Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Coffee Date Dress


The Coffee Date Dress is a recent and very popular pattern submission on BurdaStyle (first available in size 32 and now in sizes 34-42. It is a *free pattern* (I know we all love those words) submitted by elainemay. I love it! This project kind of took on a life of it's own. Initially I didn't plan to put much work into it, but once I decided that I wanted to use a delicate silk crepe for the bodice, I realized I'd need to add something for stability in the bodice, and it all kind of snowballed from there. I remembered Cidell's 11-2007-106 dress in which she used a similar combination of fabrics so I took a few cues from her post re: construction.



Fabric
Bodice: Silk crepe purchased June 2007 in Montreal, and silk organza lining from stash
Skirt: Rayon woven purchased November 2008 at Textile Studios during Pattern Review Day in Seattle (they have since ceased fabric sales).

Notes on construction/alterations
A muslin was a must since I had no idea what to expect of the fit. I started with size 38 and made a few tweaks.


1. Moved shoulder seam forward 1"
2. Lowered bust dart 3/4"
3. Removed 2" total at back darts and side seams for closer fit at waist
4. Curved CB seam at neck to better shape to my back/neck
5. Removed extra fabric at bodice front neckline (vertical slash from neck to (but not through) waist, overlap at neckline to remove 1/2" each side or 1" total)
6. Shortened skirt hem


To keep the neckline and armholes from stretching out, I applied fusible interfacing, clipping when necessary to curve the corners.


Similarly, I basted twill tape to the skirt waistline for stability.



Because the silk is so delicate, I underlined with silk organza. Actually, it was a mix of lining/underlining techniques: I sewed the fashion fabric and the organza bodices separately, put them right sides together and stitched together only at CB (so those edges would be finished when I inserted the zipper), then turned them wrong sides together and basted the neckline, armholes, and waist together and treated the unit as one.


I finished the neckline and armholes with folded bias strips of fabric that were turned to the inside and handstitched to the organza.


Here's the lapped zipper that I tried for the first time last weekend. I'm happy with how it turned out.


Katherine did bring up the issue of having a facing or lining with a lapped zipper. The tutorial that I followed (Rosebud's article in Threads #134, Dec 07/Jan 08) does not address this, she just says that the raw edges should be finished before inserting the zipper. Therefore, my lapped zipper is exposed on the inside. Had I considered this earlier, I think I would have left the fashion fabric and lining separate until after I inserted the zipper, then stitched the organza to cover the zipper tape.


When I initially basted the ruffle to the front bodice, I found that it really got lost in the spotted print. So I dug out some black silk charmeuse scraps, made some bias binding and stitched it to the bottom edge of the ruffle.


I used bias strips to cover the raw edges of the waist seam.

Conclusion
Phew! This was a time consuming project (for me) but I truly enjoyed the process and it really made me draw on my knowledge of things I had seen in books or other blogs. Now Elaine does provide excellent written instructions, but because I decided to omit the facings included in the pattern, I had to do things a little differently. I would seriously consider making this one again, maybe in a nice summery cotton? This pattern is a winner.

54 comments:

o.rie said...

Wow, You look amazing! I like the dress on You and I love the colours! You did a very good job!
Greetings from Germany!
Olga

senaSews said...

Your two-coloured version of the dress looks awesome. Great work and btw, nice pics!

Marita said...

Very, very pretty, lovely silk:-)

lasandrou said...

I love the dress, I'm agree with Marita :you did a great job :-))

Vicki said...

So cute on you!

Gorgeous Things said...

That's not coffee you have in your hand! ;-)

Lovely dress!

AllisonC said...

How cute is that. Thank you for sharing the bodice construction details, the dress looks great on the inside too!

cidell said...

I am so impressed with the work you put in. And, it totally pays off! You look fantastic and the dress is just so cute!

Were you able to see a difference from the fwd shoulder and neck alteration?

Lisette M said...

Very cute dress!

melissa said...

I love it!! Your fabric choice was just perfect and I am seriously loving the two-fabric dresses right now. Good job on all the fitting and finishing issues here, too!

Handmade said...

Great job - the dress is a winner! Thanks for all of your construction details...

Colette said...

Just gorgeous Christina.

Just the perfect dress to wear to the Burdastyle meet you are organising!

Amanda S. said...

Wonderful dress with a great fit, Christina. I love the fabrics you chose.

patsijean said...

Very nice; Lovely fabric choice and you look quite comfortable in your new dress. It looks as if you had a good time. I have been thinking about this pattern, and may have to give it a try after seeing your dress.

Sara said...

This looks awesome! Very impressive (and lovely) work.

Erica B. said...

You look fabulous! I love that you made the dress two tone instead of a solid!

Myra said...

Really nice on you, try it in a cotton maybe solids/textures?

Cisa said...

