I have been inspired by Gail's Frocktober posts, but have been a little remiss with my personal application of this idea, as October is in its last gasps. My plan was to try several new frock patterns this month, but the trouble with trying new patterns is that the fitting and sewing can be rather fiddly and time consuming.
Here is frock #2, Burda Style magazine 06-2011-102 in its original version.
As this was an experimental pattern for me, being a different shape from the dresses I usually make, I started with some fabric that I would not miss, should the pattern prove disastrous.
I bought a pale coral and cream linen check about 10 years ago at the Sunday markets, which has fabric only very occasionally. I was rather pleased with it at the time, at about $15 for 3m or so of lovely medium weight pure linen, but unfortunately my husband felt that it looked rather like a tablecloth.
Inspired by Carolyn, who manages to transform rather dull bargains into amazing new fabric, I thought I would try dying it, and after 30minutes of boiling, ended up with a nice blue shade, with no hint of check. The lack of check was a little disappointing, as I had rather fancied replicating the blue plaid beachy version shown in Burda. Here is a photo of the pink silk version, which I had not planned to replicate, not being favourably enhanced by wearing pink.
This dress is cut on the bias. After reading the reviews at pattern review of the top version of this pattern (there were none of the dress when I started) I decided to try mostly size 38 without a full bust adjustment (usually D). I scaled out to a size 40 at the hips.
I did not raise the neckline, even though this is a Burda pattern.
KatherineH pointed out in an earlier frock post that raising the neckline reduces a strong vertical design line in a garment and that a narrow neckline is not so revealing as a wider one. I took this advice to heart, as she is completely correct. I have a terrible tendency to embrace frumpiness when I modify patterns for modesty. This neckline is rather low, for my usual taste, but I do not feel overexposed in it, as the neckline is quite narrow. Keeping the deep neckline gives some unfrumpiness to an otherwise rather concealing and post- Christmas-dinner appearing garment.
I used Mary Nanna's tip for making vilene tape substitute, using bias cut interfacing applied to the armscyes to prevent stretching.
Unfortunately I had no fusible interfacing on hand, but the non fusible stuff seems to work reasonably well also.
I reduced the sleeve gathers to mere essence of gather to allow room for my sturdy upper limbs and to make the puffy sleeves more appropriate for a 40 year old woman.
I am not entirely happy with the sleeves. They are cut on straight grain, which I think might be the reason for the slight puffiness at the shoulder seam,as the body of the garment is on the bias. If I made this again, the sleeves would be on the bias as well as the main body of the frock.
Unfortunately, this fabric might just be carrying a jinx. On first viewing this frock, during an early trying on phase, my husband dubbed it "the sack dress". He rarely comments on my clothes, so this was rather scathing.
I added some embroidery to the neckline. This did not help at all. He recommended something along the lines of "cut your losses" whilst I was working on the embroidery. I persisted, husbands are not always the best judge of clothing.
I rather liked the dress.
It was a little puddly at the lower back, but still? I appealed to the teenage fashion panel.
One of them took this photo, making a point of mentioning that they thought I should see a close up of the stomach appearance in this dress.
Someone mentioned that they felt it was rather late to be expecting a new sibling.
I added some darts, front and back. I was feeling a bit outnumbered.
They like it better now, but have reservations. It is apparently not my best look.
I like it less now, being rather unhappy with the darts in the bias fabric.
It might be a case for the magic wardrobe.