My initial post detailed the pattern alterations I made to my TNT dress pattern. Here are a few more details:
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.
100% worsted wool crepe purchased from Fabric Mart
22" brown invisible zipper
2 yards of orange bemberg rayon lining purchased from Elegant Fabrics in NYC
3 yards brown lace hem tape
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 DetailsAfter 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.
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!