I am now even more convinced that I need to make this dress. It's gorgeous! Looks fantastic on you

eword10 said...

That dress is so sweet! It looks wonderful on you. And your explanations are so clear, you should write the patterns for Burda instead of whomever they pay to do it now! ;)

Curry said...

Love the dress! I'm going to try it with a summery cotton.

Rachel said...

That is such a cute dress!! I love the little ruffle at the front neckline.

Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

This dress is just SO pretty!

Angelia said...

That is one super cute dress! and You look fab in it!

kelli w. said...

it looks fantastic! you always do such a great job and have wonderful style.

gwensews said...

Terrific dress! You look adorable in it.

flanthrower said...

Super cute! I think the extra work totally paid off. Thanks for the detailed post. I had thought about making this dress but it's always helpful to have someone else try it first. Glad the pattern gets the thumbs up because it's super cute! =)

Lindsay T said...

Fabulous! Your creativity and design sense really come together in this dress. Well done.

Peacock Chic said...

Wow! That came out so cute! You did a fabulous job! Thanks for all the construction details!

BConky said...

That dress is adorable. All the time you put in it was well worth it with those results. Cute.

Sewfast said...

Gorgeous!!!

Leslie said...

I love love love this dress on you. Great photos too. The construction looks amazing, you really spent a lot of time and it was worth it.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Maybe it was time-consuming but sometimes those are the most fulfilling and rewarding projects. I should know I don't seem to be able to do anything that isn't all encompassing these days! Your dress is beautiful and totally reflective of all your hard work! You should definitely make it again!!!

Melissa said...

What a gorgeous dress Christina! I think it was well worth the effort and you had a great weekend (weather-wise) to wear it. Beautiful work.

Stephanie said...

Oh my, this is adorable! Another dress added to my queue (though I think I already have the perfect fabric for it). I love how you used a print on top and solid on the bottom.

Le Tasché said...

This dress turned out so gorgeous on you. What for a great job you did!

Robyn said...

It looks great! Thanks for all the details. I'll refer back to this when I get around to making mine!

Sew-Ann said...

This is really a fab dress. I plan to make it soon but without the pattern. Even with extended sizes it wouldn't fit me and I would need to go up too many sizes to alter the pattern without warping it.

Oh and the detail to the ruffle was nice. The ruffle is what makes it so fab IMO.

Sew4Fun said...

Fab dress! I love the fabrics you used. The extra work you put into this really shows. Nicely done.

Sue said...

Fabulous dress! I have just started looking at the Burdastyle patterns. I really must give one a go!

Bunny said...

Darling dress and it looks great on you!

Ivalyn "Tee" Jones-Actie said...

Love the look...looks like a top and a skirt, very clever!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

So cute! I love all your bias binding finishing touches. They make everything look so nice.

Cindy said...

I love the dress. And I love hearing your steps. I often wonder "what goes next" or if I should have done something differently the whole process.That is the hardest part of sewing for me. Your dress is lovely--great fabric. I might have to try the ruffle!

Cindy May said...

Beyond fabulous, This jade color is really good on you. Please consider it in a solid something-it is your color! Love the glass of wine in hand. And you did forward shoulder and basically high round back. yay!!

Nancy W. said...

Oh, Christina. You are going to love this dress forever. All the extra care you took in making it will make it last forever - and it definitely is a keeper. Looks great on you and just the right amount of "girly" It's perfect!

Cennetta said...

What a beautifully made dress. Lady you have been cranking them out so fast and every single one of them is beautiful.

Tany said...

You did an outstanding job! The dress is so beautiful, and you look stunning in it!

Beth said...

I'm inspired! I particularly love the contrasting fabrics.

Trisha said...

Absolutely LOVE your coffee date dress! You inspired me to make mine with different fabrics for the top and bottom. I also found the dress to be time-consuming, but it was worth it--- you look great in yours!

Here's mine: http://trishaeardley.blogspot.com/2009/04/coffee-date-dress.html

www.anadiaz.fr said...

I LOOOOOVE the dress!!! I'm downloading the pattern right NOW ;) XX from Paris!

Cristina said...

How did you detemrine your size? I can't for the life of me figure out the sizing on this dress!

Christina said...

Cristina - The dress is available in sizes 32-42, compare your measurements to the size chart on BurdaStyle.com to see where you fit. I'd say you still need to make a muslin to test the fit though, most people I know have had to tweak the bodice darts.

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFULLLL DRESSSS!! IT LOOKS AMAZINH ON U! You should be a model u really should. You look so beautiful and stylist in it. SO CUTE!!! I would love to make that for my granddaughter shes a total fashionista and wears all this grown up stylist clothing. Does anybody know where I can find a Girls size 8 coffe date dress pattern? THANK you. You look great!

Luch said...

Wow, what a great version of this dress! Currently researching to make my own...thanks for sharing your process!
Heather