July 10, 2012

A dress inspired by Madmen and Flowers

 Finally, a sewing post!
Yes, I am alive, and I have not been sewing--well, I haven't even really been crafting either. School is out, and I have been sleeping and resting and cleaning.  I had an injury in May, and until today I haven't been near much of anything, except my spinning wheel.  I can spin without my hands hurting, which is nice, but it doesn't finish my husband's anniversary present or anything else on my list, which is huge.

However, today I finally woke up feeling better, so, inspired by the Headmistress Challenge for the House Cup, I have dug into my deep stash, and made something for a portkey--a dress, that can go formal or less depending on my day.  



Fabric:
1.2 m of printed French terry, overdyed with navy blue.  I could have used less, but cut the whole piece for length, and then shortened it after this picture.


Pattern: 
Silhouette 109 Hoodie and top
Pattern Description:
Pattern contains v neck hoodie and sleeveless top, both for knits, with multiple dart front pieces B, C and D (French dart style).

Pattern Sizing:
8 sizes, chosen based on finished measurements of favourite clothing. I choose to make a top in size 4, in a D cup with no changes except to lengthen the top into a dress. I was a little afraid it would be small, based on the measurements, but it was fabulous!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I will be honest--I hate the drawings this company uses on their patterns. The drawings don't reflect what the clothing actually looks like, and most people will not take a chance on the patterns because of the drawings.

This top is not a cap sleeve top (which is what I originally got from the drawings), but a jewel neck sleeveless shell with French darts and a bit of flare to the hips. It makes up true to size, and without adjustments, it fits perfectly around. The shoulders are at the shoulder seams, not extended like in the line drawings.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Haha, instructions are for sissies...Really, I didn't even look at them. I sewed the darts, the shoulders and side seams, serged around the openings and turned and top stitched.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Besides the line drawings? Nothing. This is a great pattern, easy and quick.

Fabric Used:
Printed French terry that I over-dyed using RIT navy in the washing machine to get it an awesome colour.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I scooped out the neck (1" at the shoulders and back, an inch and a half at the center front) to make this a more boat necked style, which is more flattering to me than the jewel neckline. I lengthened the side seam about 21" with an a-line look, and then cut it off to knee length, which means I should have only lengthened it about 17" total. I have a totally comfortable sleeveless dress that pops over the head and looks classic.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I took a chance, and just sewed up some languishing stash using the pattern without any real changes except to lengthen it into a dress, and I will say that Peggy rules.

Before making any adjustments, I recommend that others do what Peggy suggests--pick your size based on your favourite finished measurement, trace and go. Based on this first garment, I would agree with Peggy's fir suggestions in her webcases--don't mess around. Start with the bust needed and go from there.

My next one I will actually do petite shortening (1" at the armhole, and one inch between armhole and waist) because the dart actually ends at my high hip which is a little low on me, and the armhole is just that little bit too low. Still, even without the changes, this is a totally wearable garment. I also think this will make a great summer shell that isn't too tight or too loose, which will be nice. My clothes from last summer all need to be taken in.

Conclusion:
This is seriously a sleeper pattern. I can't believe no one has ever reviewed the top before. 


And a few more variations of this dress:
Plum double knit, knee length

Printed Rayon Polyester Lycra, with scoop neck and black lingerie elastic trim for contrast
 

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