Saturday, 25 June 2011

Blue dress, blue skin

It's becoming harder and harder to drag myself away from lazing in my nice warm lounge room and head into my sewing room which probably explains why it took me a bit over two weeks to finish my latest dress. Instead I've been living vicariously through all of your blogs, especially those of you who have been sewing up pretty summer dresses - isn't it amazing how the prospect of warmth and sunshine gets our motivation going?

I too have made a nice sleeveless summer dress which is a little bit crazy since it's so cold around here, and will be for the next 2 or 3 months, but hey sewing on a whim is the best kind of think.  I sewed dress 130 from BWOF 2008-12, which is the exclusive design for that month's issue:

 The fabric suggestion for the bodice is for chiffon or like fabrics, which is typical outrageous Burda because even though the bodice is gathered it is also unlined, and I seriously doubt whether those gathers would give enough coverage for decency's sake! Plus the pattern as designed uses self fabric for bias binding around the neckline and armhole, which to me seems really fiddly and I would not have had the patience to do.  Instead I opted to make mine from a thin polished cotton in a navy blue diamond shape dot pattern for the bodice, a wool gabardine in navy blue for the skirt and fully lined the top and bottom with Bemberg lining.  All fabrics from the stash too which is a nice bonus.




I found the fit on this dress to be absolutely perfect with hardly any alterations, which is a relief because I threw caution to the wind and didn't bother with a muslin.  I cut a size 34 for the bodice and a size 38 for the skirt and deepened those darts as well as shaping the sides in order to get the two sizes to fit at the middle. And look at this side view, no swayback alteration and yet this fits like a glove:


Because I didn't use a thin fabric like chiffon for the bodice, I chose to use a series of pintucks at the front rather than gathers which I think looks just as good (please ignore that stray bit of fluff on the bodice in these photos - I didn't notice it until afterwards d'oh!).  Although I think it doesn't sit as flat along those vertical seam lines in the front as a soft flowing fabric would have since I used a crisp fabric, but it's not too bad:


However the back is also the interest point of this dress because instead of being the standard centre back zip from neckline to lower back, the zip extends to the top of the skirt only and the bodice instead buttons up at the neckline with a diagonal overlap like this:


I think I was overly worried about gaping there at the back and have put the buttons too far towards my shoulders and hence the strain lines that you can see.  But it's not too tight or uncomfortable so I think I'll leave it because if it does gape open then my bra strap at the back would be visible because the overlap isn't huge there.  But this is also probably the one dress where my poor posture is actually of benefit: because I tend to slump forward this helps the bodice at the back sit flat against my back!

Overall I'm really happy with this dress, even the length was just right for me too without having to shorten it.  The only problem with this dress is that I think I may have created an orphan because it's far too cold in my office all year round to wear it without a jacket, and the two navy suit jackets I have don't match it enough in terms of colour or texture.  I am trying to be less matchy matchy, but I'm afraid that I just can't stand wearing the same colour top and bottom if they don't match exactly - picky I know! I did wear it to work the day after I finished sewing it with one of the navy blue jackets from another skirt suit but it just didn't feel right - I felt frumpy and just wrong all day.

So I'm thinking I may either make a white jacket which would also go well with a few other dresses I have, or sacrifice this dress that I made ages ago and have only worn about three times since which is made from the same fabric (this dress is the leftovers of that dress) and then I can be happily matching.  Or since I'm a sewist with plenty of fabric and patterns at my fingerprints the answer may be to do both - all in good time of course.....

35 comments:

  1. Nice dress. Make the white jacket and leave the other lovely dress intact.

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  2. woo hoo. that looks really good. worth suffering hypothermia for.

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  3. I think this is your best dress ever: a perfect fit with no alterations. WooHoo!

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  4. Gorgeous dress, and a what a great fit!

    I'm like you with the matching - if it's the same color, it should match. But a contrast color would look nice with this, white as you said, or red, or ...

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  5. oohhhh! I really lOVE this dress! Really lovely back detail too...I love that closure..what a great idea!

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  6. Umm, hello Pippa :) You look a-mazing. I love these style dresses. I love the combination of fabrics you chose too. I never noticed the back neckline detail until you pointed it out. Terrific job!

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  7. Have you considered a grey or flattering-shade-of-red cropped jacket or outright bolero? Or even pink? or yellow!

