Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Whitney Dress - Final

Here is another version of my TNT dress pattern that I'm calling, "The Whitney Dress".




My initial post detailed the pattern alterations I made to my TNT dress pattern. Here are a few more details:


Fabric Prep:
Since I used a wool crepe for this dress, I used Pam Erny's method of using a wet (not slopping wet) white towel in the dryer with the fabric for 40 minutes.  Then I steamed the heck out of the fabric before taking it to my cutting table.


Fabric:
100% worsted wool crepe purchased from Fabric Mart


Notions:
22" brown invisible zipper
2 yards of orange bemberg rayon lining purchased from Elegant Fabrics in NYC
3 yards brown lace hem tape


Construction:
Topstitching
One of the predominant features of this dress is the topstitching.  It would have been attractive with tone-on-tone topstitching but I wanted something a little more intriguing so I went with a contrasting color, orange.  After making a sample, I really liked the way the brown and orange worked together especially since I have an orange cardi to wear over this sleeveless dress.


Back on October 1, 2009, I wrote a blog post on topstitching tips which has some great comments at the end of the post.  This is the way that I topstitch garments but I wanted to add a couple of additional points:
  • I used the triple stitch (No. 25) on my Janome 6600P sewing machine. This stitch goes back and forth three times, thereby producing the very pronounced stitching line.  I also lengthen my stitch length to a 4 to get a more attractive (to me) look.
  • Even though I've used scotch tape in the past as a guideline, I don't like to use it on wool crepe because when the tape is removed it leaves a fuzzy like appearance to the fabric.  So in this case to make sure that the topstitching was even on both sides of the seaming, I used the edge of the machine foot.  For this project, I used the basic zig zag foot.
  • The thread I used was the regular Gutterman thread that I purchase from Atlanta Thread and Supply.
  • Sewing slowly, paying attention and being concise are really important to me in getting a good topstitched seam.
  • Lastly can I stress that a sample should definitely be made.  You want to check to make sure the thread is laying down on the fabric well, that there is no pulling and that after ironing the sample that there isn't any shine.
Seaming Details 
After the topstitching I think the other star of this dress is the seaming detailing. Now there are many ways that you can add seaming to a dress pattern but I have to admit that the seaming in this dress is influenced by the Burda color blocked dress 117A in the February 2012 issue.


To insure that the all the seams met, I basted the seams together at the junction points before machine stitching them.  I wanted some control to insure that the seams met properly, the hand basting provided that.  


There is more seaming on the front of the dress than the back...and the back will probably be hidden by the cardigan but that's okay with me.  I wanted some detail in the back and even debated putting a double line of stitching down the back but scuttled that idea...deciding that simpler was best.


Other Details
This dress has a v-neckline.  Not something I typically do in the winter but its been such a mild one this year that I went with something atypical for me.  If it gets really cold in future winters, I won't wear a dress anyway, so the more open neckline doesn't faze me, however, it does add to the uniqueness of the dress.




I shortened the zipper because I didn't want the zipper to go through the seaming detail on the back.  I measured how long I needed the zipper to be and then added a thread stop.  After making the thread stop, I cut the zipper off about an inch from it.  This is how I handle shortening a zipper after watching one of the sales clerks at Steinlauf Stoeller cut a zipper and having him tell me that you could use a thread stop to do the same thing he was doing.




The dress is lined but I decided to be as bold with the lining as I was with the topstitching so I used some orange bemberg lining I had in the collection... even though only I will know that it's there...well and all of you too, *LOL*...I thought it just complimented the dress.




I didn't add lace to the lining hem.  I didn't have any orange lace and even if I had stashed some I probably wouldn't have used it.  A simple machine stitched hem seems to go better with the spirit of the dress.  


Other than those points, it was a regular sew.  A well-thought out and much pondered sew but a regular sew...so a few more pics!


