Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finished: BSM 06/2008 #128

This dress was the most labor-intensive project I've taken on in a long, long time.  I really, really wanted it to turn out well.  In order for it to turn out well, I had to commit to making a muslin and taking my time.

This dress came with a few challenges.  First was the band placement.   Since the  high-waisted band echoed my high-waisted body and I thought it would not be a challenge.  But, I'm large-busted in addition to being high-waisted.  My bust would raise the band even higher.  If ever a pattern cried out for a muslin, this was it!  Just as I expected, the muslin told me I needed to lengthen the bodice.  It also told me I need to increase the bust circumference.  This lead to the second challenge.

I'd forgotten how to make pattern adjustments to princess seams and I no longer owned the book, Fitting Finesse (Zieman, 1998) that addressed how to make those adjustments.    The simplest, albeit not the best,  solution was to order another copy of Fitting Finesse.  Luckily, I found a copy at Alibris for $2.45 ($6.44 including shipping – the shipping cost more than the book!).

The decorated waistband presented yet another challenge.   I wanted to duplicate the beading shown on the model, but I couldn't find large, flat beads in a matching color. So, I chose smaller beads and used decorative chain stitching to fill up the space.  I was torn between tone-on-tone and contrasting beads.  I chose tone-on-tone because that's my personality, but all those beads I sewed on one by one are barely visible.



Here's what I love about Burda Magazine instructions (she said sarcastically):   60% of the construction was condensed into the first sentence – "Stitch side front and side back seams on skirt and bodice of dress."  Once you've done that, add the waist band, sew the shoulder and side seams and the dress is practically finished!   Then, the instructions say: "Sew lining as dress."  Everything you need to know is there, but I'm amazed so much of the instructions are contained in two sentences.

This dress required more work than I've done in quite a while.  I sewed the lining to the zipper by hand.  Each and every bead is sewn on and back stitched to make it more secure.  Once I found the rhythm to the bead sewing, it went reasonable quickly.  I enjoyed working on it and it gave me a chance to take my sewing outside on the porch.  I wish I'd spent more time fitting the bust. The muslin fabric fit differently than the linen, so the bust is a little bigger than I expected. 

20 comments:

  1. Your dress is fantastic, Elary. Perfect fit and your beading is beautiful. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love it. The fit, the color and all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a very pretty dress. You can tell that you put a lot of work into it and I understand about the beads but I'm sure they are more noticeablee in real life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It was worth all the work because you look great in the dress!

    ReplyDelete
  5. this is super gorgeous! i love the style & the color is so beautiful :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very pretty! Your extra work and time really show.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lee,

    Love the dress and the color. The fit looks perfect. The beading is a great touch. It is very satisfying to finish something that challenges us.

    Ernestine

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your dress looks lovely! All of your hard work paid off.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your dress is beautiful. Great fit, wonderful color and custom beading which adds a nice bit of interest. I know it was a lot of work, but I think it was worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, what a beautiful dress on you. Great fit and I too love that subtle tone on tone which look so sophisticated. Bravo!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's a really pretty dress. I know you devoted the most time to the beading, and it is subtly pretty, but I must say I really like the sleeves on you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This was well worth the effort you made. It is simply, beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Time well spent. Your dress is beautiful and I love the beading that you did on it. You did a fantastic job.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your dress is really lovely. You choose a great color, and the beading really sets it off.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a LOT of work there--it really paid off!

    Thanks for the heads up about the NYC shopping day in August. I might go!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think it is beautiful and suits you so well. I like the idea of the subtle beads - there's a little something interesting there rather than something flashy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a gorgeous dress. Love the detail on it and the color is lovely on you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Absolutely darling and worth every minute you spent making it! I loved the tone on tone detailing. Wear it in good health.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lee- The dress is very pretty and those extra details make it special. enjoy your beautiful dress.

    ReplyDelete