Monday, May 26, 2008

Black and tan

I'm not a fan of the drink, but apparently this combination of neutral colors appeals to me - both of my completed projects from this weekend were comprised of these colors.

First up, a DKNY dress. I started this a couple weeks ago and finally finished it (almost) today.





It's unhemmed here, I still need to let it hang overnight because the skirt is cut on the bias.

Fabric
Anne Klein poly/lycra jersey purchased a few weeks ago at the PacFab Outlet.

Notes on construction/alterations
Most of the reviews for this dress on Pattern Review suggest sizing down. I made a muslin of the bodice, and chose a size 6 for the dress. Just like my recent experience with the McCalls dress, it doesn't make sense given their measurement charts, but it works.


I finished the neckline and the armholes with fold-over elastic, my first time using this stuff. I was inspired by Cidell's use of FOE on this knit dress. Let's just say, it was a little bit stressful! The trick is stretching it the right amount while you are sewing. I tested it on a piece of scrap fabric, but apparently that wasn't enough practice, because when I sewed it on the bodice, the whole thing was wavy and loose - I didn't pull it taut enough during sewing. Good thing I had enough fabric leftover! I cut a new bodice and was successful the second time around.


If you follow the pattern directions, the wrong side of the belt ties will show (they have you just turn under the raw edges of the ties and stitch). Since I didn't want the wrong side of my fabric to show, here's how I made the belt:


First I stitched the back band (piece 5) and the two tie ends (piece 4) together. I applied fusible interfacing to the points that would be clipped, marked with a large circle on the pattern piece.

I turned the belt right sides together and stitched the tie ends up to the point of reinforcement. Then I clipped the seam allowance right up to that point.

This is what it looks like when you turn everything right side out. Here I'm holding the seam allowance that will be sewn into the waist seam.



A detail that goes unnoticed until you read the directions - the "belt" is sewn into the waist seam and kind of hangs free. The two ends are tied in the front.


I omitted the elastic in the waistband. Also, I noticed that a few other people who made this pattern omitted the pockets from the skirt but I included them.





Conclusion
I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. Just need to hem it now. I feel like the current length is a little bit dowdy on me. I think I'll try hemming it so it's just below the knee.

************


On Saturday, I made another Hot Patterns Once, Twice, Three Times a T-Shirt-turned-dress (here's version 1).

This was another one of those projects sewn in a rushed, frenetic pace so I could wear it that night. Yes, the hem is totally wavy, and I wore it out like that! I could tell it was happening while I was sewing the hem, but I didn't have time fuss with everything to get it better. Besides, no one can see your hem when you're sitting at a dinner table. I'll fix it later.



Fabric
Tan modal rayon/lycra jersey, black sheer knit for contrast.

Notes on construction/alterations
I altered the neckline for a more open, rounded neckline. I did the same thing on the back too - there is no "front" or "back" on this dress, both sides are identical. It's hard to see in the picture, but I used the twisted neckband binding technique again.

I also took a bit of the width out of the bodice so the sleeves are not as dropped as the original.


This was completely unintentional, but when I finished, the constrast sleeve bands reminded me of the New England Patriots jersey. Kind of a sporty look.



Conclusion
I like this dress more than my previous version. I think because the neckline is more open. I'm still interested in doing this in a woven. Soon, I hope!

33 comments:

Adrienne said...

Great review! Both dresses are lovely!

Sewfast said...

Cute Again! Your creativity inspires me! Mary

Erica B. said...

Both dresses are fantastic!

Cherie said...

Great dresses! Thanks for the tut on the tie band.

Adriana B. said...

That is a really cool looking top. BTW, I was browsing netaporter.com today and there were a couple of designs that had the contrast treatment b/n bodice and sleeve. You are so prolific!

AllisonC said...

wow that was speedy! I love both pieces, the print really works with the DKNY dress and the black inserts on the t shirt make it look completely different. great work!

Marita said...

Christina, DKNY dress islooks very becoming on you, love that shoulder area.

You should wear your hair off the face more often, you have a very pretty face,...and the HP t, it's very cool too, cood color choise:-)

Geri said...

wow i really do love both dresses. they are just perfect. I think you are right with the length of the first one but otherwise it looks beautiful on you.
The second one I just love - the colour combination and the pattern! I must have something like this!

toy said...

your dresses look great, I think cutting the dress to the knee will be much better on you also, I hardly do any dresses passed my knee

Isabelle said...

I'm not a fan of t-shirt dresses, but *you* sure wear them well!!
Your first dress is gorgeous and you look beautiful in it. Just below the knee sounds good.
These two dresses have such different styles, it's like seeing two different Christinas!

cidell said...

I am 100 percent in love with the Hot Patterns dress and adore the belt treatment on the Vogue. You were busy this weekend!

paco peralta said...

Christina.- thank you for this show Donna Karan dress, I plan to do so shortly. I remain yours truly beautiful. enjoy this. greetings. Paco

Gwen said...

Wow! Both dresses look fantastic! I really like your idea for the sash / belt on the first dress - I hate it when patterns just have you finish the edges of a single layer of fabric for a sash.

Colette said...

You've done it again Christina! I love the DK dress and agree with you that shorter would be better.

And the two tone t-dress looks fantastic. I love these colour combinations together. Looks like you are going to have an extensive summer wardrobe.

Thanks for these great inspirations..as always.

Lashell said...

Both dresses are so cute

The J said...

I love the t-shirt dress!!

flanthrower said...

Man you got a lot done this weekend!

I picked up some Anne Klein jersey knits over the weekend at Pacific Fabrics and fold over elastic. I have an idea for a top but I do worry about figuring out how to stretch the elastic out just so.

I have a very similar Vogue dress pattern in the "to do" list. I'll have to make a muslin of the top...the sizing differences are kinda freaking me out!

domestichaven said...

Love your Vogue Dress, I just made mine this weekend in solid black (I was in need of a black dress) and I used the same exact method for the belt, I didnt want the underside to show either :)

Vicki said...

Nice dresses! I particularly like the HP one in the two tones.

Lindsay T said...

Nice work, Christina! I like these both very much.

katherine h said...

I love the contrast bands on your t-shirt dress - very stylish

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I really like the wrap dress and all of the lessons you learned using the FOE!!!

C. Dishmey said...

I love both dresses. Funny, I didnt even notice the wavy hem..the dress is fly

Reethi said...

Wow, so pretty! And I love the contrast band on the black & tan dress (and not just cause I love the Pats.) Your knit dresses are inspiring my current obsession with knit dresses!

Katrin said...

Both dresses are really cute, Christina, especially the black and white one.
Regards,
Katrin

Melissa said...

Both dresses are excellent - wish I had been that productive over the long weekend!

Gwen said...

Hey Christina! I’ve tagged you for a meme on my blog, http://afterthedress.blogspot.com. I hope you enjoy this kind of thing, but please don’t feel obligated to play if you don’t. :)

Dawn said...

yummmmmm. I love the black and tan. Reminds of days in the pub "studying" for exams. And your dresses are super cute too. ;)

Naomi said...

omg youre sooo talented! love all your patterns and stuff! gorge!

Tany said...

WOW! Fantastic dresses! Love them both!

Leslie said...

I am so behind on blogs! Your dresses are fabulous, I have to try that FOE now. I like the neckline on this HP dress, great change.

Berry said...

Nice dress, below the knee should be great and I love your new hot pattern version!

ed said...
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