Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Two for the Price of One

I am a huge proponent of tried 'n true (TNT) patterns. As a believer, I think that once you have resolved your fitting issues with a pattern, you can then become creative with it. Color, print & pattern, and embellishments all become interesting design features. I would like to note upfront that all of the outfits are going to be photographed flat first. I will model the completed garments at the end of the week ~ this way I don't have to get out of my pjs! *smile*

I completed two items yesterday from my TNT dress pattern:
Version One


This is my free dress. This dress is made from fabric that was used in outfits that I made last summer. A Dillards ad was the inspiration for this dress. The ad prompted me to go scrounging through my fabric collection for these remaining pieces. As I fiddled with the fabric, I realized that I could create a dress that would work well with pieces that were already in my wardrobe.

Fabric:
leftover black/creme linen circle print from last year's Fabric Mart Sample Cut Club
leftover black rayon/linen from Fashion Fabrics Club

Notions:
22" black zipper
3 yards of foldover black satin bias binding
Construction Details:
~ The alterations for this pattern was done 2 years ago. I used the pattern only once - to make a black linen dress for my father's funeral. I thought it was time to use the pattern again so that I could associate some different memories with it.

~ 5/8 inch seam allowances were machine basted around the neck and armhole edges. Then the seam allowances were cut off up to the basting. The seam binding was folded over and stitched down close to the open edges of the binding.

Version Two - The V-Neck Version



This dress inspired the "fairy tale" that I posted yesterday. The shades of blue paisley cotton print from SewMamaSew was originally going to be used for this dress. And since I really wanted to make this dress, I cut out my black 'n white cotton fabric.

I redrafted the bodice of my TNT dress and I am really proud that the pattern pieces work. Pattern drafting is not my strength so to get the v-neck portion to work is a very big deal to me. Below are pictures of the original bodice piece and my new revised piece. The most important part of drafting the piece was measuring from the hollow of my neck to the point on my chest where I wanted the top to criss-cross. I placed a notched mark on the pattern to indicate where the pieces should overlap and it made up successfully!


Fabric:
Black Dandy Damask - 100% cotton by Michael Miller from SewMamaSew.com ~ and I got the last two pieces that Kristin had!

Notions:
3 yards white piping, 3 yards 1.5 wide white ribbon, 3 yards 3/8" black/white striped ribbon, 22" zipper (that's navy instead of black but don't tell anyone!), 5 yards of black cotton bias binding.

Construction Details:

~White piping was aded to each front bodice piece.

~After the dress was constructed, I was dismayed to realize that I looked like a tablecloth. So I had to come up with a way to make this second version work. Searching through my trim drawer, I found a 1.5" wide white ribbon. I placed that around the empire waist of the dress but the look was too stark. So back to the trim drawer and I found a 3/8" black 'n white striped ribbon. This ribbon was basted down the center of the white ribbon and placed back around the dress. The enhanced ribbon trim gives the dress an illusion of a waist and the starkness of the plain white ribbon vanished.

~The black cotton bias binding was used as facings for the armholes and as a hem facing. I hate those 3" armhole facings that the pattern companies provide for sleeveless garments. I like the sleeker look from RTW of the small bias facings so that was the look I went for by adding the bias binding to the armhole edges. I sewed them down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, notched the curves and pressed with a lot of steam and a clapper to get a clean folded edge.

~A hem facing was made using the black bias binding because when I tried the dress on I liked the hem length as it was. By sewing the binding on using a 3/8" seam allowance, pressing and using the clapper again, I was able to maintain the dress length that I liked. The hem was finished by hand stitching the facing to the dress.

~The dress was topstitched a 1/4" around the neckline and armhole openings. At the point where the bodice points intersect there is a small triangle sewed in for a little distinction. Of course you can't see this unless you are right up on the dress but I know that it is there!

~Finally two shallow back neckline darts were added. Because I redrafted the bodice fronts, the bodice back neckline was loose. The darts removed the fullness and caused the back to lay flat.

I will make this dress again from the blue cotton paisley when the extra fabric arrives. Of course, I will change the embellishment on the dress to make it distinct from its sister but both dresses will work wonderfully for my spring/summer work wardrobe.

Next up is the jacket from Butterick 4980. For this I am using the brown eyelet purchased from Metro Textiles earlier this year, but first I am making a wearable muslin from a tablecloth that I got from an estate sale several years ago.

I will leave you with a pic of both dresses together!



Shew! I was worried there for a minute that nothing was going to come out of my sewing machine...which is purring like a baby as she sews along! And the sewing adventure continues!!!!

19 comments:

  1. I really like the fabric of that v-neck dress!! I am just getting into sewing my own clothes and my biggest problem is picking out fabric that works for me. I wear lots of dresses, mostly long. I love looking at what you make, it is always so fashionable. I love your ideas!!
    Shorty

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  2. Love the dress and the trim is just perfect. Great use o materials at hand for overcoming the earlier setback and "saving" yourself from the initial disappointment with this dress.

    You are going to knock 'em dead.

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  3. The black binding on your free dress looks great, stylish and elegant.
    For the V-neck dress the added trim is an inventive solution to give the dress an optical waistline.

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  4. Oh Carolyn! These are wonderful. I am in love with those polka dots and great work redrafting the front!

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  5. I love the way you are adapting the required corporate black that you don't like to fit your personal style. The dresses look great. Good start to the week; we'll pretend that first little hiccup was just a bad dream.

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  6. They are awesome! Very creative, and very inspiring. Ah, black and white. So classy!

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  7. Both dresses are fantastic! I really like the graphic fabric in the "free" dress and the black piping it a great finish.

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  8. I really like the v-neck version. It's very classy.

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  9. I love your new dresses! I especially love the first one - I have such a 'thing' for polka dots right now.

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  10. Those look great! Love the one with the big polkadots. I've been a freak for polkadots since I was a kid. That and lime green gingham, but that doesn't look so good on adults. LOL

    I'm enjoying living vicariously through you with your sewing vacation!

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  11. I really like the v-neck dress! I read your post from yesterday and I'm glad everything worked out or you. Can't wait to see all the finished garmets modeled!

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  12. I'm glad your sewing gremlins have moved on and you're back to producing fabulous clothes, like these two dresses!

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  13. aren't the free dresses the best! Its my favorite. Where oh where do you get the bias satin binding????

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  14. Carolyn - what fabulous dresses! I can't wait to see the blue version. I love, love, love the cross over, v-neck version and that waist trim - love it!!!

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  15. These are fabulous! What a great pattern to play around with. The bodice does give you lots of options. My favourite is definately the polka dot one!

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  16. Nice dresses! Very creative-crafty-quick-thinking on the redraft.

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  17. I don't know who asked the question about the satin bias binding but just for general info., I buy this at Daytona Trimmings. There use to be another trim shop a few doors down that sold not only satin bias binding but linen bias binding. If I had known they were going out of business and that Daytona wouldn't carry it, I would have bought it in all colors. I loved the linen bias binding!

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  18. Ohhh, both dresses are stunning! I love the enhanced ribbon trim detail on the last one, it makes it really exquisite! Congratulations!

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  19. I love the v-neck dress and with I had the courage to redraft as you did. The result is amazing!

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