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28 April 2013

The punching bag dress

This past week at work has been absolutely horrible. Record-breaking awful. Ug. Actually the whole month had already been pretty bad. But this week, with my husband away at a conference, I just oscillated between being absolutely furious and totally depressed. Now, some people head to the gym and take it out on a punching bag, yes? I instead headed for the sewing machine.

So, this is my punching bag dress. The rest of the world knows it as McCall's 6278. And let me tell you, the poor thing has had to withstand some seriously furious sewing, I'm afraid.

Yes, I know, it is still missing a sleeve. In fact, I will also have to remove the one that is already attached so that I can take the dress in quite a bit at the shoulders. I must have traced the seam line for the sleeveless version, because it comes about 2cm lower on my arm than it should... And, that is not the only problem, you know...

My "furious sewing" has not been without consequences. Those sharp points at the hips are unforgiving, even if I had been in total command of my mental faculties. And because I was not, I also forgot to redraw the sleeve cap to match the 1cm I took in at the horizontal seam over the bust. And then I somehow thought that an inverted pleat at the top of the sleeve would fix it all. Not quite!

Despite all that, the dress looks quite nice on me. Plus I've kinda grown fond of it. I guess I'm thankful for its help.

So, I've set it aside for a little while. It deserves a rest. I will come back to it to fix those few things, certainly in time to wear it this summer.

In the meantime, and because I know that my woes at work will continue for a while longer (we are "re-organizing" you see...) I've now set my eyes on re-organizing the sewing room...

Wish me luck!

17 April 2013

Vogue 1117 by Michael Kors

OK, 2 posts in 4 days is hardly a "whirlwind of activity", but that's the speed for which I'm known I'm afraid. So without further ado, here is another dress I've been happily wearing for a few months already, I just hadn't blogged about it.

The pattern is Vogue 1117 by Michael Kors, and it was the last garment from my Spring 2012 SWAP, the one piece dress. I originally wanted the dress for that SWAP to be made using Vogue 8648, but I could never get rid of my worries about the side skirt pieces being on the bias, so I went with this gorgeous Michael Kors model instead.

Making this dress was a bit tricky because all the pleating is fiddly. I kept checking and double checking, and wouldn't you know it? In the end I still made a mistake! I ironed the pleats on the left skirt towards the top instead of towards the bottom as I had done on the right skirt, aaarghhhh!!! I only realized this once I had attached the skirt to the bodice and serged the seam closed. Ug. So I left it alone and have been wearing it like that quite happily thank you very much...

The truth is that what bothers me now the most is not the pleating mistake but the fact that this polyester blend is rather "spongy" and it makes the pleats stand out a bit too much. I think I may try again this dress in a tropical wool fabric or maybe even a nice cotton sateen where the pleats might behave better. But that's a bit nitpicking, actually. Until I make a version 2.0, I'm quite happy keeping v1.0 in my work clothes rotation.

My review of Vogue 1117 by Michael Kors is at Pattern Review.

14 April 2013

Shawl-collared dress, Burda 08-2011-125

Hi, I am Lucia, I am a fabricholic.
I still buy and buy, but a sewn wardrobe is beginning to materialize, yay! Here is to keeping that up.

This weekend I finally got around to photographing most of the garments I haven't yet blogged about, woohoo! So hang on to your hats, the next few days will be a whirlwind of activity around here.

Let's begin, shall we? Here is Burda 08-2011-125. I was attracted to this dress because of the knotted collar. I especially liked its "fluffyness" or "bulkyness" or whatever you call the fact that the collar folds rather thickly around the neck.

But then I made mine with a lightweight wool boucle with a great soft hand. And you can guess what happened, can't you? Yep, my fabric is much less bulky and so the neckline is much wider and open than in the magazine. Sigh!

Right after I finished it, this bothered me a lot. So I shoved it deep in the closet with a humpf! But after a month or two it looked again fine to me. I've now worn it a couple of times and it is definitely a welcome addition to my wardrobe.

That's not to say that I don't have a few bad memories about this dress... When I noticed that the fabric was a bit loosely woven and thus prone to raveling, I decided that the best way to handle this was by flat-lining all the pieces.

Why did I think that was such a good idea on a princess seamed dress with 18 seams!! With the flat-lining technique you have to sew 5 lines of stitches for every seam. Are you doing the math in your head? Yup, that's 18x5=90!!! Ugh, what was I thinking??? It does, however, look very pretty from the inside, if I say so myself...

My review of Burda 08-2011-125 is at Pattern Review.