Monday, June 21, 2010

First Drafted Dress

* Note: I was hoping to get some nicer pictures but there is no sun in Seattle right now, so these will have to be good enough!

Well, here it is. I'll show the fancy styled version first. (It's not really so fancy; I'm just wearing shoes and a belt. And I poofed the dress out a bit before I took the picture. I hear they do that on those big fancy photo shoots.)

Unfancy shot with rare glimpse of my face. Now you know why I usually crop it out. Deer in headlights. I'm sure the camera angle isn't helping.

The fabric is what I think is a Michael Miller quilting cotton, although it feels like it has a little stretch to it. Go figure. Yes, I know I am not supposed to use quilting cotton to make clothes with; yes I do it anyway; well, not as much as I did before. Hardly ever actually. (Although I want to make it clear that I feel you should be able to make your clothing out of whatever you want. They're your clothes after all.) I have some three yard lengths of quilting cotton in my stash I want to get rid of, and learning how to draft my own dresses seemed a perfect way to do it. (Not too precious to cut into.)

Here are some close-ups of the front and back bodice. It's hard to see the details because of the loud and busy fabric. I PLANNED THAT. What better way to hide the wonky bits?

Artsy shot.

Invisible zipper is invisible.

I'm not really gonna talk about process here because I learned everything I know from reading my pattern books, specifically Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear. Which you have heard me mention a million times. I worked and worked and worked on this bodice. Maybe 7 or 8 different iterations. (I still don't like it, but more in a minute.) When I got to a version I could live with, I learned to draft a set in sleeve. It fits in the armscye and I have mobility. Then I made the simplest skirt ever so I could just have a dress finally.

Things I learned, need to work on, or don't like:
  • If I had waited for this dress to be perfect, I would never have a dress.
  • It isn't going to kill me to make 8 muslins. (Although it feels as if it might.)
  • There is still a lot of wonkiness in the bodice. If you look at my bosom area in the toile, it appears that I may need an FBA by all those drag lines surrounding a certain part of my anatomy. (Btw, I could not see these until I took a picture. My bathroom mirror showed none of that.) I'm gonna start from scratch and make that bust dart bigger.

  • The bust darts are not as nice with a heavier fabric. Need to get the length just right.
  • I could probably take the waist down another inch or so. (Maybe. I need to experiment.)
  • Not my favorite skirt. I would like a gathered skirt with more volume, or something else entirely.
  • Length is everything. I was seriously hating this before I hemmed it. And then, like magic, it was no longer a dowdy house dress.
My final assessment. It's not perfect, but it is wearable, and I secretly love it a lot for being my first self-drafted dress. I'm just going to enjoy it in all it's imperfect glory.


Tanya said...

Very nice dress, I commend your efforts.

Debi said...

The dress is FANTASTIC! I absolutely love the print and you did such a great job with the zipper!

KID, MD said...

Hurray for your first successful self-drafted dress! I think it's cute and looks fun to wear.

Linda said...

I love the dress and the print. Self drafted too - very impressive.

Myra said...

Cute print, and dress. Your comment about quilting cotton is true, you can make your clothes from what you want, but I always acknowledge that QC may not drape as well so I pick the pattern as wisely as possible.

Tany said...

I think you did an outstanding job! The dress looks wonderful!

Lisette M said...

I'm very impressed that you drafted your own! I haven't been bitten by that bug yet.

Uta said...

I think the dress is great! Good thing you put in/left in your head, because it shows how nice the dress looks with your hairstyle and color. Great match!

Angela said...

Congrats on your dress!! It looks awesome!