Sunday, November 09, 2014

Muse - Final

I started making my Muse dress interpretation with Vogue 8805, which I've obsessed over since it was released in 2012. I've even blogged about it a couple of times here. I thought I'd have to make several alterations to the pattern but after I finally located it in the sewing cave, I saw that I'd already altered the front pattern pieces.

See even though I really wanted to make this pattern, I'd never found the "right" fabrics to emulate the Preen designer dress I admired. Since I'm never lacking for an idea to sew/create, after awhile I just moved on and totally forgot what work I'd done with the pattern.

So some stats:
Fabric ~
Black pleather originally purchased from Sawyer Brook
Blue cotton ponte purchased from Mood NYC
Black 'n white cotton from the collection - I honestly don't remember where this came from.

Notions ~
18" gold zipper from Pacific Trimmings
bias binding
stitch witchery

Pattern Alterations:
  • Originally I used my TNT dress pattern to alter the pattern pieces.
  • To get the look of the original dress, there was one additional alteration to make to the pattern front. It was for the blue color band on the front of the dress.  I made the center of the band 3" with a 5/8" seamline on the top and bottom of the pieces. (see pics below)  
  • I also added 2" to the hemline of the sleeve.
  • I added a 5/8" seamline to the center back pattern piece - to change it from a cut on fold back piece.
  • The middle and bottom pieces were taped together to form one pattern piece.

Pattern Alteration Pics:
Dress front with width added 
and line drawn to cut off the band

Band cut off and 5/8" seam allowances added to both pieces

Connecting the middle and lower bands together
 to form one dress front piece

Construction Techniques:
  • I changed the back of the dress from a loop and button closing to a zippered closure. 
  • That meant adding a center back seam to the dress' back pattern pieces.
  • My zipper choice was a gold plated one that I'd picked up from Pacific Trimmings. I don't really like the exposed zippers with the zipper tape on the outside of a garment. So I only exposed the teeth from the zipper.
  • Because of the pleather used in the top of the garment, I installed the zipper by hand...exposing the amount of zipper teeth that I wanted...yet not having to worry about machine stitching through the pleather.
  • I've lost 30 lbs in the last year and that means that my TNT dress is a little large on me. So the original pattern alterations I made were for a dress a lot looser than I wanted. I ended up sewing one inch side seams, trying the dress on, and then taking in another 1/2 inch.
  • The dress' shape is still boxy but it doesn't look like I'm wearing the wrong size.
  • The dress is unlined.  The pattern doesn't call for a lining and for once I followed the pattern. I will wear a slip with the dress.
  • The neckline is finished with a bias tape finish. After some internal debate I went with some stitch witchery to hold it flat and then I hand stitched the bias binding down.
  • Since the yoke forms the sleeves and I've made it in pleather, I've opted to leave the sleeve hems unfinished. There's no need to do anything to them since the pleather won't fray.
  • The dress hem has stitch witchery in it but I also added a line of machine stitching to the hem.

Construction Pics:
Dress front sewn together

Gold zipper pinned into the dress back

Dress back and yoke assembled

Inserting the binding around the neckline 
...with the handstitching to hold it flat

A few more pics of the dress:

I like the finished dress. It's a little edgy ~ hey anything with pleather on the top and the sleeves ain't exactly corporate ~ the black and white ponte bottom though gives it the corporate "Creative Corporate."

It's an easy dress to sew. It just took me so long to complete for a variety of reasons. However, I'm glad that it's finally done and hanging in the closet, waiting to wear.

Parting Shots:
The shots above were taken on our way to the kiddie playground in my complex. My daughter shot pics all along the route including some of the grandkids. I've included these two as parting shots... always more later!


  1. Wow, the fabric combination and the gold zipper made a gorgeous dress. And you look great in it.

  2. Such a great mix of fabrics! You found the perfect combo and the exposed zip is a lovely finishing touch, as is the hand stitched neckline. Your creative corporate approach gives you scope for such lovely unique and edgy garments that also work well with your lifestyle. A fabulous dress all round!

  3. You look terrific in this dress and coordinating footwear! The wrap/poncho is a fun finishing touch. All very creative and fashionable.

