Well, it’s done and delivered. I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of this dress on my good friend, for whom it was made, but she’s the same size as my daughter, who is modeling it in the pictures.
First, here’s the line drawing for view 119. The recommended fabric is lightweight, but I thought a wool crepe or challis would be a good winter’s fit. Miss V wanted it in cranberry, or, as I call it, blood red.
Here’s two pictures of the dress from Burda magazine.
Now, I have some issues with these pictures, which I didn’t notice on the first viewing of them, but as I looked more closely some fitting and finishing problems became very disappointingly apparent.
First, the model is definitely straining the dress through the bodice. Might be sexy in a picture or the right social setting, but I find it annoying. Why wear a dress that’s tight across the bust unless that’s what you want people to notice first when they see you? Second, the bodice-skirt seam does not fall in the proper place under her bust, but rides up about 1 inch. Tsk tsk, Burda! And the tie! What is with that? It’s not in line with the bodice seam at all (as per the line drawing), which, in my opinion, looks very ‘homemade’. And I highly doubt these crepe dresses are lined – another faux pas in my sewing mind. However, this is what my finished version looked like in cranberry wool crepe….
My DD1, when she put on the dress so I could take these pictures (with Miss V’s permission, of course!), exclaimed, “This is a really nice dress, mommy!” Hmmm. I think so too, and offered her one if she ever would like one. The fit is perfect through the bust, and the 3/4 length sleeves are the perfect touch. Here’s another view….
You can see the tie band from the back in this picture. I have to say that I did not follow Burda’s directions for either the zipper or the tie. Burda intended an underarm zip, but when I did the original muslin fitting for Miss V, she couldn’t get the dress off with the zip in the side seam. So I did one down the back. I actually hand-picked it because I discovered on Friday that my invisible zipper foot is broken. It turned out nicely, though!
I have a love-hate relationship with invisible zippers. I’ve been studying pictures of haute couture garments recently to see how they put in zippers, and I’ve never seen an invisible zip yet: they’re all hand-picked. But back to this dress….
Burda’s instructions for the tie read:
Stitch centre seam of tie band. Fold tie band lengthwise, right side facing in. Stitch edges together, leaving a section of seam open for turning. Turn tie band right side out. Sew seam opening closed. Try on garment. Lay tie band around dress with fold edge at horizontal seam, and tie to a bow at the side. Sew fold edge of tie band in place by hand, beginning in front, about 10 cm (4 inches) from zip slit.
I guess they meant to just sew one side so you could get into the dress, zip up the zipper and then bring the tie around and make the bow in the front. I decided to leave the tie in two separate pieces and fell stitch it in place along the centre back zipper, tacking it at the darts and side seams.
Because I put a centre back zipper, I had to add a seam allowance down the centre back bodice and skirt sections instead of cutting them on the fold. I also fully lined the dress, so I did not use the neck facings.
I stitched the darts and pleats in the front and back bodice pieces. Then I stitched the front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulder seams and stay-stitched the neckline. I did the same for the lining pieces. Then I stitched the fashion and lining bodice pieces together along the neckline, understitched the edges and turned and pressed the bodice pieces.
When I set the sleeves, I sewed the lining and bodice fabric as one layer. Then I fell stitched the sleeve lining in place.
My version involved a lot more hand sewing than Burda’s instructions suggested, but I wanted a truly finished garment, if you know what I mean. Anyways, Miss V is pleased with her dress, and I’m pleased with the finishing, so that makes two happy campers!
And another thought: I may not post again before Christmas, so Merry Christmas to you, dear reader, and I’ll see you in the New Year.