December 30, 2013

Leopard Armor Dress

Somehow my sewing year would not have been complete without culminating in one last animal print garment. The pattern is McCall's Fashion Star 3789. A fitted lined color-blocked dress with seam detail at the yokes, a neck band and a peplum. That is a lot of action in one dress, needless to say I was so excited to try the pattern.
Previously when I made my leopard print blazer, I mentioned I picked up a secondary leopard print cotton canvas from Mood Fabrics. Unfortunately Mood is now out of this cotton canvas print (There must be quite a few of animal print sewers out there!) but they have a vast selection of other cotton canvas options. Cotton canvas was perfect for the center front and back placement of this dress design, it is thick and stable and acts as a fabric armor plates in this dress. 
My contrasting solid brown fabric is Mood's Doe Solid Cotton Sateen. I choose the doe sateen to compliment the cotton canvas because it was thinner than the canvas and would drape better than another canvas for the peplum feature. The doe sateen also had compatible stretch with the printed cotton sateen.  

 Neckline band and seam detail
Pattern adjustments were my standard: square and broad shoulder adjustments and petite torso adjustment to accommodate my frame. 
 During construction I amended the peplum. The pattern utilized a single fabric peplum with a narrow hem.  
I elected to french seam the side seam of the peplum and set off to narrow hem but I was dissatisfied with the results. It was lifeless and I hated the visible stitching of the narrow hem, the bulk over the side seam and the hideous peplum points. 
It was immediately scraped and I re-drafted the peplum pieces omitting the side seam. I cut a new peplum and also a lining. After the construction I yielded crisp clean peplum sides with perfect hems, no visible stitching and lovely symmetric points. 
And now you can see pops of my burgundy lining (because this dress needed more action) which also gave me an excuse to dress it around burgundy, one of my favorite colors. 
 Silly photos in the cold winter air
Happy New Year to you and yours! 


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Happy sewing!

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