Tuesday, April 22, 2008

BWOF 3/08 #115 Dress

The minute I saw this Liberty paisley in Paron's a few weeks ago, I had to have it. I was even pretty sure I was going to make this dress out of it, if there was enough fabric left on the bolt. (There was, but only just – I had to cut the dress out without hem allowances to get it to fit, but thankfully, I'm short).

I thought it would make a wonderful spring/summer dress, and I loved the flutter sleeves. I traced out the pattern Friday night and started sewing on Sunday.

I know I should have made a muslin. I know that, honestly, I do, but 99.5% of the time I'm a perfect 38 in BWOF's patterns. I wasn't expecting this pattern to be one of the 0.5%.

It fits – don't get me wrong, it fits. It's almost fitted, it fits so well. I'm going to call this one the unintentional wiggle dress, because I feel like I need to put on a Marilyn Monroe walk to wear it. The top of the dress was fine, but it's a little snug through the hips. I've also undergone some recent expansion in that area – sitting all day at work and then sitting all night sewing will do that to you. As will a fondness for food in general and all things crunchy in particular.

I underlined the entire dress in white batiste. The paisley was the slightest bit sheer, and also so lightweight that I knew on a warm day I'd completely sweat through it – always a good look, right? The batiste gives it structure without making it any bulkier, which was good for the invisible zip insertion.

I made my own bias trim for this dress, but rather than follow BWOF's instructions, which were pretty incomprehensible for something as simple as sewing on bias tape, I actually did a very narrow visible topstitch, not because it was easier but actually because I thought it added to the vintage feel of the dress.

It's funny – the flowered version of this dress in the magazine didn't do a thing for me, but I thought the wedding dress was drop-dead gorgeous. It can't just be the difference in sleeves; I must have a bad reaction to frantic floral fabric. The flowered version didn't strike me as vintage either, yet in the Liberty paisley, this feels like a dress out of an old movie – not one of the star's showier dresses, but the dress worn by the best friend or the sister. It needs short gloves and ladylike shoes and it would be perfect.

Now that it finally feels like spring, I've started thinking about wearing dresses again. Last weekend I made Vogue 8352 in a brown and turquoise floral bought at Paron's last summer. My favorite thing about this dress was that I got to use some vintage turquoise buttons from the inherited button stash. Also, because I have a love/hate thing with shirt dresses, I cheated and put in an invisible side zip just in case I shape shift and decide to sew the button front closed. Ensuring that I don't shape shift might be a better idea, but it's certainly not an easier one.


cidell said...

i think it's looking quite pretty. I see why you fell for it in Parons. I too am a fairly standard in BWOF, so I'm always a little offended when the fit isn't quite right!

CraftRage said...

That paisley is really great! I really hope you're planning on wearing that dress and doing the Marilyn walk - wiggle dresses are back in, anyway!

Dawn said...

Thanks for the warning!!! I did a muslin (it's on my blog) and you were VERY right about the fit. YIKES! I think I'm ready to dive into the real thing now.

Dawn said...

Oh, and when do we get to see it on you??

Cennetta said...

Both dresses are pretty. I'm planning on making the burda dress as well. Thanks for the warning. I've been some expansion myself. lol