Sunday, October 30, 2011

Burda Style 09-2011-131

The Flap Dress, also known as dress #131 from the September issue of Burda Style, is done. Finally:
Just to refresh my memory, since it seems like I've been working on this dress forever, this is the magazine photo:

And the technical drawing:

I'm no fashion model, but I'm pretty pleased with the way the dress turned out. (Not to mention pleased that it's done and out of my sewing room!)

The pattern is offered in sizes 38 through 46. I cut a 42 from shoulder to hip and a 44 from hip to hem. I used a stretch woven fabric, so it worked out fine. If I was going to make this out of something with no stretch I would have gone up one size.

The only fit adjustments I made (after two muslins) were to add one inch of length at the waist, and a petite adjustment above the bust, which I made by folding out 3/8" horizontally across the back bodice and the side front bodice. The fold was made right above the flap so that I didn't run into issues with proportion or with the flap piece fitting the front piece. I also took an extra 3/8" out of the sleeve cap (for a total of 3/4") because there was a ton of ease and I didn't want puckered sleeves.

I converted the V-neck in back to a regular, high round back. Without this adjustment, the dress would not stay up on my shoulders and it would be unwearable.

I also raised the neckline in front significantly, in order to be able to wear a bra, and so that I feel comfortable wearing the dress. The adjustment was easy. I just added the necessary amount to the triangle inset piece (actually a diamond since you fold it in half to self face it.)

The fabric I used is a hot pink, poly stretch crepe I ordered from Fashion Fabrics Club. It's nice and heavy, but drapes well and has just enough stretch to make the dress comfortable. It's a good thing I like it, too, since I also bought a piece of it in mustard...

Only the bodice is lined in this dress, and I used hot pink satin. I love the feel of a satin lining against my skin (and the color matched!) All other seams inside the dress are serged with red thread. I liked the red against the hot pink and it doesn't show, so I thought, what the heck?

The dress fastens with an invisible zipper at center back. I remembered to interface the back opening edges and the zipper went in pretty much perfectly on the first try.

I actually finished this dress last weekend, but my photographer was out of town on a school trip, and then we had rain, and then I had a bad hair day, and so on and so on. You know how it goes. So today, everything came together and it was time (way past time) for a photo shoot.

My teenage photographer actually does have an artistic streak, and he says my blog pictures need to be more interesting. So today he decided we should climb up a hill (with me in four inch heels of torture) to get some shots.

"Go stand by that farm implement," he says.

"This rusty old thing?" I ask.

Why, look. This grasshopper likes my dress!

Like I said, I'm pretty pleased with the dress. I'm just happy to have it done. It's a 2.5 dot pattern. Maybe they should up that to a 3 dot or even a 3.5 dot. It's not that hard, but there is some precise sewing involved to get the flap section done. The instructions are typical Burda instructions, which means that without photos, you really have to read them a couple of times, play around with the pattern pieces and then just basically do it your way. I never did figure out what they wanted me to do with the bottom point of the center front inset.

This is going to be a fun dress to wear, but I won't be making it again. One is enough. I do recommend the pattern if you like a sheath dress with a little something extra. This would make one heck of a party dress in the right fabric.

Happy sewing!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sort of Kind of Update

The flap dress is still under construction. Slowly but surely it's inching its way toward completion. I actually did work on it this weekend, but hit a snag when I realized I didn't have any suitable lining fabric in my stash. (The bodice is lined.) I have since aquired some fabric for the lining and I plan to get back to work on it ASAP.

In the meantime, I went ahead and traced the patterns for my next two projects. The first will be dress #106 from the December 2007 issue of Burda World of Fashion:

Yeah, the photo is next to useless. Here is the tech drawing:

I'll be using a royal blue ponte knit, and since the weather is taking a turn for the cooler, I'll be using the long sleeves from the "evening gown" version of the dress:

It will be a pretty simple dress, but I think all the vertical seaming will be quite flattering. I also anticipate it to be a simple project. I hope I don't end up eating those words.