Dress with vintage Sarah Coventry Pin,
Isaac Mizrahi bag & Aerosoles shoes

Dress with orange cardigan
from Jessica London

Showing the seaming & how
it works with the cardigan

Back view with seaming 
on dress back


The soundtrack of the weekend and last week has been tunes from Whitney Houston...I find that I'm gravitating to quite a few of the songs from her last album, "I Look to You" even though she doesn't have the range of her earlier songs, these seem especially poignant due to her untimely death...


...as always, more later!







98 comments:

  1. seriously, the topstitching on this dress is a real wow.

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  2. I love the brown and the orange! Great dress and the topstitching is perfection!

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  3. Love it! That dress is fabulous. I love it with the pin and the bag. It's great. g

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  4. This would have to be one of my favourites of your dresses! Love the colour combination and that topstitching really gives it the wow factor. Perfect fit and flattering V-neckline too.

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  5. looks great, I am always a fan of topstitching.

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  6. What a lovely dress. A fitting tribute to Whitney Houston and your sewing skills. Beautiful colour scheme and perfect topstitiching. A new favourite!

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  7. Really beautiful! I love the colors.

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  8. Love that fabulous top stitching! It's so bold! :)

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  9. This is another winner. Love the color combination. I want the purse and the pin! You hit another one out of the park. TFS.

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  10. Beautiful and great matching of accessories. Love the topstitching.

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  11. Awesome. I think this is one of my all time favourites of your projects! The top stitching really makes it special.

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  12. I love this! All the details are just perfect... the topstitching looks amazing! I love it with the orange cardi too...

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  13. The orange and brown look so cool together. I love how you styled this piece too. Another very informative and interesting "process" post Carolyn - thats why I love ya!

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  14. That is a knock out look. I love the pic with the pin and the bag! I love topstitching and yours is great!

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  15. That is a beautiful dress, beautifully made and looking great on you. The whole orange thing sings.

    Now the tip I really need from you is how to stop reading blogs and actually make something myself! My sewing mojo has up and gone.

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  16. Great dress Carolyn! P.S. Re: topstitching, how do you pivot at the corners/bottom of the V's using the triple stitch - me, I'd likely mess it up :(!

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  17. You look great! I love the open neckline on you.

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  18. Out of all the dresses you've made over the years, I have to say this is my favorite! Love the pin and the cardi too - and together, it's just fabulous!

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  19. Your dress looks great. I particularly love the topstitching.

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  20. Love the colours, the seaming, the topstitching - love it all! What a great dress!

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  21. Fabulous dress, Carolyn, the orange and brown are a great color combination. Thanks for the topstitching tips.

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  22. Love it. The orange lining makes me smile.

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  23. I WANT THAT PIN. Is it enamel - IT BELONGS IN MY COLLECTION! Your dress is beautiful and the top stitching impeccable!

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  24. I think this is my most favorite out of everything I've seen you make since I subscribe. LOVE the design, the accessories, the color, just everything!! You look amazing!

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  25. Love it! And I love that in the bottom picture I can see a whisper of the orange lining down at the back slit -- peeking through from the front of the dress at just the right angle (it isn't the lining hanging out there at the slit, it's that I'm looking all the way through the dress to the other side). And the first thing I think of when I see it is Christian Louboutin shoes.

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  26. This is one of my favorite garments that you have made. I love the color combination, and the v-neck is very flattering on you. What great accessories you have for your new dress!

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  27. I love the top stitching and color combo. Especially when teamed with the purse and cardi.

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  28. Beautiful dress, love the topstitching and so figure flattering.... superbly done.

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  29. This my most favorite dress to date. Luv it!!!

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  30. Beautiful, Carolyn--the topstitching is impeccable. And I love the lining!

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  31. Love this one. Looks great on you. Love the topstitching.

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  32. Carolyn, this dress brought me out of lurkdom! Fantastic dress and the orange accents and accessories are perfect. I may have to steal your idea of the two colors.

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  33. The topstitching really makes the dress. Paired with orange accessories, it's stunning.

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  34. What can I say but wow,wow,wow. You are such a stylist and inspiration.

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  35. You look great! The topstitching is gorgeous!

