April 14, 2014

Sew Sexy Modern Wiggle Dress


Sexy is not what I typically strive for in my everyday appearance, however I like most other women have my sexy days and then... my NOT so sexy days. That being said, what is more sexy than gals that can make their own garments? I say not much, but I might be biased. And yet I am not alone, the Sew Sexy Sew-Along was cooked up just to further prove this fact. 

My least sexy days are when I am self-conscious of overly exposed areas so in an effort to be true to personal sexy sewing I opted for a modern take on a wiggle dress. The pattern is Butterick 5383 (OOP)
My fabrics are a mustard stretch satin base with a dotted netting overlay, both from the stash. The netting is reminiscent of sheer stockings and those are rarely voted unsexy. For each cut piece the netting overlay was basted to the mustard backer fabric. This allowed me to treat the 2 fabrics as one and simply construct the pattern without lining, to finish the raw edges the seams were serged together.
Inner garment view:
front
back

I adapted the pattern for less form fitting skirt per my personal comfort level, which was in turn unkind to the front midsection ruching I may go back and remove some extra width and tighten up those gathers, TBD.
I executed my standard modifications, broad back and square shoulder.
The pattern had a lovely contrast double V collar band which played rather nicely with my strong, broad shoulders. For the contrast I used a solid black stretch sateen. Now that is a sexy fabric if there ever was one; it stitches and presses like sexy magic. 
I also added sleeves again for my personal comfort. To add a touch of  sexiness to the sleeve I added a self drafted  sleeve band in  the stretch sateen I made the sleeve bands with points to play off the V-neck line. 

April 1, 2014

Joan in Shocking Pink Mad Men Dress Challenge 3

Here I am with a bit of wiggle in my walk; my version of Joan's shocking pink dress. 
The fabric is a pink and black floral rose jacquard from Fabric Mart. Pink is almost gone but there are currently myriad additional rose colors or other beautiful jacquard options
After much personal debate, pondering over belt and cuff outcomes, I stumbled upon jewelry beading to achieve the look. I drafted a simple belt of self fabric and heavy interfacing which was finished with a gem cluster, re-purposed from a broken necklace, to pose as a buckle. The actual belt closure is a whopper popper snap
To create the adorned cuff look, bracelet linked gems were used.  By a twist of fate they happened to match the belt buckle gems adequately! The bracelets were procured from a local craft store and stitched directly to the shocking pink cuffs. While stitching the cuffs I was struck by a novel idea. If the cuffs were created to be removable, I could get two looks for the price of one! 
Therefor by switching out my belt and unsnapping my cuffs my gussied up cocktail dress transforms into a daytime ready look. I used grosgrain ribbon to bind the raw edge of the cuffs and attached snaps to the cuffs and corresponding sleeve facing.
As it turned out this novel idea involved a slew of dreaded hand stitching.

Due to the color variance between my chosen fabric and the inspiration piece, I also elected to inverse the piping color. 
The neckline piping was mirrored on the sleeve hem to give my daytime version additional design detail. 
In addition to the aforementioned hand stitching I also elected to add a hand picked lapped placket zipper.
Shout out to Sew Little Time who called me on two belts to change up the look. Great minds think alike! I cut a solid pink belt with a bow from the shocking pink contrast but while constructing it I felt it looked too juvenile and took away from the glam factor of the rose fabric. I found this manufactured wide black bow belt in my closet and felt it would fit the bill. 
 
I do not know if I can honestly convey the sex appeal of Joan and unlike her character I like to breath in my dresses without popping seams none the less I was thoroughly inspired by the look. 
I adore how the iridescence of the fabric shimmers in the sunlight.

March 31, 2014

Peggy's Black and White Ribbon Dress Mad Men Dress Challenge 3

Mad Men Dress Challenge 3: inspiration for this dress came from the character Peggy in an office ready LBD with stripe ribbon detail. The dress was worn in Season 5, Episode 1.
Obligatory office reprimand stance. 
My dress fabric is a solid black stretch gabardine. My trim is a 1 1/2" stripe grosgrain ribbon. 
I slightly adapted the design, I made my neckline bow larger than the inspiration. I also elected to let the bow free hang opposed to stitching stationary to the dress. I lengthened the sleeves to my personal comfort length for arm coverage. My dress is a looser  A-line shape from the year 1969. 

How I achieved my look: 
I fused two vintage patterns from the Mad Men era. Simplicity 8341 for the body of my dress and Simplicity 7750 for my neckline, collar and sleeves. 
Simplicity 8341 is one of my all time favorite patterns the back and side front are one piece with a fish-eye dart from under the arm to the hip for shaping. 
Pattern fitting adjustments: broad back adjustment, distributed shoulder dart, shortened torso. 


Simplicity 8341 has a center front seam design that becomes a pleat at the waistline. In order to achieve the both the ribbon front detail of the Mad Men inspiration dress as well as maintain the pleat design feature of the vintage pattern, I used a length of ribbon on each side of the front pieces centered along the pleat line. One ribbon folds over the pleat and the other remains flat against the dress. Above the waistline each half of the ribbons meet at the stitching line of the center front seam  to form the look of one fluid ribbon, then at the pleat the ribbons split to open the pleat for wearing ease. The pic on left shows the dress inside you can see how the ribbon meets on the seam allowance then continues to the skirt pleat.



Additional length of ribbon was added at the neckline that wrapped over the bow between the collar then i anchored the collar and bow with a neckline facing to clean finish the neckline.


The sleeves were finished with the ribbon as well, the ribbon merely folded over the raw edge of the sleeve like a simple binding. 

At my back neckline tacked down my back collar points. My closure is a center back invisible zip.
Thank you to the lovely Julia Bobbin for hosting another fabulous Mad Men Challenge!

March 30, 2014

Mock Wrapped Mini Hounds Dress Simplicity 1686

As I was flipping through my closet to getting ready for work today I ran across this dress and it occurred to me that it had been photographed and never shared! I constructed it last month when I had clearly slipped into a houndstooth stitching theme. 2 dresses and outerwear constitute a theme right? 
The pattern is Simplicity 1686 Amazing Fit Collection which is the pattern line intended for performing garment fit analysis as you sew. 
This dress design features a mock wrap style bodice with lapels. The lapels drew me to the design I thought it would be fun to create them is a contrasting fabric to make them stand out. Upon looking at the photos I see that I will need to baste my suiting under the lapel roll line to keep it from puckering.
While planning my dress I also chose to make the waistband and side bodice panels color blocked for additional contrast. The main fabric is a hounds tooth poly blend suiting and the contrast is a black sating twill.
Pattern adjustments: petite torso, broad back adjustment, square shoulder adjustment.
I used the skirt pieces for a curvy figure.


The skirt features a front overlay to add to the mock wrap design of the dress. I changed the construction steps for my hem by first hemming the overlay piece then constructing the skirt and hemming leaving the overlay free hanging.
I had originally planned to add a lining to the dress although the pattern is designed unlined. For the upcoming season I finally decided it would be best served to make the dress unlined with overlocked seam finishing. Making this a spring weather dress; it is official, I am finally sewing for spring!
Inner garment view:
I interfaced the center back zipper insertion area on the suiting to insure that it was a strong and stable as the satin till waistband and facing. 
The 3/4 length sleeve is pretty cute, the cuff features a v-shaped cutout for detail and the sleeve head has a pleat at the shoulder. Unfortunately I decided to stand in a Wonder Woman pose for every one of these photos thus causing the sleeve fabric to buckle after the pleat due to my unnatural stance, rest assured the sleeve is pretty cute in a relaxed stance. 
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