I also plan to make jacket #116, from the October 2008 issue:

I plan to use the same blue ponte knit as the dress (I won't be wearing the two together.) Since I will only just have enough fabric for both, I plan to cut them out together to make the best use of the yardage I have.

Here is the same jacket in red (and slightly shorter.) The details show up better in this photo, I think.

That 10/2008 magazine was a really good issue. You may be seeing a couple more projects from it in the future.

The new November 2011 issue looks to be really good, too. You can check out a preview at the French site if you're interested. I'm hoping it arrives in my mailbox in the next week or so. (Like I need anything else on my to-sew list.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What's Going On?

You may be wondering what's going on with the Flap Dress. AFter all, it's been over a month since I recieved the magazine (Burda Style September issue) and made the first muslin. Well, things are progressing slowly here in the Frogs in a Bucket Workroom. Pesky little distractions keep popping up and keeping me from the Flap Dress. Things like my job, silly stuff like having to cook meals and clean up after them, drama with the kids, you know- that kind of stuff. But hopefully this weekend I can get back to work on it and make a little progress.

But just so you won't think this whole project has been a big elaborate hoax, here are a couple of progress shots. First, the bodice:
It looks kind of lumpy and sad lying flat on the ironing board. You can still see wash away marker marks (the stitching lines on the flaps) and hanging threads. There are a few bits of lint clinging to it, too.

Here are the back bodice pieces, all interfaced and waiting to be stitched to the back skirt pieces so that the invisible zipper can be inserted:

Yes, I got a suitable zipper last weekend. I plan to install that zipper today even if it's the only progress I make. After that, things should move along at a nice clip.

I really hate the way this project has gotten bogged down and taken a back seat to everything else going on. But that's just the way it is sometimes. I hope that by the time I do get this dress finished that I'm still excited about wearing it. And that it still fits. (You never know!)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Contemplating a Knock-off

Yesterday I received the Stage sales flier in the mail. It featured this adorable dress:

It's a simple A-line dress with bust darts, cap sleeves, a stand-up collar cut on the bias, and patch pockets with buttons. I actually stopped by Stage last night and saw this dress. It appeared to be made of ponte knit.

Today when I went online to try and find a picture of it, I came across this dress which appears to be the same fabric, but in the opposite colorway:

Same basic A-line shape with bust darts and cap sleeves, but this one has a scooped neck with a pleated collar.

I love both of these dresses. Unfortunately they're both much too short for me. But I suddenly remembered that I have a pink and brown plaid in my stash that might look really good made up into a similar dress. So I dove into my pattern stash trying to find something that I could use to make a dress with a similar vibe.

I came up with New Look 6779 View B:

It has the right shape- basic A-line with bust darts and cap sleeves. I'd have to eliminate the yoke seam. And unlike the inspiration dress, this dress has no vertical darts in the back for shaping. Yes, I know, I could add some myself, but I'd rather find a pattern that already has them in the right place. Also, these cap sleeves are true caps. I think I'd prefer a "whole sleeve." And this pattern has no collar, which is really the best feature of the inspiration dress.

So I looked at New Look 6909. It has a similar collar and pleated cap sleeves. The back has vertical darts, too. I don't want to try to match plaid on the princess seams in front, though. But I could frankenpattern the collar and sleeves, and maybe the back, with the front of NL6779.

Simplicity 2473 also has a stand-up collar and cap sleeves, plain ones, which I like even better:

And then there's NL 6000:

I love the collar and it has plain cap sleeves. View D (the print one in the middle) has front bust darts and vertical darts in front and back. Hmmm. Maybe I could use this pattern and just not sew the front vertical darts. The only thing left to add would be some patch pockets, which would be easy.

These are all from my stash, but I'm open to suggestions if anyone knows of a pattern that would work even better.

In the meantime, I cut out the flap dress the other night. I'm using a hot pink stretch crepe:

I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon working on it. Unfortunately I don't have an invisible zipper for it. Crud. Maybe I can get to the fabric store sometime next week. Unless anyone has a good online source for zippers? Please share!