I just loved the pretty lilac color and how it screamed spring. But this is a very simple design and after handling the fabric I realized that I wanted more seaming detail in my dress.
Then I saw this dress in the latest Jessica London catalog where the empire waistline was highlighted and it looks like there's some seaming detail on the bodice. Now whether it's there or not, doesn't matter because it did set my mind spinning. So I decided to add some additional seaming to the bodice of my dress.
I'm using the lilac ponte from this post to make my mashup of these two dresses.
Pattern Alterations ~
I've made so many versions of my TNT pattern that it's just a matter of finding pattern pieces I've already traced to use when sewing another version. So of course, I used an already altered piece as my jump off. Then I cut it up to add a few more seams. See a mashup design.
Bodice pattern cut at the empire waist
Then tracing paper added to start the additional alterations
To get the triangle design on the bodice front:
*I picked the center point at the neckline
*Then I drew a diagonal line from the center front
to the hemline on both sides of the bodice
5/8" seam allowances were added to all of the pieces
Then the new pattern pieces were placed on the original
to insure that the new pieces would fit together correctly.
Embellishing the Dress ~
I used topstitching to embellish the dress and to add some zing to a basic dress. There is a lot of topstitching in the dress. Every seam was topstitched including the hem of the dress. This topstitching is what gives the dress flava to me.
The bodice front with the topstitching
Close up of the triangle insert on the bodice
Here is a sneak peek of the dress on Lulu with the inspiration necklace ~
Some stats ~
A lightweight ponte with quite a bit of stretch from Fabric Mart (sorry but it's no longer available on the site.)
22" bone invisible zipper
1 1/2" wide white bias binding
strips of ltwt. fusible interfacing
Construction Techniques ~
Since it's another version of my TNT dress, my construction sequence was completed by what made sense to me.
- The dress bodice was constructed first, topstitched and attached to the skirt front.
- The back sides were stitched together, then topstitched, and the invisible zipper inserted.
- One inch strips of ltwt. fusible interfacing was placed on the back center seams prior to the zipper insertion to stabilize the area.
- I used a little twill tape in the shoulder seams to stabilize them.
- Topstitching was achieved by using the #5 utility stitch on my Janome MQ8900. I changed the stitch length to 4 which makes a more pronounced and noticeable topstitch.
- Since the dress is unlined, I added binding to the neckline and armholes then topstitched the binding down.
- Stitch Witchery was added to the hemline and it too was topstitched.
Inserting the invisible zipper - added fusible interfacing
strips to stabilize the center back seam
Close up of bodice seaming and bias binding
finishing for the neckline and armholes
It's weird having the guts of a dress exposed
because this dress is unlined.
A few final thoughts ~
On my AT Black Lace Ponte dress post there were a few comments about the details I include in my garments. This dress is no exception. Even though it's unlined (I plan to wear a slip with it) changing up the bodice and adding the topstitching really took the dress' construction to another level. It also made a rather simple sew timewise, a much longer sew.
Honestly though, this is way I like to sew now...using a simple silhouette and taking it to the next level by adding seaming or embellishment details to make it slightly different from the norm. I think this is why I like garments from the 60's so much...they are modern-ish...yet they have amazing details that make each garment distinctive!
If you're interested in using a pattern presently on the market to make these changes, try this one:
Sewing this dress was the run up to my sewing vacay. It really helped me get into the zone ~ where I need to be ~ so that my time in the sewing cave will be productive. I only have four items on my "To Sew List" ~ 1 new Vogue dress pattern, a TNT cardi, then a top and skirt also from a new Vogue pattern. I'm hoping that I can get all of these pieces sewn or almost completed during that time.
I will have modeled shots of the dress and the Burda gray knit cardigan on the blog soon.
One last thing ~
I loved Michael Jackson. Was truly devastated when he passed away so young...because when I was 11 I KNEW I was going to marry him! *LOL* Anyway, I've spent the weekend blasting this song from Michael's new album in the sewing cave...Michael and my favorite little N'Sync boy - Justin! Enjoy!!!!
...as always more later!