another front view with the 3/4 length sleeves
1 yard wool black/white houndstooth fabric from Mood
1.5 yard ltwt. black wool crepe from Fabric Mart
ambience rayon lining
22" black invisible zipper
2 yards of 1" black lace
2 yards of black seam binding
I really liked the pleats in the neckline of the designer original. So to get them, I altered my TNT dress pattern front by simply adding some space to the neckline and two pleats to the side front. I went looking for the "how-to" amongst my sewing library, but since it's still packed in totes, I honestly didn't look that hard and winged it for most of the pattern alteration. That's my disclaimer so that you know that no real technical skill was used to make the alteration.
I added four lines at the corner of the neckline. Each line was 1" apart and 3.25" long. I chose this spot based upon the placement on the designer original.
After I made the changes to my pattern, I pinched it together to make sure that it worked. I was a little concerned that when I laid the pattern piece on the fold that I was gaining about an inch in the abdomen area but I thought that the dress was suppose to be shift like anyway so hopefully it wouldn't matter. If there ended up being too much fabric in the front, I would just make larger side seams. I know so totally un-technical right? But you know the cook who doesn't use the recipe or who doesn't look at the measurements but the dish turns out great...well, that's me when it comes to sewing sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes.
Luckily my alterations worked but it did alter the neckline of my dress pattern making the fit a little closer to my neck...which was fine because the altered neckline looks more like the designer original.
The 3/4 length sleeves are one of the sleeve options I've developed for my TNT dress over the course of the dress' history. The 3/4 length sleeves are really the perfect finishing touch for this dress.
I've made this dress a time or two before so there are no new construction details. However, the hand of the fabric did require some special treatment.
*I added a 5/8" strip of knit fusible interfacing to the herringbone wool's neckline because it was very soft and this added some stability to the neckline.
*I also added the same fusible interfacing to the back neckline of the dress after putting the invisible zipper in because the back was a tad wobbly. I probably should have interfaced the center back seam too but it worked out okay after some steaming and sewing the lining down.
*The tucks are just basted in. I considered stitching them down but decided against it. The released tucks are more like the designer original.
*I also stabilized the shoulder seams with stay tape when I stitched them together. I wanted to make sure that they didn't stretch out since both fabrics were a bit unstable.
*The dress is lined and has a lace hem...my standard lining hem treatment.
*The sleeves are also lined because the black wool crepe is a little lightweight. I don't normally line my sleeves but as I stated before I want to wear this dress without a jacket or cardigan.
*I used what I call the Nancy's Notions method of lining sleeves. Cut the sleeve lining an inch shorter than the fashion fabric. Add a strip of interfacing to the sleeve hemline. Stitch the lining and fashion fabric together. Press the seam open. Fold the sleeve right sides together and stitch from the top to the bottom. Press the seam open. Then fold the lining inside and baste the two pieces together at the sleeve cap. Give one more good press to the sleeve and insert it into the dress.
Those were the most interesting construction highlights...it is a TNT pattern after all! But I'm thrilled with the outcome. One final thing...the net-a-porter dress cost $1,390 and my version cost $49.98 ($35 for fabric, $13.96 for lining, $1.02 for notions).
So my first garment for 2012 is done and even though it didn't appear on my sewing list, I'm glad I was flexible enough to go with the flow. Next up will be my Lavender & Grey pieces...
These are the shoes I will wear with the dress in homage to the original designer look...
...as always, more later!