Sunday, January 29, 2012

BurdaStyle 7287 done: Dramatic spy look for Natasha

Thank you all for your comments on the NewLook 6067 dress from last weekend. It's a real kick to read your comments!  KC, I might make it again, maybe in red?   I wore it to work on Monday with a cardigan and found that the v was sort of collapsing, as the cardi was pushing together the entire neckline.  I may try interfacing the entire V slit area to see if it helps.  and maybe wear it with a shirt underneath instead of a cardi over it.  I'm interested to see how it wears in the summer!

So, do you ever see one of those patterns where the style is kind of costumey and you're not sure where you'd ever wear it to but the only way to get it out of your head is to sew it up already???

Meet "Natasha" and her dramatic spy dress, cape, and fingerless gloves, from BurdaStyle 7287.  I'm wearing it with a purchased belt and a long sleeved black shirt from H&M:
BurdaStyle 7287 done
I saw this in the Burda catalog at Joann's last summer and it has been floating around my sewing room ever since, asking to be made.

I started it yesterday and finished it today.  It's made from gray double knit fabric with lycra from Metro Textiles, purchased during PR Shopping Day back in Sept 2011.  It's a substantial, heavy fabric with a nice stretch and recovery.

I cut size 12 in the bodice and waist grading to 14 at the hip.  The cape is also a 12 and the gloves are essentially a 12.

BurdaStyle 7287
As of this moment, no one has reviewed this on pattern review which made me wonder a bit--too cray-cray?  Impractical?  Or maybe previously published in their magazine and reviewed under the magazine number?

What attracted me to this pattern?
BurdaStyle 7287 done
1. The fingerless gloves.
BurdaStyle 7287 done
BurdaStyle 7287 done
I've thought about making fingerless gloves for a few years now, especially for work.
I didn't have enough fabric to make both gloves out of one continuous piece, so I pieced together one of the gloves.
BurdaStyle 7287 done
I cut the size 20 gloves and then tweaked the fit. Turns out, I could have cut the 12 and used 3/8 seam allowances and been ok. I like the rouched look and the size 20 were not rouching on my arm.

The pattern has you sew the seam for the gloves, then sew down the SA around the slit for the thumb. Er, there's NO way to machine stitch down the SAs for the slit after you have sewn that seam.  Right now that slit is unfinished; I will have to hand stitch it down.

2. I like the cape.
BurdaStyle 7287 done
I especially like how it drapes at the top and then hangs down. I think it's pretty flattering, if a cape can even be flattering.

I don't think I've ever worn a cape, much less sewn one.
BurdaStyle 7287 done
BurdaStyle 7287 done
3. I like the dress itself. I don't have any knit dresses with a neckline SO high. No need to worry about bra straps showing or plunging V' are COVERED in this Burda.  And it has back darts!  YEA!  I don't have to get out my Muse dress to place the darts, they are already there.  The CB seam is straight and I thought I would wind up curving it but I didn't.  So the back could be cut on the fold.

BurdaStyle 7287 done

BurdaStyle 7287 done
Here's the dress by itself:  No belt, gloves or cape.  I cut 2 inches off the bottom of this dress and hemmed 1.25 inches.
BurdaStyle 7287 done

Detail shots:
I used a 2.5 twin needle for the armholes and neckline, and a 4.0 for the hem.  If you look closely you can see the stitching.
BurdaStyle 7287 done
For whatever reason, I had a LONG struggle with the binding of the armholes as I did it as per the instructions. It creates a nice finish but it took me a while to get there.  I wound up not following that technique on the neckline.

I bought this ribbon remnant for 40 cents from Soutache Ribbon in Chicago during PR Weekend last year, thinking I'd sew it onto some underwear.  It's impressive ribbon; strong, sturdy, luxurious.
ribbon remnant from Soutache Ribbon, PR weekend Chicago 2011
Today I thought this might make a nice "label" for the inside of the cape (as the cape has a front and back piece), and then sewed more of the ribbon into the dress, just to make me happy.
BurdaStyle 7287 done
What is "Natasha" thinking?
BurdaStyle 7287 done
Watch out?  