  4. This is great Carolyn! I love the fabric combination and like this type of exposed zipper a lot. The parting shots are the best! :)

  5. It's a great dress Carolyn! The blue stripe really makes it pop. Your weight loss is really apparent and you look great.

  6. Love this dress just like I love all your dresses. You look fantastic and I love the parting shots too.

  7. Great dress - love that blue! What beautiful parting shots - thank you!

  8. This is such a great look. I love the styling with the booties and cape.

  9. Fabulous and edgy! Looks like your complex is very pretty.

  10. Great looking dress! Very flattering look and fit.

  11. So fab!!! What a chic grandma those kiddos have!! And I LOVE seeing you out in the sunshine, smiling!

  12. I love that mix of fabrics, Carolyn! And what a cute pic with your grandkids!

  13. Lovely dress and it looks great on you. I love the last two photos you posted. I always admire your "corporate creative." Since I work in a barn, I have no idea on what that would look like for me. ~Teri

  14. You look always do! That dress is awesome and your shoes are perfect.

  15. I really noticed the change in your body in these photos. Looking fab!

  16. Carolyn, the dress is fantastic. Love the exposed zipper! The cape and booties complete the elegant look. You look incredible.

  17. Great dress! Thanks for all the details and pictures on this post.

  18. I've been following your sewing adventures for a few months. I'm primarily a quilter now - used to make garments years ago - and I'm more and more interested in making my clothes. I think I want to have a 'look' that's just me. So thanks for the inspiration!

  19. You did a great job with this pattern, Carolyn. Inspirational! Wish you'd pin it to our fan gallery:

  20. Carolyn, it's stunning! Creative Corporate is right!! Nicely done!

  21. Carolyn, you look amazing and this us in my top 5 favorite dresses you have created. Would love to know more about your weight loss journey, you look fab, and are an inspiration! Yay, you!

  22. I just love how you are willing to push the envelope a bit - when it comes to mixing fabrics in a creative interpretation of a design. This is hardly the first time we've seen you do that - with excellent results. You look great and the dress is one of those projects that inspire the rest of us to "push" a bit past our standard old practices and do something new and creative. I love it.

  23. It turned out great! I really like the way you did the exposed zipper. I'm not a fan of the zipper tape on the outside, but this looks great.

  24. You did a phenomenal job on this dress. You look beautiful.

  25. Great dress. Very creative indeed. Love that wrap you have on in your parting shots. Is it an RTW or did you make it and if so - what is the pattern. Love it.

    1. BeaJay - I'm so sorry the wrap is RTW and actually is my Mom's! It was closest to the door when we went out so I grabbed it to ward off the chill.

  26. I really love this dress fabric combination, it looks great on you. I also love how you pulled together the look with the wrap in the last two shots. Nice outfit!

  27. Oh Carolyn, I love this dress. You look so stylish. I have to say - I love that you took the kiddos to the park all dressed up! As always - you look fantastic and your sewing just emphasizes that. g

  28. You are really looking so good in this dress, love the details you have added and the photos with the grandkids is lovely.

  29. This is SO GOOD. I love love love the fabric combo! I'm wearing my Hudson pants made from the same black and white print right now! I have to say that your use of the fabric is much classier and much more wearable outside of the house. :)

  30. I love this dress so much! It's probably my favorite thing you've made thus far. Corporate doesn't have to mean stodgy. You can go to the office looking chic as well!

  31. Awe.., I love this dress. It's chic, fun, and classy youthful. Two snaps up pretty lady. Have a great weekend.

  32. Edgy dress! Looks fantastic. I'm so glad this dress came to fruition. I really like the dress/wrap ensemble in the parting shots. Congratulations!

  33. Awesome! Pleather! It looks great with your booties, too. And I love that cardigan (cape?). Did you make that too?

  34. Carolyn, I've been swamped lately.... (the past couple of months) and haven't done any blog reading. So, on having to play catch up I'm reading some of your older posts.
    Can I just say.......WOW!!!!...... You look amazing! You always have, but I'm thinking
    you look healthier. Anyway enough said. Your dress turned out so neat. You are so good at pulling off the ideas you have/see in your end product! Great job!
    So fun to spend time with the grandkids. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.


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