Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Dress Sunday

My new fall/winter dress is done!  (Mostly)
The Grandma Carole Pose - all the 50s/60s-era pictures of her and her sisters show them standing like this, all in a row.
It's taken me so long to complete that I had to wear it today, even though I've not finished the belt. I found some old fabric-covered buckle kits on Etsy and I'm excited to have a ladylike, perfectly-matched belt for this dress.  I just haven't had the time to finish it yet!

The dress pattern itself wasn't terribly complicated - it was all the details that took so long. The pattern I have is made for a gal about a size and a half smaller than me, but I was actually excited to learn about pattern grading.  The article I found most useful was from Threads Magazine - it has a good reference picture for cut lines and a chart with common "spread" amounts. 

This is the first time I've made a muslin, also.  For the most part, I've just done a pin-fitting with the pattern pieces and for simple modern patterns, that's fine.  However, since I had to grade this pattern and transfer the pieces onto muslin anyway, I thought I'd give it a shot.  I was glad I did, because the waistline needed to be let out more and the bust needed taken in (those 50s girls with their tiny waists and big busts!).  Also, the sleeves ended closer to the shoulder than I wanted, so I was able to adjust that and make them into a longer cap sleeve.

The pattern had no instructions for a lining, so I just made a second dress out of lining and attached it at the neckline interfacing.  It ended up working and made the dress feel "finished".  Other time-consuming, but ultimately good things I did: twill tape at the neckline to help the notch lay flat, hand-stitched the hem and the arm openings, and "hand-picked" the side zipper for an added vintage touch. 
The wool gabardine is just the right weight for fall - it's heavy enough to be warm, but it's not so heavy that I couldn't wear this into spring.  I ordered too much, so I might make a skirt with the leftover.  Overall, I'm really happy with this dress - I think it's lovely and I'm proud of myself for learning a few new things in order to make it!


Eithne said...

This dress turned out really nicely. I found your blog through ravelry, I'm also making the two tone sweater from the iva rose booklet,I'm just using one colour though, your blue sweater looks like it's going to be beautiful. Eithne