    I want this dress. I remember Cidell made one ages ago and I loved it. Or was it Trena? Whatever!

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  8. LOVE this dress! Can you wear it under a navy jacket for late fall/ early spring? Or the red suggested above would be great too. Congrats Kristie. As to motivation - ugh, send some my way.

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  9. Wow! A great pattern and fit on you - you look great! I made a little white linen jacket recently and would say go down that route for this dress.

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  10. This is lovely on you! I'm thinking that a long sleeved, white sweater that is nicely fitted would look nice with your dress and would warm it up for you. The fit is just perfect.

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  11. Would the "very cool navy and cream cropped print jacket purchased from Veronika Maine" from the other dress work with this?
    D'Ellis
    Chicago

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  12. The dress looks amazing on you. Great details.

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  13. Cute, cute dress! I was just going to suggest a white cardigan or the "very cool navy and cream cropped print jacket purchased from Veronika Maine" but two people above me beat me too it! Super jealous of the perfect fit with no alterations too.

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  14. Great dress! I say make the white jacket. Even though you have only worn the other dress 3 times it looks great as well! It would be a shame to sacrifice it!

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  15. Beautiful dress! I love that high waistline.

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  16. Beautiful dress- it looks perfect on you! This is one of my all time favorite dresses from Burda. I've never made it though, because I'd have to grade it up, and I've been too lazy to do it so far. I love the way you used a more substantial fabric for the bodice and made pintucks instead of gathers. It looks great!

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  17. Pretty dress! I like the small dotted print on top. I agree with the other commenters. You could do a white jacket or a contrast cardigan in red or other bright color.

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  18. Very pretty and really great fit! I made this too with the silk chiffon on top and it was extremely fiddly! I just wear a nude camisole underneath for modesty and didn't line it. Could you perhaps wear yours with a red jacket? It might provide a pretty pop of color and not have the color matching issue.

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  19. This is a very pretty dress and it fits you perfectly.

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  20. Wow! I agree with someone above ... that style is YOU! It makes you look fantastic. I never noticed the back before either and I have seen another on a blog but they didn't point that out. I love the pin tucks and I think a red jacket would really set it off! Oh for lunch in the sun in a beautiful dress! (well it is 22 deg here today so it's not too bad!)
    Love it!

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  21. I love the way it fits you at the back, that side view looks spot on.

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  22. Stunning dress and perfect fit. I am also matchy/matchy. You have got some great suggestions already.

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  23. That looks fabulous on you. I made this dress and it just about drove me crazy with the fitting and the poufiness of the bodice. It looks far superior in your version with a crisp fabric at the top closely controlled with pin tucks, terrific fabric choice.
    I do like mine worn under a wrap cardigan though - the neck detail still peeks out.

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  24. I have always liked this dress. Yours is a great version!

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  25. Lovely dress, you look stunning. Can't believe it fit like that with no swayback alteration!
    You've harvested stash from the deep freeze, but created a momentary orphan--can't have everything! In the meantime, without knowing the dress code of your office, what about a knit cardigan in a complementary colour, like--yes--orange? Orange and navy look great on jeans, and it would set off your hair. A cardigan isn't such a big commitment as a jacket, an a RTW knit cardigan is also good. Just an idea!

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  26. I can totally see this working with a Chanel style jacket in a the grayish family. This looks fantastic on you (and I am so jealous of your flat stomach--i could never do a side shot like that).

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  27. It's a lovely dress! I vote for the white dress too...it will give it a crisper look.

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  28. To be honest I was thinking that something with another color like a red, or pink... even maybe a yellow might do... thus giving the other dress it's own show and this one too!
    Guess I've never been much for white jackets. Or maybe even something with a print.... another poke a dot? You have a lot of dark colors... just a thought!
    The dress looks great... the back closing detail is different. But it looks good. I suppose if you did decide to change the placement of the button, you could place a small piece of velcro to keep it from gaping?

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  29. With such a lovely vintage look to the dress, I thought you could also wear a feminine shirt underneath (blouson or bishops sleeves) instead of trying to find the perfect jacket.

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  30. I was only pondering this dress yesterday, thinking how nice it was. This looks lovely. How about a contrasting colour jacket?

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  31. Oh, it's gorgeous. I'm going to make this dress come summer. Of course, I say go for a red jacket!

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  32. I think that it is a great dress. I would make a turquoise or aqua jacket to wear with it.

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