I honestly just wanted a great "corporate" looking piece of fabric for a sheath dress for work. Now I have loads of pieces to choose from using that general description. I added the color gray so that I'd only be looking in one section of the collection and lightweight because the temps are suppose to rise this week. These were my two choices ~
Green striped wool/lycra blend and plaid linen
After pulling out and touching the fabrics, the green one really caught my eye...and I knew as soon as I touched it that it should be another version of The Whitney Dress.
A variation of my TNT dress pattern
The original Whitney Dress was based upon a dress that Whitney Houston wore in one of her videos. I made the dress shortly after Whitney passed since I'd spent the weekend watching videos and mourning her. This is my third version. Each one is different and this is my first spring/summer version.
Ltwt wool/lycra blend purchased from Fabric Mart December 2012.
I bought 2.5 yards of this fabric because I knew that I wanted a dress but at the time I thought I would add some sleeves, thus the extra 1/2 yard. Now don't think I had the date labelled on this fabric, I didn't. Fabric Mart keeps a listing of all your fabric purchases and if you leave the label on your fabric you can go back and look at when you purchased them. In my case it's kinda depressing to see how much I've invested in the well being of Fabric Mart! hahahaha!
22" green invisible zipper
rayon seam binding
strips of lightweight black fusible interfacing
Since this dress is made from my TNT dress pattern, it was just remembering how I constructed the dress. Usually I check the blog, but this time I just wanted to sew.
The only construction technique worth noting is how the inserts were added to the dress. For the other two versions, the inserts were cut on grain. For this one I cut them on the bias. So to insure that the bias stretch did not affect sewing the pieces of the dress front together, I added strips of fusible interfacing to them.
The other item to note, is that the dress is unlined. I started with a lightweight seasonal wool blend and I didn't want to make the dress to heavy or uncomfortable to wear. Because the dress is unlined, I used bias binding to finish the neckline and the armholes. Also, I rounded the neckline a little since the original TNT variation had a v-neckline.
Lately I've been using a four pattern piece back on my dresses, but for this one I used the two piece back. It was sheer laziness that made me use the two piece back because I didn't want to match the plaids across the four pieces. Can you imagine how amazing that would have been though...
Finally since I talk about the good and the bad - I hate my darts! I have to rethink how I'm sewing them because I hate those bubbles at the tip of the dart...it was on this dress and the lilac ponte dress...and not a usual feature of my dresses. Back to basics for me...
Design Details ~
When I first pulled the fabric and thought of a Whitney Dress, it was because I wanted to highlight the unusual fabric. I knew that running the stripes down the front of the dress would give it a slim silhouette. The decision to cut the inserts on the bias was done to play with the optics of the fabric's design.
When I started to put the dress together, I was really struck by how the stripes played out. I'm so glad that I listened to the fabric...
Please note that I'm back to having my pictures taken by my daughter. Sammy is 4 months old now and my daughter is in a routine, so they are showing up on Sunday afternoons to take pics again. I have to give her a shout out because it's really nice not to have to worry about stray hairs, (and she also does my hair before pictures) weird angles or taking a million and one shots to come up with a few good ones. We've fallen back into our pattern and the last couple of outfits have been shot by her. She's also game to take a multitude of pictures in various spots around the condo to get the best background for my outfits.
This was a one day sew. Seriously I started it about midnight Sunday morning. Went to bed and then got up in the morning and finished it off in the afternoon. Here are a few additional pictures of the dress...
Walking away - the dress in motion!
With a very old RTW cardigan
Truly this dress is all about the fabric. I love how the design of the fabric highlights the dress and it needs nothing else to make it work.
Next up is a shirt from my Smugglers Daughter fabric...
Lastly, thank you to all who left me birthday wishes. I read each and every one and so appreciate the comments you left. If you noticed in the ten years I've been blogging, this is the first time I've actually written a birthday post. This birthday is a really important one to me...sort of how you feel at 18 and/or 21, 30, so I wanted to celebrate it with all of you!
Thanks also for the wonderful comments you've left on my last couple of makes. I'm thrilled that you appreciated the time and effort taken to create each one. However, I'm mostly happy that you left a comment either encouraging, complimentary, but mostly because you understand the process.
...as always more later!