to control the sleeve insert little bit more. The fabric is quite fine so the skirt is in the end baby-hemmed.

The dress is large and extremely comfortable. It is little bit out of my comfort zone, larger-than-usual in the waist area, but that's fine, that's how the original dress also was.

To finish, here are a few pictures of myself in Dieppe, Normandy. We had a great start of the day with sun and everything, fortunately, we took the pictures in the morning, as in the afternoon an incredible fog covered the beach and the port. It must have been the only place in France with a no-summer weather that day. Anyhow, it was warm and nice and we enjoyed the day together!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Or Another One?

I am on a real t&t wave (or really lazy to sew muslins) since this summer. I just like to match the pattern with my fabric and go for it, sew something in a week, wear it the other day. Next, please!

In this craziness I sewed a second autumn shift dress with the same pattern as the last one). This time I used this beautiful brown-orange fine wool, which I liked so much that I was "saving it for something special" for almost two years. Now, I just decided to use it up, as I have a stash full of fabrics I would like to save up for something special.

As for my grey shift dress, I interfaced the dress body with the - now famous - cotton-silk voile, as I still had a little remnant in brown. I also added a very fine black silk lining - it is better than nothing.

As for the sleeves I wanted something more sobber, and most importantly, something which goes under a cardigan. I added the little plackets , and a decorative button. In this picture you can at least see the fabric in detail.

For once, I like the fact tht the dress is extremely simple - I realized that the more complicated the dress, the less accessories I tend to wear, so the aim of this one is really to have a basic one and change the look with jewelery and scarves.

Now I am done with the simple things, my yearly stash development got again into negative numbers which is a great thing and I can finally dig into my never-ending wishlist and sew the cape, the black long-sleeve dress, the Rebecca Taylor dress etc.