BurdaStyle 7287 done
Vote for me?

Is it even crazier with my winter hat?  Do I look like I'm about to go out caroling?
BurdaStyle 7287 done
So what do you think? Too crazy? Too costumey? Just right for a day at the office? (which, by the way, is where this whole look is heading tmw...)

Oh, and I'm going to Tucson, AZ for a week in Feb for work--should I stay extra time? If yes, to see what?

Food for the week:
Sweet chicken and broccoli stir fry from Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This Diet:
Sweet Chicken and Broccoli stirfry from Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This Diet
Be well and good night!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Look 6067 done: my $1200 dress.

New Look 6067 done
My batman shot....

I am so used to blogging in the is rare for me to blog in daylight!

So...New Look 6067 is done!

I first saw this dress at the American Sewing Expo in September.  I wasn't wowed by the picture on the pattern envelope in the Simplicity booth, but when I saw it on the model on the runway, I *had* to have it.  I mean, it has a belt with an incredible contrast piping opportunity and you know I love piping!!   and the dress had a lot of movement, too.
Next up:  NL 6067
Then it started popping up on the blogosphere, and when I saw it on Elizabeth (who then lead me to Sheila who made it in a double knit) I *had* to make it and make it soon.  It moved way up in my sewing queue.

As you know, I spent 5 hours on this dress on Sunday, and "just" had the facings, hem, evening up the darts in the back, and finishing the armholes (sleeves or no sleeves).  I thought, oh, it will take about 3 hours more.  It took 7.

In the poll I took last Sunday, there were 2 votes for cap sleeves.  I decided to go for it, as it's been a while since I've made a dress with cap sleeves.  I just love the way they are constructed.  They are lined with a very thin stretchy knit that I bought on Thursday from Joann's.

(I also bought a new, smaller rotary cutter and it cuts like a hot knife through butter, it's amazing!  I don't ever remember my old rotary cutter ever cutting that way....)

Here's a shot before the sleeve was attached to the dress.  The lining is sewn to the sleeve edge first, then the lining is understitched (can you see the line of understitching?).  This creates a nice effect and eliminates the need to hem the sleeve edge.  Then the underarm seam of the sleeve is sewn.  I was also pressing all the way during this as per Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics, which really does help!
New Look 6067 in progress
Here's the inside of it again, but sewn in:
New Look 6067 done
I hadn't set in a sleeve for a while, and these set in just fine! Lately I've been sewing sleeves in flat.

Then it was time for the facings. I had asked last weekend, slit neckline or folded over collar?   The votes came back, 11 for the slit and 9 for the fold over collar  (thanks for voting!!!).  I actually went for the slit. I don't have any dresses with this kind of neckline. Now I do! But it was a struggle!

Some of y'all expressed concern about the the neckline being too high. When I took the pix last week, that was without the SA on the neckline. But even with the SA, it felt too high. AND the slit felt too short, also like y'all mentioned. I also had HUGE issues with getting a crisp corner.
So I fixed the problems via the following...
I played with some test samples! The top two samples are where one side is interfaced and the other isn't (like the facing is interfaced but the exterior fabric isn't). The bottom two samples are where both sides are interfaced. The left-hand samples are where I stitched with 90 degree angles; the right samples are where I stitched almost to the corner, then rounded the corner, and continued stitching, as I had read that method would produce a nice crisp corner.

