Monday, July 06, 2009

Starting something new (finally)

I have given up (for now, at least) on the blue coat.
blue coat
I noticed that the front (interfaced) edges curled in. This made me avoid working on it, as I knew I was going to have to do something to fix it.
blue coat
I decided to hem it, to see if this would help. I finished the raw edge with seam binding and sewed it up by hand. The lining hangs free all around the bottom.
blue coat
I even sewed on a little bit of seam binding on the raw edge of the facing.
blue coat
I hemmed up the sleeves and had to cut off several inches. When I hung it on my judy it became clear that the fabric was sagging. In this photo, I am holding up the waist seam and the curved-in fabric on that side corrects itself. I have therefore given up for now and won't continue to struggle with this. In fact, I wasn't so much struggling as avoiding. It seems a shame to put so much time into something and then pitch it. But it is a good lesson for me, not to buy mysterious cheap fabric. The clothes I have made recently that I wear a lot and love to wear are the ones I made with quality fabric or at least known quantities, like 100% cotton that I washed and dried and it survived.

So! In the meantime, I have become a volunteer member of the board of Breast Cancer Action and they have several fund raising events, one of which is a Gala in November. So I went looking for patterns!
gala dress muslin
After seeing the same dress over and over in other books, I got this pattern from Vogue (V1086). It is a designer (Tracy Reese) pattern but it seems quite straightforward. It has the things they keep mentioning on "What Not To Wear", such as a high midriff and a skirt that floats away from the body. Of course, I was seduced by how lovely this model looks and I will never be that thin, but it might still work well on me.
Her dress appears to be made of batiste and as such, it is not as "fancy" as a gala dress. But I wanted to go short, not long, and I had had enough of the red carpet type dress after my last creation! It may be, after I make the muslin, that I will think the pattern itself is not fancy enough but time will tell.
gala dress muslin
Now in spite of what I just wrote about mystery fabric, I got some $3/yard stuff in pure polyester but that is to make the muslin for this pattern. It is even possible that I might get a wear or two out of it, if it turns out to fit me and doesn't look too horrible. But the main goal is to fit the pattern properly.
gala dress muslin
In spite of the polyester pansies, this fabric actually doesn't feel too bad and the weight is probably good for whatever, better, fabric I end up buying. Which will probably be at
gala dress muslin
I like the fact that it looks like there is a fair bit of detail in the dress, even though it should not be that difficult to sew. The bodice is gathered which is nice for ease and so is the skirt. The most fitted part will be the midriff and the shoulders, which are yokes. It has a side, invisible zipper so it does not pull over the head.
gala dress muslin
There's only one version of the dress, so I will be using all the pattern pieces, and there aren't that many of them.
gala dress muslin
The only interfacing is in the yoke, on the pieces that you have to cut four of, and the midriff, which is double thickness.
gala dress muslin
I have pinned the midriff to the judy and I think I will cut on the safe side, at size 14, and then take in where necessary. I have to say, it is a relief to have decided to move on to something else, even if it does violate my "Rule" about having no UFOs.


Ann's Fashion Studio said...

I love this dress and so wanted to make it this summer, but it doesn't seem like it will happen. I will enjoy your progress :)

Carmen said...

Darrell's??? Yééé!!! I,ll be your chauffeur, we could do lunch! And Darrell is moving...just a bit closer to you, Preston south of Somerset...

India said...

It looks like a very pretty dress! And those "What Not to Wear" people have terrible taste sometimes, anyway—I worked on one of their books, and we laughed and laughed over their recommendations . . .

JuliaR said...

Thanks Ann. Hopefully, you can see if there are any pitfalls to avoid before you try the pattern.

Carmen, we shall go shopping at Darrell's soon!

India, I thought the lines of the dress were exactly that - pretty. A lot of how it ends up looking will depend on the fabric too.

boofsmom said...

It's too bad about your blue coat, because I really like it!

Have you considered putting some chain in the bottom hem such as they do in Chanel jackets? This may help it hang better. I think something lightweight-just enough to give it some weight at the bottom.

Llama said...

Hey...just wanted to tell you i love your blog. I will def. keep on reading! AWESOME dress!

john said...

great post..

eliza said...

Lovely Coat.....I really liked it.