Sunday, September 16, 2012

Franken-Pattern Dress

The bottom half of this dress  for my stepdaughter looks viable now that I have removed almost 3 inches of ease throughout.


For the bodice, I started fresh by tracing off an unaltered copy of with the Robin Top.   Because I had just sewn it for myself, I knew the cap sleeve was perfect.  It was fast for me to change the neckline, rotate darts and add design ease for the crossover front - only because my head was in that solution and it made sense to me at the time.  I may look back at this post one day and wonder what the heck?  But if it works, I'll take it.

Before I took this dress apart for alterations, I snapped a few pics of the zipper insertion.  This filmy cotton voile is not necessarily easy to work with.  Seams can stretch out of shape easily.  So I mistake-proofed the alignment of the empire seam by sewing just that portion first.

The zipper is sewn in just a few inches above and below the empire seam.
the print hides the seams, but I still wanted it to be perfect
Once that intersection was matched to my satisfaction, I sewed on the rest of the zipper.  An invisible zipper can be inserted any number of ways - do what works for you and don't be afraid to break the rules.  It's only some fabric, right?  (I know! just kidding!  this is SERIOUS BUSINESS.)

in this photo, one side of the zipper has been sewn, and I am using pins to place the intersecting seams together before sewing the other side of the zipper.

I predict this dress will work out just fine in the end but whether I have achieved a tried and true /TNT pattern remains to be seen.  It takes discipline to go back and update the paper pattern with the final fitting tweaks and sometimes, it's almost impossible to figure out how I made it work.  I think part of that mystery is the fabric.  Each fabric behaves a little differently and won't fit exactly the same.

So, in further Kelly news, I gave her this silk chiffon top:
(dear Kelly, use delicate cycle to wash and hang to dry)
I played fashion photographer and caught a paparazzi style photo, hehe.  So, the reason I gave her this top is because a. she liked it and b. I rarely wore it.

Thanks to my own blog, I had a fitting epiphany a while back (this is such a great way to keep notes on my projects) and finally realized that I have a narrow chest.  Kelly does not.  That's why this top is comfortable for her to wear.

her width across the chest is just right for this top.
The difference is subtle to the eye, but I am narrower.
I could ramble on.  It has been quite an interesting journey in sewing thus far!  As soon as I shake this cold, I will be starting a coat.  It was cool this morning, so autumn is approaching.

Happy sewing!

16 comments:

  1. Interesting tidbits in today's post :-) I love that blouse and you were so nice to pass it on. I also am narrow and many pieces just look frumpy on me without alteration. The zipper pictures are helpful. Did you sew or baste the zip into the middle?

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  2. Right back at you on the feeling better! The dr. said that this particular cold is nastier than usual!

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    1. thanks Carolyn. I concur with the dr. This is a bad one.

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  3. About that narrow chest, I hate to say this but it apparently is not at all uncommon as we age. The back gets rounder and the front correspondingly narrower. I have the same problem. Isn't it fun figuring out how our figures change as we age?
    The blouse is lovely on her.

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    1. Yes Nancy, you are right about the way aging affects our measurements. And the top does look so pretty on Kelly - it was nice to see it put to good use.

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  4. I also sew zipper intersecting seams first, too. Glad to see this habit reinforced by someone with your experience sewing. Good luck with the dress!

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  5. Hey, Robin! Thanks for putting so much thought into this dress for me. It looks fantastic! Also thanks for the silk chiffon top! :)

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    1. you are most welcome! I hope to kick this cold soon and come see you for another try-on!

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  6. I love the fabric of this dress. And I really like your black nail polish!

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    1. of course you like my black nail polish!
      (it's very dark brownish-purple)
      :-D

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  7. I love the chiffon top on both of you. Pretty fabric for the new dress too.

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  8. Beautiful fabric! I'm eager to see the process that you follow for a coat. Seems complicated to me.

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  9. Love the fabric chose! thanks so much for giving us pictures of how you put the zipper in. I'm in Oklahoma and it hasn't even come close to getting any cooler.

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Thanks for visiting my blog and Happy Sewing, xo