Monday, April 16, 2007

Seven Days of SWAP - Day Two

When I began my SWAP I had three colors in mind - black, white and red. The colors were chosen because they were basic but could provide a punch when placed together in the right combination. I knew that I wanted a red suit so I designed a dress and jacket outfit in red...just a simple corporate type outfit. However, I have to admit to being influenced by what other SWAPPers and sewists on the internet were doing. My little red outfit seemed to plain, it lacked verve. So what to do? I went with my strong suit ~ embellishment. For some time now, I have wanted to pintuck some fabric and then turn it into a garment. This seemed like a good opportunity for me to try this process out. I thought the pintucking detail would not only add dimension to a conventional garment but it would also give it a slimming effect.

By choosing to pintuck the fabric, the simple idea became an epic project. It took two weekends to get the fabric lengths pintucked, using two different sewing machines, eight bobbins of thread and 3/4 of a 10,000 yard spool of thread. And after making a few samples and starting to pintuck the first length, I realized that I liked the wrong side of the fabric better than the actual pintucked side!

100% worsted wool crepe from Timmel Fabrics - this was my qualifying purchase.

Butterick 5932 OOP - TNT - this pattern has a copyright date of 1988 on it. And if by chance you happen to own this pattern and notice that there isn't a knee length dress with short sleeves included in in the pattern, that's because years ago I made the empire waist, calf-length sleeveless dress. I made it several times - well actually I made a series of those dresses and I loved the pattern block. So I altered the pattern pieces to reflect the new look I wanted. From the altered pattern I have made the "new" dress out of linen, wool crepe, cotton pique and silk to name a few fabric types. I have made this dress for every season except winter because I just don't do dresses in the wintertime!

Construction Details:
1. Pintucking the fabric lengths was the most time consuming aspect of this project. The pintucking was done using a Schmetz twin needle size 4.0/8.0. I only made one adjustment to the tension on my sewing machine to tighten the stitching on the top and pull the pintucks a little tighter. This made the channel on the reverse side just a little deeper which was the effect I was aiming for.

2. Added a lining to the dress

3. Neckline on the dress was changed from a slight u-neck style to a slight v-neck style.

How I plan on wearing the dress:
1. Dress alone
2. Dress with black wool crepe felted jacket
3. Dress with sweater knit jacket
4. Dress with black Tamotsu dress

I have enough fabric left over to make a jacket and to add some of the pintucking detailing to it. I just need a minute for my ideas to perculate. Even though this piece is not the workhorse that the Tamotsu dress is, it does give the collection a much needed punch of color and it does fulfill the requirements needed for my "Corporate Chic" collection.

And that's day two...


  1. Absolutely Fantastic! What an awesome job and I can't wait to see the rest! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  2. Beautiful! Keep them coming!

  3. Wow. You really have done a great job! Can't wait to see whats next!!

  4. Wonderful!! I'm really impressed!

  5. You can never go wrong with a red dress! I love it!

  6. You are one hot mama in red! Ooo doggy!! I can't wait to see what's next!

  7. Am loving the Fashion Photos. Did you have fun with the photo shoot? You look great and dress - love it! g

  8. I'm really impressed with your sewing. The pintucking in particular is so great. All the work invested is what seperates rtw from 'bespoke' or couture garments. Real cool, Carolyn. Congrats.

  9. Every great woman should have a great red dress.Bravo!

  10. Yes, day 2 is a winner! Love how you have taken the fabric and made it more interesting. The idea of a matching jacket sounds good to me.

  11. hi just starting up sewing and blogging. great to see sew..., lol sorry, so many people who sew and you all seem so advanced. i have much to learn on my sewing machine.might have to come back to you for tips, cheers

  12. Carolyn,
    I just looked at your photos for the are such an inspiration.....I am going to try and sew a swap myself. I too need to update my look and you have given not only ideas; but truly a purpose. Bravo!

  13. Beautiful dress and truly impressed with the pintucking.


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