mercredi 1 juin 2011

Finished Project: Southwestern Summer Dress

Here are the "official" photos of my latest finished project.

I found this fabric in the remnant bin at Dressew and was immediately attracted to the bold southwestern-ish print. After considering making a top, I finally decided to go for a full-on dress. I went with view A (sleeveless) of Quick Butterick 6528, purchased for .99 at Value Village. It's a simple A-shape dress with a buttoned band and pleat in the front, which felt like a good match for this busy print.

The pattern was pretty straight forward although I had to carefully figure out the print placement. I adjusted the width of the front lap and pleat slightly to so that the print would match up properly.

I also made a couple alterations to the original pattern:
The neckline was originally very high and chock-y. I lowered it by a couple inches.

I decided to do the collar band, as well as the underlap of the button band in contrasting navy fabric. I also added folding-over arm bands in the same contrasting fabric for visual balance. The idea came from seeing BWOF dress 132 from february 2011, and all I did was trace the arm band piece from that pattern. It matched up perfectly with the edge of the dress's armhole.

I think the contrasting navy blue helps make it a more visually "structured" dress, and look less like I made wholes in a southwestern sheet and put it on...
I also took in about 3/4 inch at the side seam to make it a bit more fitted, and shortened it by about 4 inches.

I used the Slapadash Sewist's technique to finish my side seams and in-seam pockets with french seams. It makes for a nice finish on the inside although I wouldn't use it with a heavier fabric or a plain fabric as it does create a bit of a bulge.

One mistake I made was to sew the bottoms of the arm band together with the side seams. As a result, the french seam shows on the outside when the band is folded over. But since it's under the arm pit, it really only shows if I lift my arms up so I think I can live with it. If I had to do it again I would sew the arm band seam separately with the french side finish on the outside, so that it's on the inside when folded over.

Because I lowered the neckline, the button band was shortened, so I decided not to add buttons (or a button) and leave it as is.

For the pictures, we went out to Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.
At first I was hoping for a more rural, wheat-field type setting, which is not that common in the Vancouver area ( unless you drive out of town for a while)...instead I ended up on a tree branch, trying to stay balanced and looking relaxed at the same time. Hem...not sure if I succeeded in the relaxed part. But it was fun, and B. actually also climbed on a branch to take some of the pictures...

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wasn't sure of the resulting garment and was looking for the proper accessorizing. I could have made a simple sash from my left-over navy fabric but I felt it would accentuate the "home-made" effect (also I felt a bit lazy).
I found the belt in a consignment store and it is pretty much perfect. The color is a match to the collar and arm band so it doesn't create yet another contrast on this busy print, but the braided aspect and the silver hoop add texture and keep it from being too plain. I have a thin brown braided leather belt that would also work.

I had brought my dress to the store to try belts with it, and both sales associates in the fitting room spontaneously said they found my dress very cute. I don't always trust how genuine this type of comment is, but they knew it wasn't a store item as I had mentioned it walking in, so it's not like they were trying to sell it to me (although as a matter of fact they kinda did as it made me feel more confident about how the dress looked...).

I'm happy with the result, it's a very comfortable dress to wear, and it's definitely unique. Now if only the weather here decided to turn to actual spring (or even summer), this dress would probably get worn quite a bit...

7 commentaires:

  1. this is fantastic! I'm still so jealous of this fabric.

  2. This is AMAZING! I looove the dress! You have such a great eye!

  3. Your version of the dress looks so much better than in the magazine and I love your fabric choice

  4. I love this dress! You look great.

  5. Completely adorable. Truly modern and southwestern at the same time (and I live in Santa Fe)!! I, too, am JEALOUS of the fabric. And the execution.

  6. I had to come and see what you were up to over here! I've been absent from the blogging world. The dress is beautiful! So fun and summery. I love the belt too. I would really like to find a dress that had a belt. I love that look.

    I love the photos too, and those big old trees.

    Hope we see you soon, tous les deux!

  7. Hi there! I just stumbled upon your blog and I love your dress! and the fabric is unbelievable! It looks like we've started sewing around the same time (2007). I am a self taught sewer also and recently started my own sewing blog, so I will look to your blog for continued inspiration! Happy Sewing!