Pleated Bodice Dress

dress-side1-033014

dress-front2-033014

dress-back1-033014

dress-back2-033014

+ + +

I received some Japanese dress books last year, and only had a chance to try them out now. Most of the dresses in Sweet Dress Book are loose-fitting and basic, and the patterns are simple.

This project was almost a disaster. I cut a size large, according to my measurements, and it was incredibly baggy. I took it in the side seams and somehow managed to make it work.

I really should have ironed this before I started taking pictures. I’ve already worn this once before to work, and it’s very comfortable. I made some adjustments to the fit and inserted an invisible zipper.

+ + +

book1-050414

Sweet Dress Book.

+ + +

book2-050414

Pleated-bodice dress, the book version.

+ + +

Pattern review is below.

+ + +

Project Details:

Pattern: Pleated Bodice Dress, from Sweet Dress Book

Pattern Sizing: small-large

Description: Pleated bodice dress.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Microfiber, with an an invisible zipper

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t read the instructions

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pattern as is has loads of ease. I do like that it has only two basic pieces.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I took it in at the side seams, made the bodice more fitted, and added an invisible zipper. I used seam binding instead of facings.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This dress is very comfortable. I definitely might make another one.

Colette Laurel: Wool Gabardine Version

+ + +

Finally, proof of sewing! And it’s not even black.

I finished my wool gabardine Laurel late December last year, and only shamefully had a chance to document it today. I haven’t worn it out yet, but it’s only because it is much too cold to wear dresses right now.

In full disclosure, I made two (!!) muslins of this before I was satisfied with it. I also cut it incorrectly the first time and had to sew it twice. I serged the seams, hand-basted the sleeves in, and hand-sewed the hem. All in all a lot more work than I’m used to and with much struggling, especially since I’ve turned to knits and never look back, but definitely well worth it.

Pattern review below.

+ + +

Project Details:

Pattern: Colette Laurel.

Pattern Sizing: 0-18.

Description: Jacket with skirt and peplum.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Wool gabardine, with an invisible zipper.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, had I chosen to read them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This is the second time I’ve made this pattern. I really like it, simple, yet versatile.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Yes, many. Lowered bust dart by 2 inches, shortened hem by 1 inch, lowered the neckline by 5/8 inch, removed 1 inch from the center back, made a narrow upper back adjustment, adjusted the sleeve cap and removed all the extraneous ease from it, and lengthened the sleeve to try to hide my sleeve (somewhat unsuccessfully.)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely. I see many more Laurels in the future.

Simplicity 1819, The Steampunk Dress: Muslins

muslin1_simplicity1819_120113

Front view.

+ + +

muslin2_simplicity1819_120113

Back view.

+ + +

I know this is only the muslin, but to me it looks really impressive so far. This is my first time doing anything with an underskirt and an overskirt, and my first time doing anything with bustled backs. I did a lot of reading into how bustles are done beforehand. I’m definitely not making a bustle pad since I need to be able to sit down normally in these and I don’t know how to sit with a bustle pad on, and also I don’t want to look like I just stepped out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

I was originally just going to do the skirt, but I figured I might as well do the whole project as a dress since I might have a hard time figuring out what will go with the skirt.

The pattern only had a skirt portion, a corset portion, a blouse, and a jacket, and since I didn’t want it to look too much like a costume I figured I’d draft the top myself. I looked in my pattern stash for a simple tank top, was too impatient to buy my own pattern, and ended up drafting a simple top with some gathering myself. This is my first (accidental) foray into draping, and will not by my last.

Drape Drape No 13 Loose Drape Tank Top

side2_120813

Side view.

+ + +

front1_120813

Front view.

+ + +

side1_120813

Side view, #2.

+ + +

back1_120813
Back view.

+ + +

I like this project. Quick, easy, a good layering piece. I layered it with a lace top here, but for going to work I’d probably wear a solid-colored top underneath it, and a sweater over it. It was very cold outside when I took these, and it started snowing shortly after.

I think I’m addicted to sewing Drape Drape projects: no finishing the seams, no muslins, fast, easy, soft, comfortable and wearable projects, but I really do miss sewing with wovens sometimes. Pattern information as follows.

+ + +

Pattern:

pattern1_110313

+ + +

Project Details:

Pattern: Drape Drape No 13 Loose Drape Tank Top

Pattern Sizing: I made a size medium.

Description: Draped tank top.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Black tissue knit.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t read the directions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really like this pattern. It’s a good layering piece, and it looks unique.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but I wear mostly black and grey, so it’s unlikely that I’ll be sewing it again.

What I’ve Been Working on This Week: The Steampunk Dress

pattern1_simplicity1819_120113

Simplicity 1819. I’m making the shorter version.

+ + +

pattern2_simplicity1819_120113

Here is the line drawing. I love those ruffles and cascading layers.

+ + +

pattern3_simplicity1819_120113

I spent a fair amount of time tracking down all of the pieces and cutting it out.

+ + +

For most of the year I’ve been sewing things I’m more likely to wear, which are knit tops and dresses. I’ve been wearing almost all of my projects that are knits, but sometimes I do miss making challenging things with wovens. Hence my latest most impractical sew-for-fun project: the Steampunk Dress, Simplicity 1819.

I don’t really have an occasion to wear this to, but I might just start wearing it to work or some other normal activity, just not totally dressed up so it doesn’t look so costume-y.

No 1 Loose Draped Dress

+ + +

I plan to sew my way through the Japanese Drape Drape series, book 1, starting with this top. I really like working with jersey — it’s comfortable, fast, breathes easily in the summer and is very versatile.

I’ve worn this dress out a few times now, and it’s comfortable, can be dressed up or down, but just be warned that the front and the back (the back especially) is very, very low. I recommend using double-sided tape if you’re going to be out and about to prevent accidental slippage.

The hardest thing about this pattern is cutting it out. All the lines are printed on top of each other. What worked or me was figuring out which line was for which project, tracing over it in a different colored pencil, and then copying that onto pattern paper.

Pattern review is as follows.

+ + +

Pattern Description:
No 1 Loose Drape Top, cowl neck top, turned into a dress

Pattern Sizing:
Small, Medium, Large. I cut a size large, since I hate super-clingy jersey, but however this wasn’t right, and I had to adjust it, which probably made me a medium in the end.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, except I made it a dress.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn’t read the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is the first pattern I’ve made after my complicated bridesmaid dress (which is finally finished). I like that it took two hours from start to finish. I wore it out the next day, then took it home and adjusted it.

Fabric Used:
Black jersey

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I raised the armhole by an inch and a half, and turned it into a dress. I based the waist and the bottom off of a pre-existing jersey dress, which looks sort of awkward, but it is very comfortable to wear. I wear it out most of the time.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I plan to make this as is in a plain top.

What I’m Working on This Week: Advance 8647, Bodice

It’s been quiet around these parts since it’s been a very busy summer, but I have been sewing.

Over the weekend I finally got the front bodice done. It’s cotton sateen underlined with cotton batiste. I was supposed to underline the fashion fabric with organza, but it was way too slippery and moved around too much, so I ended up using some white cotton batiste from the depths of my stash. (My fabric acquisition has been so sparse lately that it can’t even be called a stash.) I tried to watch some X-Files while doing this, since underlining the pieces were tedious.

It still needs lining, boning, and the skirt part to be done. Almost there.