Monday, May 9, 2011

BS 05-2011-130 The Drawstring Dress

Wow! Two in a row! Here we go. This is the "drawstring dress" from the plus section of the May Burda Style.
Oh, Burda. Why do you insist on using photos that don't show the garment to it's full potential? This one isn't too bad. At least the model looks comfortable and happy in her dress.

Ah, this is better:

Better still, the tech drawing:

Simple dress, no? There are ony three pattern pieces: Front and back bodice, and one skirt piece. It's a 1.5 dot pattern. I probably would have made it at least a 2 dot pattern. Even though there are no sleeve pieces (the bodice pieces are funky shaped to inlude the cap sleeves,) there is some serious sewing involved in binding those tight curves in the underarm area. More on that in a second...

I graded the pattern down to a 42 through the neck/shoulders/sleeves without a muslin. Actually this is my muslin. I based my decision on my previous two plus dresses that I had to grade down through the shoulder area. I cut a 44 through the rest of the bodice and a 44 skirt. I also added one inch of length at the bottom of the bodice- a pretty standard adjustment for me.

I probably should have just cut a 44 all over. The darts ended up kind of high and the drawstring neckline does a really good job of taking up extra neck width and depth. Ah, well...

Here's a look at the sleeve:

The cap sleeve and armhole area are finished with bias binding. The binding acts as a casing for a couple of inches right at the top of the arm, and elastic takes up the slack and shapes the sleeve to the upper arm. The rest of the armhole lies smooth.

I had a heck of a time with my fabric, a crappy, loosely woven cotton gauze, which was a pain to cut and an even worse pain to sew. The poly satin I used for the tunic behaved better! In fact, this dress technically isn't even finished. I have not hemmed it because I'm dreading trying to hem this horrible fabric, and because I was so annoyed with it, I wasn't even sure I liked the dress enough to finish it and wear it. Having seen the photos, I'm coming around a bit, but I'm still dreading fighting with this fabric.

Anyway. The fabric was so awful, it was nearly impossible to cut and sew a bias strip. I cut the strips with a rotary cutter, but as soon as I tried to pick them up they stretched all out of shape. When I tried to press the bias strips in half they ended up a distorted mess. I just gave up and fished a piece of broadcloth out of my stash that sort of went with the colors in the print and used it instead. Unfortunately, the broadcloth is quite a bit heavier than the dress fabric, and I'm not 100% satisfied with the finishing on the armholes. It didn't help that I was sewing the bias around a serious curve. I got a tiny bit of puckering when I topstitched it down.

I didn't even try to make a self fabric tie for the neckline. I used 1/4" elastic with satin ribbon sewn to both ends. It looks like a ribbon drawstring on the outside, but the elastic helps keep the neckline pulled up nicely.

Oh, yeah. Here's the back:

I don't know. Now that I see the dress "finished," I'm kinda liking it again. I could definitely see this made up in a better fabric. The magazine showed cotton lawn. I'm wondering about a pretty, printed batiste.

Uh, oh. My photographer said something smart...

And I lost my balance and nearly fell off the log!

Hmmm. Maybe I'll finish hemming this and at least wear it on a test run. It needs a belt, though, don't you think?


Venus de Hilo said...

Very cute and summery, definitely worth finishing!

gwensews said...

What a pretty, summery, dress. You look like you're dancing through a field of daisies! The tunic in your last post is terrific, also.

angie.a said...

haha, you're tap dancing of course! :D I think it's cute. Hem it! Or...just serge the bottom off at/below the knee. Who's going to get close enough to see you didn't really hem it?

AllisonC said...

It looks really pretty, I hate hemming fabrics like that too, but you must do it so you can wear this dress all summer!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Yes this does look really pretty on you. Let it hang for a day or two and then hem it. You won't be as annoyed then.

Mirror of Fashion said...

Great job!

Heather Woollove said...

I think it's a lovely dress, and it suits you very well. I'm hoping that you'll make it again in an easier fabric and like the experience more!