...and I loved the tabs. I knew that not only would they bring some interest to my "basic" sheath dress but they would help add to the allusion of a waistline...as Martha would say, "that's a good thing!"
I could have gone with same fabric tabs but I wanted a little more drama after all of the basics I've been sewing. What can I say? Even though I work in a conservative atmosphere and dress that way, underneath it all, I'm a brightly colored, vivid print kinda girl! So I try to bring a little drama to my outfits within my company's dress code.
Construction of the Faux Leather Tabs with Buttons ~
That's why I indulged my love of faux leather with the side tabs. I didn't use a pattern piece for these tabs. They are a combination of measurements and a quick tutorial that I read on Dixie DIY's blog. This is what I did...
1. I pinned out the path of the belt ~ from the center back seam to a place on the front that looked good on my body.
2. The tab was made by taking the length from pin to pin, then adding 1.5" to the measurement. My final measurements were 14" long by 2" wide.
3. Since I was using faux leather as my tab, I decided to use lining fabric as one side so that the tab wouldn't be too bulky.
4. Next I opened up the center back seam about 1" wide.
5. Inserted the band and stitched the seam closed. Then I pinned the band down the back side and side front. I know sewists are encouraged not to pin their faux leather but these slight marks can be eased out with a little rubbing. Also you'd need to be right up on that tab to see a tiny little pin prick.
6. The band was stitched onto the dress using a 1/4" seam. The first band honestly wasn't stitched down as well as the second one. Instead of stitching in the same direction, I went around the band causing the faux leather to pucker. I didn't make that mistake for the second one.
7. A good press using my silk organza pressing cloth and my clapper to hold everything flat resulted in passable tabs.
8. I stitched black buttons with gold fluted edges down on the front of the faux leather tab.
More Construction Info. ~
I added black piping at the neckline and armholes. This was always in my plan because the print is unusual and if there wasn't a start and stop place for the eyes, it wouldn't work as well.
The lining is the heavier satin lining for the same reasons I stated in my skirt post. The lining does have a little lace at the hemline.
Again there is quite a bit of hand stitching in the construction ~ piping basted down prior to insertion, lining hand stitched to the zipper tape, the bias binding at the armholes sewn to the lining, and the hem hand stitched.
Otherwise, the dress is constructed just like all of the other sheath dresses recently made.
Dress Particulars ~
TNT dress pattern ~ if you want to make one of your own, try Simplicity 1586 because adding the tabs is easy to do.
100% painted wool herringbone
Satin printed lining
faux leather scraps
Two - 1" black & gold buttons
22" invisible zipper
brown striped bias binding (I found another roll in the bias binding stash!)
brown rayon seam binding
1" lace trim
Finally a few pictures of the dress...
Well we knew I wasn't going to stay with simple and basic for long, it's just not in my creative DNA. I like the challenges that constructing this dress brought. It is my basic silhouette but with enough interesting details to elevate the style. I'm really thrilled with the dress because if you put it next to one of the simpler sheath dresses, you can really see how the details make this dress distinctive.
As I was setting up the camera to take pictures, my Mom saw my dress and asked to see it up close. I turned it around so that she could see the front and the back and then turned it inside out so she could see the finishing. And then it happened...my Mom said, "that the dress was so well finished that you could wear it inside out." Peoples, best compliment EVAH! *Score* *doing the happy happy dance* *LOL*
I went back and forth over whether or not to make one final piece to go with this grouping or to move onto a new piece of fabric because I'm feeling very red. However, everything is threaded with brown thread so it just made sense to keep working with this color scheme.
I've had this brown knit fabric in the collection for awhile, though how long I have no idea because this piece is missing it's fabric tag. Mentally I've paired it with this pattern for quite some time because the pattern has a copyright date of 2006. That means both have been in the collection since before I moved. Anyway, this is what's up next. I will be moving onto some red wool doubleknit after that...
...as always more later!