Sunday, 14 March 2010

Navy Dress: Butterick 5302

Photos to follow shortly: I am still having technical problems.

This is my first project in some time and I am really pleased with the outcome. This is the first of my 'inspired by Michelle Obama' wardrobe. I do not want to make carbon copies of her clothes, rather channel her style into what will work for my lifestyle, afterall, I don't have too many sate dinners to attend in the next few weeks! I love that this pattern is much more interesting than the simple shift and it looks more complicated to make than it is.

Pattern Review:
Pattern Description:
MISSES' DRESS: Straight, fitted dresses A, B, C, mid-knee, have front pleats, raised waist seam and back zipper. A: self-faced cap sleeves. B: three-quarter length sleeves. C: long sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
Misses 8-14. I made a size 10-12 in a stretch woven.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes! I made view B, the version with 3/4 length sleeves.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were really easy. Don't be put off by the pleats at the neckline. As long as you follow the arrows and match the small dots to the large dots it works really well. Everything else is just like a straight shift dress pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is a copy of Michelle Obama's dress by Maria Pinto and I am trying to emulate her style right now. I love the pleats at the neckline which makes this dress more interesting than your standard sheath.

Fabric Used:
A Navy blue with white pin-stripe stretch wool blend.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Fit: It is really difficult to make a toile for stretch fabrics so I fitted as I went. I cut a size 10 at the top and graded to a size 12 at the bottom. This gave a pretty good fit but I still had to take it in a little in the centre back and alter the side seams slightly to give a good fit. On the whole, I would say this pattern is pretty true to size.
Lining: I decided to line the dress. I didn't add the facings. Instead, I just made an exact copy of the dress in lining fabric and then sewed them edge to edge. I understitched the neckline as carefully I could and I also did little catch stitches around the neck to get the pleats to lie flat and in place. I just lined the body of the dress and serged the lining to the armhole seam allowance. I added some thread chains at the waist and hem to hold the lining in place.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I am not sure I want two of these dresses as the neckline is so distinctive but I would definitely recommend this pattern to others, particularly for career wear.

I wore this to work and I got lots of complements, including being asked if I was going for an interview! I haven't sewn very much lately and this project has really spurred me on.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Mini Wardrobe Contest on Pattern Review

I really enjoyed participating in a mini wardrobe contest last year so I have decided to take the plunge again. I have so far finalised three garments: a lavender pencil skirt, a pink and lavender chiffon blouse and a purple floral dress. I plan to make a jacket as my fourth garment but I am undecided on fabric (purple) and the pattern. I will post an updated story board as soon as I have resolved that issue, as well as the other issue of locating my camera! (Actually I can't post any picture for some reason!) The contest starts on 15 March so get planning if you want to take part. I highly recommend it!

I have almost finished the Butterick dress. I am really pleased with it.I have just the hems on the sleeves and skirt to do.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The first step:patterns ordered

There are a few very tentative signs that spring is on its way and it is light by 7.30am for my morning drive to work. So I feel the urge to start on my spring wardrobe. I am going to Iceland next week which I have decided will be my personal official end to winter (ha!). I am an utter failure at SWAP: Sewing With A Plan, yet I do feel the urge to move in that direction and certainly like the concpt, if not the execution. I have posted before about my admiration for Michelle Obama's fashion sense so I have decided to created clothes inspired by her. Not as in a planned wardrobe but a vague direction to head towards. Neat shift dresses are the first things I think of so I have ordered these two patterns:

The first attracted me after seeing Erica B's one shoulder version and because it offers good variations for the bodice. It think this is a great idea giving value for money and helps with pattern fitting.

The second pattern is a direct copy of the dress Mrs O wore when she first went to the White House. Vogue also have a version of this dress but is only suitable for knits. Butterick's pattern uses stable knits or stretch wovens.
I won't be sewing for a couple of weeks but at least the preparations have begun.