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  36. You look stunning in this Carolyn! Everything about it is spot on: fit, style, colour, construction, and styling. The neckline is especially attractive on you. You should show a little more skin more often;-)

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  37. Your dress is a success! I too love top-stitching and your tips are great. I tend to use heavier thread and a straight stitch, but I think I will try your triple stitch in future.
    Now you need some orange/brown spectator shoes if any exist.

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  38. This is a fabulous dress, Carolyn, and the top stitching is perfection. I also love how you have styled it with the orange cardigan, flower pin and sharp bag!

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  39. Gorgeous dress and looks great on you! I love the color combination and your topstitching is perfect. Thanks for the tip on using that triplestitch for topstitching. I think I have that on my Janome as well.

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  40. The top stitching and seam details look stunning, and this dress looks amazing on you. You have used such brilliant accessories to highlight a beautifully cut dress with such special detailing.

    20 out of 10, Carolyn, 20 out of 10!

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  41. sewn to perfection!!! love it ...love it....love it!

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  42. Love it! You did such a neat job on the top stitching. I love the combination of colors.

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  43. Fabulous color combination. I love the way the topstitching matches the lining. Very inspirational!

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  44. Wow!!! That left me speechless...I so wish you lived near me...to learn from you...oh my gosh!!! How blest the rest of us are to have you blog...thank you!!!

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  45. Everything that comes out of your sewing room is an inspiration to me, and this one is no different. Such a beautiful use of color, and your stitching is just perfect. I'm now eyeing my patterns to look for interesting seam lines for topstitching. Thank you for sharing this wonderful project.

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  46. I agree with so many of the other posters...this is my favorite dress that I have followed on your blog. The V neck is extremely flattering!! Thanks again for sharing the process.

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  47. You've done it again! The dress is fabulously elegant in its simplicity. You look fantastic in it. Win-win. I would love to see a close-up picture of where all the top-stitching meets on the front. I think I know how you handled it - but would love to see for sure :) Love this!

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  48. Love it love it love it--the brown with the orange is just fabulous, both the topstitching, lining and accessories!

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  49. I have read and enjoyed your blog for awhile. The topstitching with the triple stitch gave me an aha moment. I have a similar machine, Janome 6500, and just topstitched a hat with double thread through the needle. It was okay, but made periodic loops on the underside. I never thought of using the triple stitch!

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  50. Carolyn, that dress is a beautiful fit! It takes off some pounds, adds some height AND, I think it even makes you look younger. Must be the good fit and the phenomenal topstitching. Love its name, I was so happy they had the home-going in her church, not a stadium, loved the speakers who just loved her.Classy dress.
    Nancy H

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  51. Love it - what a great dress!

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  52. Love it! And I love how you've accessorized it with orange - it makes the top stitching really pop!

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  53. I'm in agreement with Nancy H...it makes you look younger and to me with the purse and shoes...one word...JOYFUL. Your smile gets bigger with each of your latest creations. Have you crossed over into a very happy contented sewing zone lately with new colors and daring designs?

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  54. The sewing on this dress is impressive. It is sooo flattering on you. Thanks for the tips on top stitching.

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  55. Another great dress, Carolyn. I love that orange lining.

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  56. This dress looks so lovely on you! i'm on my way to read your other topstitching tips. Love the lining! I love the pin and the shoes. You knocked it outta the park again, Carolyn

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  57. This dress is fabulous! Very flattering & I love the accessories.

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  58. Ooh la la! Your topstitching is phenomenal! I hope you will continue to share, share, share your construction details, because I learn so much from you! Thanks :)

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  59. Stunning! Who would have thought of using orange - well, you of course :o) The top-stitching is very effective, I wondered whether having the lines meet at a point in the front might have been unflattering, but it is very slimming indeed!

    Many thanks for all your notes - most inspiring!

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  60. I know I've said this before, but THIS dress is really my favourite. I love everything about it, but I found the v-neck particularly flattering on you. Thanks for sharing your process, as well.

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  61. I really like this dress; love the orange and brown theme. The topstitching looks good. I think it looks slenderizing as well.

