Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Presenting.... The Drawstring Dress

A while ago, I mentioned that it might be fun to try some drawstring hems like those that were featured in Lucky magazine recently. McCalls 5317 seemed like a perfect candidate for this.

FYI: I'm wearing a black camisole under the dress.

Fabric

Fashion fabric - Brownish olive rayon/lycra (at least according to my burn test) jersey that I purchased as an unlabeled remnant from the Pacific Fabrics Outlet, 2 yards at $7/yd = $14

Drawstring - Black cotton twill tape (I looked for olive cording but couldn't find a good match), 5 yards at 15 cents/yd= 75 cents



Alterations/design changes

Neckline: The instructions call for you to stabilize the neck edge of the front bodice with seam binding, then line the bodice with the fashion fabric. I didn't like how the seam binding caused the neckline to look rippled, so I cut out the lining and seam binding, and instead finished the neckline with a self-fabric binding.
Bust gathers: I was worried there would be too much fabric in the bodice for my bust to fill out, so I did a kind of SBA in which I made a vertical slash in the pattern piece and overlapped the bottom part to get rid of 1" of fabric/gathers. I didn't make a muslin first so I just guesstimated as to how much to take out. I ended up fussing a LOT with the bust gathers to get them to look decent, to the point where I was starting to hate the dress, so I think maybe I shouldn't have altered the pattern piece.

original sleeve pattern piece folded; altered sleeve front & back pattern pieces

Sleeve: The sleeve is drafted to be extremely full; I redrafted it in my own haphazard way to make it less full (folding in the sides, slashing and overlapping the center), and then cut it down the middle in order to add a seam on the top of the arm. I left an opening in the top seam of the sleeve, at the casing, for the drawstring. I also shortened the sleeve pattern piece several inches.


Skirt: I shortened the front and back skirt pattern pieces several inches. I left an opening on one side seam of the skirt, at the casing hem, for the drawstring. Lining: Or lack thereof; the dress would be fully lined if you follow the directions, but because of my alterations, the dress is completely unlined.


This is the kind of shot that tabloids use to start pregnancy rumors

Will there be a 'next time'?
I'm not enamoured with the fit, so this pattern will be a one-hit wonder for me.


21 comments:

Tany said...

I think you look great in your new dress! Very fashionable and stylish! You did an excellent job altering the pattern for a better fit ans the outcome is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

you did a great job.Its great to see all the construction shots and that others don't always do muslins either! I think its cute and very current.You look great :)Eithne

toya said...

I love it, very cute

Lori said...

You did a great job, thanks for all the construction shots. Very cute, it looks darling on you.

cidell said...

So honestly. You look like you came out of a magazine. Truly and sincerly I am so impressed that you altered the pattern to get such a great RTW look. I think the fit is *great*. Had I the patience, I would do this too. But, I don't.

Bonnie D. said...

That is one very adorable dress. Your alterations were very helpful to read. I understand about not wanting to make another after all the time you spent - I get the same way and am tired of looking at an item if I spend a lot of time fiddling with it - but it is very flattering and turned out so beautiful.

dawn said...

I disagree...I think you should make it again and again. It's adorable on you!

Stephanie Lynn said...

Your alterations were so creative. The dress looks great! I look forward to the day when I am confident enough with my sewing skills that I can alter my own patterns. Thanks for showing how to do a SBA. I always see stuff for FBA, but I definitely don't need that. What kind of pattern tracing paper do you use?

Lynn said...

I think your dress turned out great!!

Maddy said...

I really suck at pattern drafting, I tend to make all the necessary changes in fit as I go, which is a much less practical route to take. But you did a great job. I adore the idea of a drawstring hem, and I think I am going to have to try it.

loopylulu said...

You don't like the fit? It looks so good on you. You do a really good job of taking patterns and performing magic on them to make them just a little bit different from the line drawing. I really think you did a great job!

carolyndh said...

Wow! I am impressed with your drawstring dress. As someone said, you do look as though you just stepped out of a magazine. Very stylish and current. Thanks for including the web address for Pacific Fabrics Outlet. I am excited about checking out this store in the future.

Erica B. said...

OMG, I'm absolutely giddy! That turned out so fabulous! Looks like you just received your order from Net-A-Porter.com! I love it!

Alexa said...

I love it! Great job! The drawstring is a nice touch!

ambika said...

Seriously styling. As Lucky would say, it's very on-trend but the color keeps it classic. Well done.

narcissaqtpie said...

i'm in love with this dress! it looks great on you, and like a great designer piece.

christina said...

Everyone - thanks for the kind words! I think I ended the post sounding a bit negative; I do actually like the dress.

Stephanie - I use a roll of tracing paper that I got at an art supply store to trace my patterns. It is 24" wide (36" is usually also available). I like it because ink, even from Sharpies, does not bleed through.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I'm in the "me too" crowd! I think the dress is very cute on you, stylish and so "in" right now! I can understand though why you would want only one!

Linda said...

I think you did a great job on replicating the dress in Lucky. Saw your review at PR and glad you posted your blog. Again great job!

stacy said...

I love it - it looks so cute on you. You did a great job altering this one too.... I may have to rethink this style for myself now that I've seen your version, I think I need a dress like this!

Claire said...

I like it a lot. You can carry off that style better than a lot of young women.

So, that outlet store...do you think it's in walking distance of 4th and Madison? I am going to have to check it out.