Thursday, September 30, 2010

Inspired by Anthropologie - Ruffled Plaid Dress: McCall 5972

GASP!!!! GASP!!! That was my reaction when I first saw Anthropologie's Ruffled Plaid Dress. 



The first GASP was at the beauty of it (a good gasp).  The second GASP was at the price (not a good gasp).  Sometime I just see a dress a think I have to have it, so I decided to try to knock it off.  As I was looking through patterns, I came across McCall 5972.  I had bought it several months ago and it just kind of sat in my pattern stash.  I really had no idea what to do with it, but I had to have the pattern because it is just so pretty!!!
When I remembered I had it, I knew it would work for making an inspired-version of this Anthropologie dress.  I ordered some tropical wool  octavia check fabric from 

I love because they have great fabrics and fast/cheap shipping.  This fabric is navy plaid whereas the anthro dress is black, but it is the closest I could find for a reasonable price.  And, I just love navy blue.
     I ordered extra because the Anthropologie dress is cut on the bias, and I wanted to do that.  I have never cut a pattern on the bias before that was not meant to be cut on the bias.  I really did not see any difference in sewing fabric cut on the bias vs sewing fabric cut on the straight of grain. It could be because of the type of fabric I was sewing. 
     I made a muslin, something I don't normally do, because I have been in such doldrums lately in my sewing that I wanted to be sure it would fit correctly.  It was a good thing I made a muslin, because I had serious front and back neck gaping.  I had about an inch of gaping at both the front and the back.  To fix this problem I just took each pattern piece, marked in from the center back and center front about 1/4 inch,  and then drew a line from there to the fold line right about waist level.  That's was my new fold line.  That took care of a 1/2 inch on front and back, but I still had more to take out.  I then tapered the shoulder seam from 5/8 inch at the armhole to 7/8 inch at the neckline.  I redrew the neckline just a bit so that it was smooth.  I have no idea if this is the best solution but it's worked well for me.  I had to do the tapering at the shoulder seam for the bottom flounce at the neckline, but I did not make adjustments to the ruffles.  I just gathered them a little more.   
     Except for that adjustment, I made the dress exactly according to the pattern.  However, I did not line the dress.  I almost always line my dresses and skirts because I really don't like slips.  However, I already had 4 layers of fabric at the neck.  The McCall pattern suggests chiffon for the ruffles at the neck, but that wasn't the look I was going for.  Therefore, I ended up with 4 layers of tropical wool at the neck.  I did try to line it at one point,  but the neckline just flipped out and showed the lining (even with my understitching) because it was so heavy.  I did a bias neckband instead.  I'll just be wearing a slip with this dress. 
  Here is my version of the dress.  My ruffles are a little more elaborate and the back bodice of my dress has ruffles, whereas the anthropologie dress does not.


   Here is a close up of the ruffle at the front.

Also, the anthro dress has a corsage pin.  I chose to wear a rhinestone butterfly pin I got a couple of years ago.

I purchased the belt I am wearing from Anthropologie (on sale) and the shoes are a Christmas present that came from anthropologie.
                                        belt closeup

                                        shoe closeup
This dress was a confidence builder so I hope I am back on track, at least for awhile.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vintage Vogue 2517 - Ice Cream Dress

I became obsessed earlier this year with finding this Vintage Vogue Diane von Furstenberg pattern when I saw the awesome dress that Kathryn' made on her blog.

After sending out SOS's here and on a couple of message boards, I was alerted that it was up for sale on ebay.  Even though it was a size larger than I needed, I went ahead and bought it.  I knew I could take deeper seams if I needed to do so.  I purchased the peach and fushia jersey fabric from fabricmartfabrics during one of their big sales, and the off white jersey is Vera Wang 100% rayon jersey that I got from when it went on sale for $1.95/yd. 
     I had never sewn a vintage pattern before, but the instructions were great.  The most difficult part was keeping straight what pieces went with what color of fabric.  I followed the pattern and the only alteration I made was taking a deeper seam in the side under the arms.  I serged the inside seams and cover stitched the hem.  I sewed a little tie at the side. 
     The reason I call it the Ice Cream Dress is because it reminds me of a cone of several flavors of sherbert ice cream.  Here is the front and the back.

I probably shouldn't point this out, but I have a little bit of weird wrinkling going on at the seam between the fushcia and white fabric on the right back of the bodice( in the above picture).  After taking this picture, I put the dress on my dressform and the wrinkling wasn't there.  I think it was the way I was standing when I took the pic (or at least that is what I will tell myself for consolation).
      I will leave you with a parting shot of the shoes I wore with this dress.  I got them for my birthday.  They are Paris Hilton "Senorita" heel in gold and they have hot pink soles.  I am not a Paris Hilton fan, but her shoes sure are cute.