Tuesday, April 22, 2008
2-Piece Floral Dress
I finally finished this dress, and I'm glad to be done with it. Not that I didn't enjoy working on it, but I've been able to spend almost zero time sewing in the last couple weeks, and I was so close to done it was just killing me not to finish. So, here it is.
The fabric is a silk/cotton blend with an interesting weave that makes effective use of the fact that silk and cotton will take dyes differently. It makes the print look almost like a woven design, and gives it a watercolor effect. Yes, it's a really, really, really large scale print, but it's so large it almost reads as an abstract, and I like that. The fabric is from Nancy Erickson, and I borrowed her idea of making a 2-piece dress. I did not use the suggested princess-seam top however, preferring a darted, cut-on-sleeve top that I've made before. The original pattern is Vogue 2719 which is a Vintage Vogue dress that's OOP. I used the bodice as a blouse previously and it's a real favorite. I redrew the neckline for this to make it a little dressier than a shirt collar.
When I ordered this fabric, I assumed I was going to be using a princess-seam sheath style top pattern, and planned accordingly. As I mentioned before, I really had a hard time getting this top out of the fabric I had. I didn't have really any choice in print placement because there was one, and only one way this fit on the layout. After stitching the top, I really didn't like the look of the CF seam with the print. I came up with my triangular appliqué idea, and like it, then decided that adding a bow would be even better. How can you go wrong with a bow?
I underlined the entire thing in silk organza, which gave this a lot of body. This fabric has body of its own, and the result is almost a spongy feel, and I think it holds the style very nicely, especially the skirt. I was a little hesitant about lining this as well as underlining, because of the thickness of the fabric and underlining even before lining, as well as the fact that it's a Spring/Summer outfit, and I didn't want to add warmth. And, I'm just not a "line everything" kind of girl. I like to go on a case-by-case basis, and I rarely line tops. Because this top pattern was altered with my saran wrap block, it has a really nice fit in the neck and shoulders, so I knew I could get away with just piping the edges and hand overcasting the piping to the wrong side. There's no peek-a-boo problems with the inside showing here and there, and it makes a really nice clean finish. Here's the top inside-out. You can get a better look by clicking on the photo link and viewing the Original size. This is true of all of the photos.
The skirt is drafted from my favorite straight skirt, and is the same as the green skirt I did as a trial. It looks quite different, but it's all in the different properties of the fabrics, not the pattern.
And here's a side-front view.
I did contemplate a belt with this. I took photos with and without, and although I like the belt, it just makes me look awfully short-waisted, and I think this is a more graceful look. It's amazing how much easier it is to make a style decision while looking at photos rather than when looking in the mirror. Everyone says this, and it's really true.