Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dress #11 :: Rhubarb

Can you tell I've been watching a lot of Mad Men?

A lot.  What can I say about this dress, except that it's princess seamed, I converted the boat neck to a V in the back, and managed to cut it out of 1.5 yards of fabric, a full 5/8 yard shy of what the pattern calls for.  If you look closely, you might be able to see where I pieced together one of the back panels (luckily, had enough scraps to match the pattern).  I mean, I'm short, right?  So I usually buy anywhere from 1/2 to 1 yard less than they call for, and generally it works out, except I'd forgotten this was a directional print (Moda voile, but very Liberty-esque - Debbie, you've got an eye! - underlined with a white cotton voile).  However, after this aggravation I think I will up my minimum "I think this would make a lovely dress, not sure of the pattern yet" amount to a flat 2 yards.  Retracing pattern pieces at 3/8" seam allowance, sweating over cutting layouts ... just shell out a little extra, woman!  It's worth it.

I definitely am learning more about ease, and my body type, as I sew blouses and dresses.  For instance, this dress taught me that I like bodices to nip in at my rib cage because my belly tends to protrude not far below that, and definitely before I get to my natural waist, which means that my narrowest point from side to side might be at my natural waist, but my narrowest point from front to back is at my rib cage (if that makes sense).  So if you go by generic sewing patterns that call for a gentle tapering in towards the natural waist, that actually creates a rather dumpy effect on me.  I certainly don't want to overfit, but the first iteration of this dress (before I took in the seams at the ribcage, tapering to nothing at the waist, and then shortened the whole thing so that the bodice and skirt proportions would work) made me look about 10 pounds heavier.

So there's my sewing productivity for the month of July!  I think I'll add some belt loops but I like that this dress looks fine on it's own.  The colors in the fabric remind me of the pretty reds and greens in rhubarb, which I think of as a harbinger of spring, and which is exactly what this dress evokes for me.

(And Sigrid --- no rush on your version!  Summer is for lolling about!  Table excavation shmcavation ... I mean, enjoy your vacation?)


Sigrid said...

Oh Jessica, this is so pretty! And I have exactly the same stomach issue. (That;s why I have a ufo under the table.) I can suck my stomach in, but prefer to breathe with my diaphragm. One reason I love the Ginger skirt so much is that the high waist allows my lower waist to expand and contract as needed. And I know what you mean about fabric scrimping, all those little tricks are helpful, but not worth the hassle.

Believe it or not, I finished mine on Saturday! I made a bunch of little tweaks to my bodice and it fit almost perfectly--a first for me. Now just need to take photos.

Minnado said...

It is so pretty - I love it! I am interested to read how you changed the fitting as I have issues with my waist or lack of it when making dresses! I like the fact you used up all the scraps too. xx

Antoinette said...

Lovely summer dress! It fits you so well.

Roobeedoo said...

I really thought that was Liberty and I wondered how anyone could make a dress out of 1.5 yards as it is usually so narrow! I am learning to order a little more than I "think" too - it is so frustrating to have to scrimp to make pieces fit.
Very figure-skimming! Well done!

jessica said...

Thanks all for the nice comments!

Sigrid -- interesting comment on high waisted skirts and stomachs, I may need to reconsider my general "pass" on those ...

Debbie -- I have a couple wee scraps left (which may make their way into patchwork) but yes, it feels satisfying to use up most of the fabric!

Antoinette -- thanks!

Roo -- it can be so tempting to try to get away with it, can't it? I've always looked at you in awe with your 1m skirt wonders!