Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fashion Plate: Capital Class Trench

It's come to my attention that some of you are getting cold.  I'm keeping warm in my insulated part of Florida and I wanted to post another swimsuit fashion plate this week, but I'm trying to be respectful to those of you that have already seen snow this season. 

This week's fashion plate is based on ModCloth's Capital Class Trench.  The Robson pattern from Sewaholic seems absolutely perfect for this look.  The line drawing is a bit misleading, as the collar is double just like the ModCloth one.  I chose a navy polka dot cotton duck fabric from fabric.com, but you can use any light to medium fabric, such as cotton twill or gabardine.

This is actually my one year(ish) anniversary of posting fashion plates.  I clicked "post" on the first one on 9/27 last year.  Yay!

Monday, September 29, 2014

FO: Fancy Ball Dress

"Fancy Ball Dress"
(aka Vogue 1192)

Just the Facts:
Fabric: 2 yards each dupioni silk from Measure $50 and bemberg rayon from JoAnn's $10
Notions: Thread, zipper $3
Pattern: Vogue 1192
Year: 2010
Time to Complete:  about 2 years (seriously, lol. see here and here)
First Worn:  September 27, 2014
Wear Again:  yes, hopefully I'll have the opportunity soon!
Total Cost: $67.00

It's been a while since I had a finished thing to post.  I've had a lot of changes going on in my life.  The biggest one is that I just started a new job less than 2 weeks ago.  Doing interview prep and such took a lot of energy out of me and then having to work out my notice at my old job of over 7 years was draining as well.  I know I made the right decision, but I was constantly feeling Done.  Now that that's over, more time for sewing! (hopefully)

I had my 10-year high school reunion Saturday night.  I wasn't sure I wanted to go to it.  I mean, who actually goes to their 10-year reunion anyway?  I decided to go to the reunion and use it as motivation to finish up this gorgeous dress that's been hanging there taunting me for nearly 2 years.

All these night time pictures are terrible, though the fabric color is surprisingly accurate.  A touch less shiny and more green perhaps.  I left off with this dress very annoyed with the left front bodice piece.  The bust dart was in the way wrong place and I COULD NOT figure out how to fix it.  I guess a couple more years of sewing experience under my scissors helped a lot.  I looked at the pattern piece and knew exactly what I needed to do to fix my issue.  I marked my bust apex on the pattern piece. closed the dart on the tracing, and retraced the pattern piece to start fresh.  From there, I slashed the bust dart open and spread my pattern piece out, creating a much smaller and shorter dart.  The new pattern piece is almost perfect!

I could have done a better job with the hem.  It's a bit lower in the front than the back.   I lost a fair amount of fabric to unraveling over the years.  YEARS.  This dress was taunting me in the corner, you have no idea.

Glamor shot!

I was trying to show off the pleats and failing horribly.  Are they tucks or pleats?  I can never keep them straight.  According to this pop quiz, people have been getting them confused for a long time.  I like this description from that same link: "A tuck is secured it’s entire length, as in a pin-tuck. A tuck is fixed.  A pleat is only secured at one end (unless it is smocked) it is loose, it can fold and unfold. A pleat is malleable."  I'm thinking my shaping detail is a pleat because they lines aren't sewn for the entire length--only 2-3" per line.

 I started with the size 8 and made quite a few changes to this dress to get it to fit me properly.
    --shortened the dress front and back by 3"
    --took 1.5" off the shoulder seam at the neck tapering to match the pattern at the armhole
    --redrew the v-neck seam line, taking off anywhere from 3/4" to 1/4" 
    --moved the bust dart on the left front and made it 2.5" instead of 4.5"
    --hand-stitched a 3/4" hem instead of 2" hem (shouldn't have shortened so much!  I didn't make the shoulder seam adjustment on my muslin and that's where I lost a lot of the length.)

More about the reunion:  I was SHOCKED! by who married who, how much weight people gained (or lost), the jobs people held, and how many people I didn't recognize at all.  One guy in my class is a construction foreman-type who works for the State of Florida.  His dad is the local judge and everyone thought Andrew was going to be a lawyer for sure.  The party was held at the town country club (I went to school in a very small town).  There was some food, a cash bar, and a very bad DJ.  We opened the time capsule.  Someone put tarter sauce in it!  It was brown and gross after 10 years.  There were a lot of pictures in the time capsule too.  Someone put one in from the first day of senior year.  I don't even remember taking the photo that day.  My life has changed so many ways since graduating from high school, yet it feels like I haven't changed at all.

I didn't get any pictures at the event, so I had to get up on Sunday and take some semi-decent daytime ones.  This is bedhead and leftover mascara.  Wooo.  I'm also hiding my glasses behind my back.  Lazy Sunday FTW.

I had a really hard time with this back vent.  I was stumped for several days.  The lining pattern pieces are an inch or two narrower than the fashion fabric and the lining didn't seem to match up with the fashion fabric on the inside.  The left side looks like it's pulling.  That's actually the extension side and the directions had me tack that down, which only led to the dress riding up like crazy.  I opted to leave the extension open and iron a sharp crease instead.  It's marginally better, trust me.

Bonus butt shot!

I said it before--this dress is the result of a perfect pairing of fabric and pattern.  The pleats/tucks look perfect and the darts are sharp.  This dress is classically beautiful.  I think even the color is great.  I believe the details would be lost in a darker color.

There is one major stress point on this dress and that is where the right and left fronts meet just above the rightmost tuck.  The pattern instructions have you perform a certain form of sorcery to get these pieces joined.  You should probably backstitch this section more than you think you need to.

I did a lot of hand stitching on this dress.  The armscyes and necklines were understitched by hand.

As were the hems and tacking the lining to the shell.

Have a glimpse at this weird vent.

And a glimpse of the gorgeous slubbing on this fabric!

Did you go to any of your high school reunions?  What surprised you the most about the people you graduated with 10 (or 20 or 30) years later?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fashion Plate: Flair for the Fantastic in Poppy

On the quest to make more separates Fashion Plates again, I looked through the skirts offerings at ModCloth.  It seems like they same patterns all the time in different fabrics.  No surprise, this skirt is one I featured a couple months ago.  This is ModCloth's Flair for the Fantastic in Poppy.  I still suggest using Simplicity 1369 for the silhouette and adding the waistband from Colette's Ginger skirt pattern.  The fabric used for this skirt is another one from Timeless Treasure:  Flora Poppy Stems.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fashion Plate: Cinnamon Coffee Bralette Set

I'm digging all this ModCloth lingerie lately.  This is ModCloth's Cinnamon Bralette & Undies set.  I chose OhhhLulu's Ginger bralette (which you will have to add a touch of length to) and Lola brazilian undies.  I like this Anais lace on fabric.com.  The beige showed up in the photos the best, but there are other colors available.  I also like this crimson lace from fabric.com and this red lace from spandex world.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fashion Plate: Hooked on a Feline

This week's Fashion Plate is based on ModCloth's Hooked on a Feline dress.  The fabric is Packed Cats by Timeless Treasures.  If you are a dog-lover, they have you covered too.  My pattern selection is Butterick 6016.  This pattern is really quite the stretch, however.  The bodice of the ModCloth dress is a basic one.  It simply has diagonal bust darts, vertical darts on the v-back, and a gathered skirt cut on the bias.  Add cap sleeves and some facings and you are done.  Simple.  The pattern I linked to would require you to change out the skirt, add cap sleeves, and adjust the bodice front to omit the center seam allowance and cut that piece on the fold.