Showing posts from June, 2012

Simplicity 2305, Tie Neck Dress

Source: via Trena on Pinterest

When I got this rayon print in a free bundle from Fabric Mart, I immediately knew it wanted to be a tie neck dress.  I was very much influenced by this Dolce & Gabbana ($2,495).   My project is more in the style of the inspiration than a literal copy, but I liked the smaller scale animal print and the voluminous bow.

Simplicity 2305 fit the bill for the shape I was looking for.  I feel like Cynthia Rowley is a bit of a one trick pony--half of her dresses are sacks and the other half are sacks interrupted by a midriff, like this one and the ruffle collar dress, Simplicity 2497.  It's an on-trend pony, though, so one trick is probably good enough (not to strain the metaphor too far).

While I like S2497 enough to make it twice--in purple silk and in swiss dot--I'm not sure this one is going to enter the repertoire.

First, a batwing/dolman sleeve in a voluminous gathered bodice is not kind to a flat chest.  They're under there…

Burda 05-2011-108, Panel Princess Dress: The Real Deal

I got this vintage home dec fabric from DeBois Textile in Baltimore for $3.50/yd in April 2011.  When I got the next Burda magazine and saw Burda 05-2011-108 (available for purchase from BurdaStyle at the link--I am not affiliated or compensated, just trying to be helpful) I immediately knew this fabric would be this dress and I would wear it to Seersucker Social.  Unfortunately, I was out of town for last year's Social so the fabric had to wait another year to be made up.  But when it rolled around to May it was on!

I mentioned what a nightmare this was to cut in the muslin post.  It was hard to see the zigzags through my tissue, and then really hard to keep the pattern pieces straight.  I ended up pinning the grainline to the fabric along a single zag and then pinning the rest of the piece in place.  It wasn't helped by the fact that I didn't have *quite* enough fabric so the jigsaw of the layout was extremely tedious.  I had to cut one of the skirt side pieces slightly o…

Alternative Finish for Sleeveless Lined Bodice

A while back I published my all-machine clean-finish bodice lining tutorial. I have used this method on every sleeveless dress and top I've made for the past several years, but when it came to my Seersucker Social dress, it wasn't going to work.

The all-machine method requires three open seams:  two side seams and a front or back.  Burda 05-2011-108 is drafted with a side panel rather than a side seam.  While you could theoretically leave the side front or side back seam unsewn, there would just be too much fabric to pull through the strap tunnels (especially the home dec fabric I was using).  The method generally prescribed by the Big 4 is nonsense.  Here is the alternative to the all-machine finish.

I lined the bodice of this dress with an Ikea Knoppa sheet, a lightweight cotton-poly batiste (and only $1.99 for the sheet!). Because my fabric was lightweight, I fused strips of interfacing to the neckline and armscye (a little hard to see because it's white-on-white).

 As w…

Burda 05-2011-108, Panel Princess Dress: The Muslins

I spent a lot of time on this dress, Burda 05-2011-108 (available for purchase from BurdaStyle at the link--I am not affiliated or compensated, just trying to be helpful), so I have a lot to say!  I realized it will make waaaaaay too long of a post to say it all at once, so bear with me.

I made not one, but two bodice muslins.  However, before I even started the muslins I narrowed the neckline and widened the shoulder strap, as you can see at left.

As drafted that shoulder is so narrow that it wouldn't cover a bra strap, not to mention would be a nightmare to line.

I also made a small bust adjustment by flattening the curve on the side panel piece. I found it very helpful in working with this side panel piece (no side seam) to mark the front and the back of it. I wrote on the pattern piece, and also added a notch at the back so that I would have no trouble on the cut pieces.

I knew to expect the neckline to be too wide, both from the photos in the magazine and from the reviews on …

Bicycle Bloomers

Most of my biking is casual city biking for transportation.  I am in a skirt or dress 95% of the time in winter and 100% of the time in summer.  To keep the creepers slightly at bay (people still try to stare up your skirt, no matter what, ugh), I always have something on underneath, usually bike shorts.  Bike shorts are fine for winter, but for summer when every little bit of extra clothing counts, I've been wanting to make bloomers.  I finally got around to them for the Seersucker Social, woot!

I remembered seeing an elastic waist short pattern recently so I pulled out Burda 03-2012-114 (available for download from BurdaStyle at the link).  They would require a little redrafting because the front laps over the back to create a petal-effect at the side hem, while I just wanted a plain side seam.

So I compared the pattern pieces with Burda 06-2011-111 (you have to scroll through to get to the shorts in the German Burda archive, f you very much BurdaStyle), which I made previously as…

Seersucker Social 2012

It was a weekend of biking and extravaganza!  Saturday was the Dandies and Quaintrelles Seersucker Social.  You may remember the Tweed Ride Cidell and I did in the Fall.  The Spring version is a garden party.  I was out of town for it last year so this was my first time.

Unfortunately, I had a terrible cold and made the HUGE mistake of trying to take medicine for it Friday night and ended up literally not sleeping at all.  No decongestants ever again for me.  Ever.  So I wasn't feeling great but was determined to join the party.

I didn't get any photos of actual biking (we did the long ride--a little over 8 miles), but I think this photo proves that biking was involved!  There were hundreds and hundreds of bikes parked all over.

After meeting up at Ft. Reno Park and wending our way through Upper Northwest Washington, DC, we ended up at the Hillwood Estate, the home of Post cereal heir Marjorie Merriweather Post.  It was my first time to visit the estate and it is just gorgeous.  …