I used this wooden corner-turner thingie my mom gave me last year.
New Look 6067 in progress:  point poker, corner pusher, whatever
I preferred the sample where both fabric and facing were lined, and I had stitched a 90 degree angle.
Then I ironed on interfacing to the front of the bodice in the slit area, then, using my French curve,  drew a new, lower neckline, and wound up not stitching a 90 degree angle after all...  and I also lowered the slit by 3/4.
New Look 6067:  the neckline....annotated

And this is how it turned out after trimming, turning and pressing:

New Look 6067 done
Could be better, but it is an improvement!
Interfacing the front in the slit area also eliminated the drag lines.
New Look 6067 done
Then I cut 1.75 inches off the bottom and  hemmed it 3/4 with a stretch twin needle (my fabric is double knit, so no need for the kick pleat nor a zipper.  I also didn't line the bodice like the instructions stated.)
New Look 6067 done

And now it is done!

New Look 6067 done
Tights, Mary Janes....the whole 9 yards!
New Look 6067 done
The side view is pretty good:
New Look 6067 done
The back could be better, but I'm not tweaking it more. I eliminated the kick pleat as it doesn't need it.
New Look 6067 done
New Look 6067 done
I think it might need bra strap holders because the neckline is a little wide.  In fact, what looks like diagonal drag lines is actually my bra straps, pushed out of the way of the neckline.

It's supposed to be 55F tmw so I will wear it to work as styled above, and with a cardigan. 

I didn't make the belt with the piping because I like the look of the purchased belt a LOT!

On Emma:
New Look 6067 done

In the style of Elizabeth, my dress is $1200.  Elizabeth called this her $3300 dress (33 hours at $100 an hour). I was flipping through the January Vogue magazine this morning and saw prices like that for high end designer dresses--sounds right on for a custom dress! Mine was 12 hours so it's $1200. It took less time than Elizabeth's dress because mine does not have the zipper, lining, hand-stitched hem, or obi belt that hers has, and I didn't make a muslin either (a muslin was included in her 33 hours of sewing time.)  You want details like that, it's another $2200!!!

And thanks again to New Look for featuring it on their Facebook page before it was completed--very cool!

And here's your food for the week, chicken piccata on spinach, another Rocco recipe, totally delish:
Chicken Piccata on a bed of spinach from Now Cook This by Rocco DiSpirito--YUM
Be well everyone!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thanks for the love, New Look! Plus your voting results

New Look featured my 6067 dress on their Facebook page on Tuesday--and it's not even finished yet!

New Look's Facebook page on 1/17/12 with my NL 6067 in progress dress:  Thanks for the love, New Look!

KID, MD let me know about it--it turns out NL also commented on my blog posting to let me know, but yahoo mail filtered the comment.

Thanks for the love, New Look!  You know I love you!

In my last post I asked for opinions on if the dress should have the slit or the V-neckline.  Well, the votes are in and the race was tight:  11 for the slit and 9 for the folded over look.  Two votes were cast for cap sleeves.

Concerns were voiced about the height of the top of the neckline for the slit.  I didn't fold over the 5/8 SA so that is why it looks so high.

Trumbelina asked about doing bust adjustments.  I don't think I can help with that question, but you could post it on the pattern review boards and see what others think.

Anyhoo, I am taking your advice into consideration.  The plan is to finish 6067 while it snows tomorrow.  Then it's supposed to be 55F on Monday, so I can wear the dress to work with a cardi and tights.

I have about 500 dresses I want to make. That may be an exaggeration. I have a LOT of dresses I want to make.  And I dropped significant $$ at Joann's 40% off their ponte roma double knit fabric this week.

Be well and good night!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Look 6067 in progress: to V or not to V?

No one voted for navy in my last post, and I was also thinking gray, so I went with gray for New Look 6067!  (To recap, I've seen this dress on a few blogs lately, and it has moved up in my sewing queue to today!)

It's still in progress.  It totally needs the belt on me.  Trust me (or dig around my twitter photos and you'll see what it looks like without the belt).  There is a pattern for an obi-type belt with piping but maybe I'll just use the purchased belt I have.  I mean, I love piping, but this belt works really well with this dress!