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  62. I love how you styled it- both ways- at the end of the post! The topstitching is wonderful.

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  63. That looks awesome! I think it's your best look so far. You look great in it!

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  64. You look very elegant in this creation. Congratulations!

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  65. This is one of my favourites among your dresses. I love the styling, I love the colours and I think the V neck is perfect for this dress. The addition of the coloured accessories is pure brilliance. I have a pair of orange heels that would go perfectly with this outfit. Isn't incredible how the combination of fabric, colour and topstitching can give life to a simple garment? This is why I love to sew and this is why I love to read other sewing blogs. You've just given me a whole new set of inspirations and if you could only see the collection I'm gathering in my head right now ...

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  66. You nailed this dress! Love the topstitch and seam detailing, especially in my all-time favourite orange. Great job. Enjoy wearing it!

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  67. This is beautiful..I love the orange topstitching and the orange cardigan and bag.. Just beautiful. Excellent job. Happy sewing.

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  68. Wow! This is a beautiful dress. It looks real good on you.

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  69. I am listening to "I look to you" right now. She still had a beautiful voice, even if her range was not as wide. Much more range than I ever had. Beautiful song. I know she struggled, but she left a beautiful legacy that will continue to inspire and soothe.

    I love, love the dress. One of my favorites.

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  70. Fantastic dress. It looks amazing on you!

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  71. What a flattering fit on you! I love the top-stitching and the triple stitch. I'd never heard of that before and it answers the question I've always had about the heavier or more pronounced top-stitching I've seen on other pieces.

    Thanks for the great photos. It helps to have a close-up!

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  72. That is such a cute dress. Love the orange topstitching and you did a wonderful job. I love the cardigan and the pin add such a cute touch. I also think the orange lining adds to the fun of the dress. I love your test and admire your talent. Thanks for sharing.

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  73. That dress looks great on you! I love the vibrant top-stitching and the lining. I worry about sewing with wool crepe - I'm afraid to put so much work into something and then have it shrink.

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  74. Great dress, it's amazing how the contrasting top stitching lifts this from a nice looking dress to a wow! looking dress. Maybe you should replace your profile picture with this one, it looks amazing

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  75. This looks like a designer dress your design and topstitching is impeccable Sew On

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  76. Good choice with the orange topstitching. This really makes your dress 'sing' and it's a very professional finish. Good on you.

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  77. The touch of Brown and orange look perfect! This is one of your most wonderful creations.
    -Samatha @ Calvin Klein mens suits

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  78. Count me in with the people who think this is the most amazing dress you've made! The top-stitching is so slimming and reminds me of skinny belts. The color is like silky smooth chocolate. The V-neck looks really good on you too.

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  79. I love everything about your dress - love the cool orange topstitching with the brown. I love the name too!

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  80. I love the topstitching detail, this is a great colour combination and it really looks good with the cardigan.

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  81. Oh Carolyn, this looks GREAT, and can carry you into spring too! And you know I love me some orange. :-)

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  82. I love your dress. The topstitching is fabulous and you whole outfit is very pretty.

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  83. Fabulous seaming and I love that topstitching! Great dress for you.

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  84. Love the dress Carolyn and especially the orange accents. I wish I could get things done like you. I'm SO easily distracted.

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  85. Fantastic dress. Love the colorful details like the topstitching and the lining in orange.

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  86. Love it - the seaming is perfect but not overdone!

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  87. Great great dress - looks fantastic on you

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  88. I had to scroll down so far to put a comment I suspect you won't even get time to read it, but I love the dress and the way you have used all the lovely orange accessories.

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  89. You knocked this one out of the park! I love it!

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  90. Excellent! When I saw the first photo, I stated singing: "It's not right but it's okay. I gonna make it anyway."

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  91. Absolutely stunning. Loving the orange cardigan with it also.

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  92. Hi, LUV luv luv your dress, it looks fantastic on you and the details lovely. I'm curious what is the TNT pattern and can I buy your pattern fora friend, thanks :-) :-)

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