Friday, November 07, 2008

Blue Brocade Wool Crepe Dress & Jacket

...a review...

First, the patterns used for both of these garments are from my TNT pile. Chosen because fitting challenges are at a minimum and they belong to the list of patterns that I would take with me anytime, anywhere, anyplace! Patterns that are the cornerstone of my sewing.

Dress: Butterick 5932 (OOP)
Cardigan: Burda 8869 (OOP)

3.5 yards of cadet blue/periwinkle blue worsted wool crepe from Fabric Mart
(Can't make up my mind what color to call it!)

1.5 yards "Cheval" fabric from Sawyer Brook
(I think of it as a brocade but it is probably more like a jacquard)

4 yards of a silky black polyester lining from Ebad Fabrics

22" periwinkle (the pkg called it that) blue zipper
1/4" shoulder pads

Construction Techniques:
Since both patterns are TNT there were no fitting challenges...however, there were several design changes:

The Dress:

~I added homemade bias binding to the neckline of the dress.

~I also added lace to the lining's hem. I wanted to make the lining look like a slip attached to the inside of the dress instead of a typical lining. I really enjoy this look in my garments and will definitely use this technique again in future garments.

The lace on the hem of this lining was previously used in this outfit. I hand-dyed it and even though the black is a little softer now than the original, I think it works well here.

Whenever I want a well-fitted, fashionable dress or a great starting point to make my "interpretation" of, or even some crazy idea that I dreamed up while traveling back and forth to NYC, this is my jump-off pattern! It never disappoints!

The Cardigan:

How many ways and out of how many different fabrics can I make this pattern?

As many as I want! *LOL*

I started with this pattern because it fits, it met my needs and because I can go buck wild with it doing whatever and still end up with an amazing garment! This time I took the journey using a woven fabric instead of a knit.

Design Changes:

~Normally I cut the back of the cardigan with a center back seam but because I wanted to preserve the design of and showcase the fabric, the back was cut on the fold.

~The front banding and sleeve hem bands were also cut from the pattern fabric to bring some of the design detailing to the front.

~To make allowance for the fact that the pattern calls for a knit - the seam on the sleeve was sewn with a 1/4" seam instead of a 5/8" seam. Thankfully that was all the extra space I needed for my bodacious arm flaps.

~Finally the body of the jacket is lined so that it will slide off and on easily. This was accomplished by cutting the front and back pattern pieces from lining, then sewing them together to form a shell. The shell was basted to the body of the fashion fabric, the band was attached to cover them and then hemmed together as one piece.

I believe I accomplished my make a beautiful outfit for work that fits into my company's corporate work environment yet allows me to express some of my own creativity. While the jacket's back doesn't blast "artistic" it isn't the norm and it does add a little spice. I can't wait to wear it to work!


  1. Both outfits look great, and I must say, even here in Canada we were all hoping for Obama, and the refielf is apparent. Thought it was finaly time to come out of the shadows and comment on your blog. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful creations!

  2. Just lovely, and supremely wearable. Great job, I always look forward to a new post from you. (Even though compulsive reading cuts into my sewing time.... the inspiration is worth it!)

  3. As always, you did a wonderful job. I can truly say ... when I grow up, I want to sew just like you ... Great reviews on your techniques and alterations.

  4. I was just turned onto your blog recently, and I've already picked up 2 tips I will have to remember to try for the future!

    I am absolutely going to HAVE to start adding lace to the bottom edges of my skirt and dress linings now, that is just too fabulous an idea! (and Lord knows I have plenty of lace trim kicking around, threatening to drown me if the fabric doesn't do it first!)

    I also really like your addition of lining to the cardigan - vewy vewy cwever!

    I will definitely be stopping by on a regular basis to see what other innovative tips I can pick up - Thank you!!

  5. The pieces look great and I love your details as usual!

  6. That dress fits you beautifully and I can see why its a great TNT. The outfit is wonderful, the details well thought out as usual, and the color great on you. Nice nice job!

  7. Great outfit! I love the back of the cardigan. From the front, it is "Nice dress, Carolyn." From the back, it is"WOW! Great outfit Carolyn!"

  8. See, it was hard for you to find the time to sew them but good things come to those who wait because you did a beautiful job!
    Congratulations! and enjoy wearing them. That's the best part :)

  9. The ensemble looks beautiful. I especially like the color, which looks great on you.

  10. Great set, the color is amazing.

  11. As usual your garment looks wonderful, I am a bit taken by the back of the jacket. It is a little out of the normmmmm. HUMMMMMM very different, something for me to think about

  12. Great job Carolyn. You continue to inspire me to keep sewing. Thanks for sharing. It really helps.

  13. Carolyn, another beautiful outfit. The color is great and the back of the jacket is really a great touch. I love interesting backs on clothes.

  14. Wow, thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Your ensemble is exquisite and inspiring. The idea of finishing your lining with lace is brilliant. I hope you bleieve that immitation IS the most sincere form of flattery--I plan to imitate!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas and the details!

    Lynda in LV

  16. This is a really great outfit. It's classic and stylish but with that little extra something that makes it all you and you alone. The colour is not one I would have picked for you, but it looks fantastic. Like many others here, you've inspired me with a few ideas for my SWAP. Thanks!

  17. What a magnificent suit! You really outdone yourself on this one!!!


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