Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chocolate Swirl Dress

It's 11:30 p.m. and it's still a balmy 85 degrees outside. Inside, it's about 95, at least in the rooms without AC. Which explains the name of the dress, somewhat.

I gave in today and turned the AC on in the workroom, which made at least 3 kitties even happier than I was. Who knew they could sleep that long - and get along so well - all for the sake of a few cooling breezes?

As you can see, I did manage to get the linen dress finished, and if the overall linen-y wrinkledness is any indication, it should look a treat when exposed to outdoor humidity! But that's what linen does, and I'll accept that. At least it doesn't have a waistband to get all baggy.

The final version of the dress ended up being slightly different than my original sketch - there are five panels on each side, not 3, because 3 just seemed to be too wide and I thought I'd end up feeling like a barrel. Five - 6 in the back, with an invisible zip in the center - seemed like a more reasonable width.

Despite getting good advice to line the bodice with cotton batiste, it turned out I didn't have any. Since the linen wasn't too heavy, I used it for the bodice lining. Admission: I also already had an extra bodice cut out, because I cut the first one without a seam allowance at the bottom. So when I realized I had no batiste, I took it as a sign to get rid of the evidence of my mistake.

The skirt lining is made from a poly blend voile I got from a PR member for cheaps. I wouldn't have used it if the dress was more snug, because I'm not sure how much it breathes, but since there's some air in the skirt, I decided it would be okay.

The hardest part was figuring out the eventual length of the dress, and the width of the hem band. I cut about 3" off the dress as it was last seen here, and cut a 4.5" wide band the length of the hem. I pressed 1/4" on one side, and used a 1/4" seam allowance when attaching it to the dress. I could have maybe gone a tiny bit wider, but I think a 2" band works well.

One of the things I like about the dress is the way the stripes are tapered. I started in the center and used straight lines, but I wasn't sure what to do about the outside edges, where the pattern pieces curved. I decided not to change the width of all the stripes to reflect the outer curve, which in the end gives the effect of me having more shape than I do.

Yay for optical illusions!

I got the June Burda yesterday, and I'm considering what to make next. There are, as I thought, a few pieces that interest me, but I think the next project up is another variation on my all time favorite knit dress, New Look 6429. I bought some inexpensive knits recently from an Ebay vendor and one of them is clamoring to be that dress. We'll see if it gets its way.


Vicki said...


Lisette M said...

Really cute dress!

Rose said...

Impressive dress!

Andrea said...

I love how the dress turned out. I can't wait to see it in person. Beautiful job!!!

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Okay, truth time...when you showed the pic of the dress almost done...I shook my head. I was convinced you were going in the wrong nice to know that I was wrong because your final dress is beautiful!

Omega said...

Nice dress, turned out great!

Linda L said...

This turned out great! I really like the look of it.

Jen said...

The dress turned out beautiful.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful dress!