Sunday, May 02, 2010

MMM-L, Days 1, 2

Day 1.

Ah, yes. This was me on a chill Saturday afternoon. Do note that my skirt matches my bedding. The skirt is the one seen here [and actually, now that I look at it, that whole outfit is the exact same as the one I modeled 2 years ago. I'm not sure what this says ... except that my tastes are not so very fickle and that I'm really starting to hone in the on the pieces that I adore, and shifting everything else to the refashion/Goodwill pile?]

Day 2.

... Could it be? ...

A bone fide, out-and-out handmade dress?

Like, she didn't just slap 2 rectangles of fabric onto an existing shirt to make a 'shirt dress' but an actual dress??

Holy crap I was excited when I finished this and it fit. Princess seams! Curved yoke! Top stitching! Petite waist adjustment! Pockets (x2)! Chucking Simplicity's recommended 6" of positive ease and cutting out a size 10 instead of a 14 and then cutting into the 100% linen without making up a muslim ... and it all working out in the end! Score.

Presenting Dress #2: Flowers That Pop.

Simplicity 2798, which I found via Melissa. I am so, so pleased with myself. Oh right, and with this dress. The princess seams are really flattering, you can't really see it but there are pockets at each side panel which are terribly handy yet don't interfere with the lines of the dress. It's really flattering on, as well - skims your body without being overly revealing, and the silhouette is quite smooth. Also, I love all the customization options, and now that I know it fits, I would really love to make up a sleeved version in the future.

For the yoke I used fabric from the Park Slope line, which I absolutely adore and have been sitting on for quite some time. Initially I wanted to make a shirtdress out of it and then realized that might be a little crazy, even for me. Also, the fabric really doesn't drape well, but it works superbly as an accent, so don't be surprised if I am later inspired to make a brown fall shirtdress with this same fabric as accent piece.

I think this generally fits pretty well. After I pinched out an inch at the waist because I'm petite and have a short waist, I cut the hem 1" longer than the mini dress length and folded it under about 3/4" and used hem tape to create the hem, and it came out pretty much the length I wanted. I found the neck slightly constricting so I winged a new hemline [as, ahem, the very last step, which meant that if I royally screwed it up I'd be very, very mad at myself, but we were Living Dangerously at this point]. I also used bias tape to finish all the seams and could give a crap how wonky the zipper is in the back.

After I finished this, I read somewhere that some people find Simplicity's shoulders to be overly wide. I thought I had wide-ish shoulders after years of swim lessons, badminton, dance, yoga, and then dragon boating, but even I find them a bit on the wide side as well. Thinking about cutting a size 8 shoulder and then grading down to a 10 for the bust and hips next time around. Also, and this is related, but do you see how there is a very bit of excess fabric in the upper chest area?

I've seen some people pinch out a petite adjustment there, too. Think I should do that in the future, except not sure how to handle that with the princess seams. What if I cut the yoke 1/4" lower? Do you think that would do it?

OK, but overall those are tiny gripes. I am sooooooooo excited!!! So much so that I've dorkily peeked ahead in to see the next time the weather will climb into the 80s and I can justify wearing it again in May ... and it should be soon! Sweet.


Ali said...

great dress!! love the way it turned out. :)

dragon boating?? when i was in hong kong my friends tried to make me go with them to practice but were afraid i might die (or at least be resentful of them forever) from the intensity. ha! do you still race?

Zonnah said...

You did an amazing job and it is beautiful!!

Unknown said...

Hi, I found your blog through Me-Made-May. Love the brown dress you made! And the your pose in the picture is so cute.

Ritapizza said...

Yay! go Jess! Your dress is super lovely! I love all your cute dance poses for the cam! Keep it up! You're amazing!!!!

melissa f. said...

so, so cute.

Tasia said...

Cute dress! What a neat way to use contrast fabric.
I'm also doing Me-Made-May and am hoping for summery weather here on the West Coast as well!

Sigrid said...

I love the dress, especially that yoke fabric. The fit is great too.

In terms of extra fabric above the bust, maybe a bit of that would disappear if you used the smaller shoulder size? Or you could used the seam where the yoke meets the dress as an extra dart and pinch out some vertical excess there.

Stephanie N. said...

This is wonderful! Good for you!

It drives me crazy, how commercial patterns tend to include so much ease.

Alessa said...

Awesome dress! The yoke really gives it an unusual touch. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the brown linen with your park slope fabric. It turned out so perfect for you. I really wish I had this pattern right now so I could use the linen I've had since (ahem) last spring. Cutting linen is hard for me.

(I came via Melissa)

Malea said...

Goodness! I love this dress and the subsequent shirt variation! Will have to try to find that pattern and give it a try. I have the perfect accent fabric and a brown fabric that would probably be just enough to do a cute!