Ok, what do you think,  should it have a split sort of v-neck like below...
New Look 6067 in progress

Or a floppy folded-over "collar" (one of the views actually has buttons sewn on to this folded-over neckline):
New Look 6067 in progress
Here is a close-up view:
New Look 6067 in progress
Here's the side view.
New Look 6067 in progress
And if you enjoy construction photos, here are some truly in-progress shots:
The points of the V's matching:
New Look 6067 in progress
the front:
New Look 6067 in progress
the back:
New Look 6067 in progress
Currently, the darts are not the same length, ha ha!  Not totally sure how that happened as  I was pretty careful with transferring the darts.

As you can see, there's a lot of matching going on--matching the points of the V's in the front then matching with the CF pleat, matching the darts in the back, even matching on the side seam at the horizontal waist line (no pic of that). I used Amanda's trick from her invisible zipper tutorial where she just sews the area where the match is to occur, checks it, then if it isn't lining up, just rips out the stitching in that area (as opposed to sewing the whole seam, finding out the seams aren't matching, and ripping out the whole seam). So smart, and such a time saver!

This dress is supposed to have a zipper but since I used a double knit, I didn't insert one and am able to get it over my head. (The pattern is meant for a woven...but saw that at least one other person used a double knit without serious consequences...)

So, I still need to :
  • install facings and decide on V neck or folded over collar?
  • sleeveless or cap sleeves?
  • fix the uneven back dart length
  • hem
 I've spent about 5 hours on it today.  I was having some anxiety over sizing which covers about an hour of those five, but went with 12 grading to 14 at the waist and hip and now I'm excited for where it's heading!    If you have an opinion on the neckline and cap sleeves vs sleeveless, just let me know in the comments.

Be well and good night!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quick sewing and cooking

Thanks for your comments and suggestions for blind hemming.  Very much appreciated.  I will blog when I actually try it...and also thanks for your kind words about being the Member in Focus on  I was SO excited about it.

Here's my first sewing of the new year.  I haven't timed how long it takes me to make these now, but it's probably an hour and a half?  I'm much more careful with my sewing now, though I could have done a better job with the purple pair.  With the striped pair, I lined up the stripes on the side.

Fabric: TexStyles in Austin during PR Day Austin, Nov 2011. Left over scraps from the StyleArc shirt inset.
Elastic: Pacific Trimming in NYC, during the NYC shopping day in Sept 2011.

Kinda have a nautical or French style to them, no?
and the second UW of the year

Purple UW.
Fabric: Metro Textiles, NYC, while shopping with Antoinette, June 2011. Left over scraps from the Burda crazy ruffle dress.
Elastic: TexStyles in Austin during PR Day Austin, Nov 2011.
Definitely could have done a better job with them.
oh the inaugural UW of the year

This New Look pattern has been popping up in the blogosphere. I think I will sew it tmw, but the question is, in navy or gray?? Also there is a marvelous piping opportunity there and you know I don't like to pass up piping.
Next up:  NL 6067

It is National Soup Month and ironically I'm getting a bit tired of soup. I've been making quesadillas lately, using the recipe in Now Eat This Diet by Rocco DiSpirtio as a guide. I make mine with spinach instead of mushrooms, and with full fat mozzarella instead of reduced fat cheddar.  Here I served it with cantaloupe which was actually decent, especially for this time of year.
Chicken and Spinach quesadilla with canteloupe

Here are the books for this week. Just one library book, the cookbook.

I read Food Rules in January last year from the library but bought a copy this year. I highly recommend it; it's a fast read and nicely summarizes what I should be eating. It's beautifully illustrated.  I plan on reading it each January to renew my commitment to healthy eating.

In Austin I discovered the puzzle called KenKen. I just got my first KenKen book and am enjoying it!  I've also been doing the Daily Jumble online again.  I haven't been into a puzzle phase for years but right now I'm into it.
books this week
It's getting late.  I need to remind myself once again, sleep is a gift I can give myself.
Be well and good night!