Alrighty, well seeing as I'm in The Jar having pledged to make 12 wearable garments this year, I'd best get one under my belt should I be called upon to give an update of my progress. Yes, dear fellow Jar-ee's, when I saw Karen IRL yesterday, she confirmed that she would be dipping her hand in there and pulling out a name now and again and contacting that person for an update on how their sewlution is going, be warned!
So here you are: my first completed wearable garment of 2013. However, my criteria of 'wearable' (successful enough in comfort, fit and in reflecting my sense of style, that it becomes a regularly worn item) will remain to be seen because this dress is too thin for February and too low cut to wear a vest underneath! On to the deets:
You may be a little surprised that I've opted for such a grown-up, lady-like pattern here. I actually made this dress to test the pattern and instructions before teaching the 1940's Tea Dress class at Sew Over It a couple of weekends ago. This is not the kind of dress or type of fabric I'd usually reach for, but I'm mighty pleased I was forced out of my comfort zone a little. It's a little tricky to see in the black fabric I've used, but it has a panelled, shaped front mid-drift section, gathered bust panels, a gored skirt, lightly gathered sleeve heads and little turn-up cuffs on the half-sleeves.
Pattern Sizing and Changes:
I was a bit worried about picking a size because rumour had it that this dress came up a bit small. I initially cut out a size 14 bodice which was WAY TOO BIG, but thankfully I had sufficient fabric left to re-cut a 12. I think I still ended up pinching a little out at the bodice side seams, but I may not have if my fabric had had less 'give'. If you know what I mean. If I were to make this dress again, I'd add 15 cms to the skirt length for a more vintage look.
Straight up confession: I bought new fabric for this project, which as you may or may not know I generally try not to do. Yes my fabric stash could be put to use and clothe a small nation, but in there I failed to find anything that would have been suitable for this dress. Initially I had honed in on some stash-residing navy crepe for this project, but when it came to cutting the pieces, I discovered the quantity was wholey insufficient, so to the fabric shop I went. Damn, buying new fabric is easy, isn't it?! I just rocked on up, found a couple of drapey woven fabrics (although I was pretty disappointed at the lack of options at the shop I went in, but time was not on my side to shop around) and picked one. Snip-snip went the shop assistant (WHY do some shop assistants refuse to give the rest of what's left on the roll if there's only a tiny length remaining?), tip-tap went my pin number into the machine, and there I was, free to walk away with some brand new fabric. I could get used to it... Only kidding ya!
As for what the fabric actually is, all I can say for certain is: black. And drapey. The tag had fallen off and the assistant wasn't sure. Anyway it was fine for this project.
The version of this dress that hangs on a dress form in Sew Over It has a few delightful little contrast buttons down the centre front. I wanted to add some buttons as well because this dress was looking super-boring without. I hunting through my sizeable button stash and located these beauties, four sexy pin-ups in different poses! I bought them a whole chunk of years ago from a button shop near the Farmers' Market in L.A. back when I didn't realise that only buying four buttons would be entirely insufficient for most sewing projects. I'm so glad that I have been able to finally use them for something!
What about you? Have you sewn something that has taken you out of your stylistic comfort zone recently? Was it a surprise success or has it remained in your wardrobe since completion?