Friday, April 16, 2010

Dress in progress

I know I'm supposed to be making tops. I signed up for the Spring Month of Tops, and tops are what I need. Right? Right.

So of course, I'm compelled to make a dress.

I have a justification, if that helps. Mario's birthday is next weekend, so I need a dress to wear for dinner that night. And there was this piece of fabric on the shelf that's been calling to me since last summer, but until this week it never really announced what it wanted to be.

Since the print is fairly large (and somewhat home-dec-appearing), I wasn't really sure it could be a dress. I didn't want to make a skirt with it - I had 2.5 yards, and it seemed wasteful - but the right dress pattern hadn't come along.

Burda to the rescue, yet again. The other night I pulled out several years worth of issues and went through them, line drawing by line drawing, looking for something to sew that wasn't what I said I was going sew. Dress #124 from the 2/2009 issue jumped out at me.

I'd put a sticky on it at the time as a possibility, and I'm not sure why I waited this long to try it. It's very close to perfect - neck not too low, interesting V in the back, fitting darts top and bottom in the front, darts in the skirt in the back, cut-on sleeves so you can tinker with the side seams without messing up the fit.

What's not to like? The more I looked at it, the more I thought it could work with this fabric. The fabric, by the way, was from Metro Textiles last spring (or possibly earlier, but I'm going to say it's about a year old). It's a stretch woven, but not too stretchy, jsut with enough give that I could take this dress in and make it nice and snug and still be able to breathe and eat and walk and sit down.

The pattern drawing - and Burda's photo - struck me as vintage-inspired without being the wrong kind of retro. (You know what I mean - there is a wrong kind of retro).

The almost-finished version of this dress is striking me the same way.

Which means I'm going to have to pull my dark raspberry pink strappy high-heeled Reaction sandals out of the closet to balance the potential tipping into uber-retro.

Okay, I admit it. One of the first things I thought of when I connected this fabric to this pattern was, "Oh, cool, a dress I can wear with those sandals!" They're hot and more than a little FMP, and yet they're ridiculously comfortable. Almost the perfect shoe, and they go with diddly in my wardrobe.

As for the dress, I haven't completely finished it, but I'm already thinking about other ways it can be made. I'd like to re-draft the bodice so that it has armholes and sleeves, because while the pattern is interesting as it is, I think I could get a lot more mileage from it if it had proper sleeves. Or, barring that, proper armholes, because this would make a smashing little black dress.

My favorite part is the back. The V is low, but not so low that my bra shows, and the way the facing is drafted allows for an almost perfect invisible zipper insertion. The zip went in first time, and the zipper tabs fold right into the facing so there's a nice clean finish.

Can I get an "amen" for a no-profanity zipper insertion?

I thought so.

I have some hand-sewing to finish this off, and then I promise pictures. Maybe before next weekend, but if not, then on the birthday, and in those shoes.


Lori said...

Very pretty dress.

Marie-Noƫlle said...

Another very positive review for this Burda pattern which has many others on pattern review.
I plan to make it for my son in law's wedding. I think it is very versatile. Your version is great and the fabric does not lokk home deck at all

Kitty Couture said...

Love your dress in progress! Have a good weekend.

Vicki said...

I really like this pattern but not sure of the sleeves. Can't wear a jacket or cardi with it. I like your version and look forward to seeing those shoes!

Gorgeous Things said...

That dress is so pretty!

Connie B said...

Love every bit of it from the pattern choice to the fabric!

KID, MD said...

Beautiful!! I just got this issue and that dress was on my list of must-makes from it. I'm glad to hear it goes together so well and that the back isn't too low, since naturally they never show the back in the mag. Why can't the fashion pics in burda ever show the details that I want to see??

gMarie said...

OMGoodness - what a fabulous dress. Love the fabric and I can't wait to see the sandals. Now I have to go see if I have that issue. Love <3 g

marysews said...

I really like the V-shaped back neckline of that dress!

Linda L said...

I really love your fabric and I like that you used this pattern to make it up.

Karin van Dam said...

Your dress looks very promising. And I can't wait to see it on you, with those sandals!

Jana said...

I'm loving the combo of this fabric and the neckline of this pattern. Lovely!

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love this dress! I was thinking how awesome this would be with sleeves too - great minds think alike :)

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Love it! It really is a fabulous pattern.

senaSews said...

Beautiful dress so far. Love the deep V-neckline!