February 23, 2014

That 50's dress...

 I've just finished my plaid flannel dress! 
In the end, it turned out I had just enough fabric to give it a full circle skirt, so I did. Then, I left it to hang for a week before hemming. To deal with 'growing' on the bias.
Today, in what was otherwise a rather busy weekend, I found enough time to check and adjust the skirt length, hem the dress and have some pictures taken.

Despite the fact that it may soon be too warm to wear this dress, I'm happy with it.
My new sloper provides quite a bit more ease in the chest (which makes sense because that's where my measurements changed the most) but I think that helps to suggest an hourglass silhouette. 

Like I explained before, I shaped the bodice with pleats instead of darts. At the front, all shaping is done with those deep pleats from the shoulder which, because they line up with the front overlap, also look a bit like a collar. 
At the back, there is a row of small pleats at the waistline and I kept the shoulder dart and moved it to the center back seam. 
When I started sewing, I wasn't quite sure how well this pleated bodice would keep its shape, so I made a sleeveless lining with regular darts stabilize it. Now, I think it may not have been needed but it also provides a nice clean finish.

I cut the bodice pieces to match the plaid on the outer arm seam. That worked fairly well even though I had to alter the sleeves when I found out that the elbow darts had somehow ended up way too low and the sleeves were too wide (this fabric has more 'give' than muslin, so that must have been part of the trouble. I may also not have paid enough attention to the position of the elbow dart when trying on the toile).

There is a hidden zipper, to allow the dress to be opened at and below the waist (not unimportant to get in and out of it). Normally, I would have put that zipper at the side but in this case, I couldn't do that. To make it possible to match the plaid in the skirt, I cut the front as a perfect half circle and the back as two perfect quarters… And as a result, the skirt side seams don't meet the bodice side seams because the back bodice is narrower at the waist than the front. So, I put a blind zipper in the center back seam, from about 12 cm above the waist to 10 cm below. It works just fine and zipper pull doesn't attract attention, hidden as it is on that pleated back.

Oh, and there are pockets in those skirt side seams. 

I've missed circle skirts!


16 comments:

  1. that looks fantastic, I so love plaids. and your photos are great.

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  2. I love this! The pleats are so clever, love the button detail, the fabric, everything. A gorgeous dress that looks great on you.

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  3. Thank-you for so thoroughly covering your design and engineering decisions. I find posts like these very illuminating and helpful when I need to make my own decisions.

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  4. Delightful! Your photos are fabulously 50s-ish too!
    -Sewingelle

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  5. The dress looks wonderful on you. Very clever drafting!

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  6. This dress is amazing! What a fabulous silhouettes and it definitely shows why vintage shapes are so popular to this day. Love the alterations that you made - all very clever :)

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  7. I love the shoulder pleat/collar look. What a great idea! The dress is lovely. :)

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  8. Beautifully drafted, a truly gorgeous dress and looks great on you.

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  9. This is such a beautiful dress! The plaid matching is genious.

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  10. Beautiful, so very special. The photos are great too, give it a nice 50s vibe.

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  11. The dress is beautiful, I love the front detail with pleats and buttons! Thank you for sharing the technicallities, it's interesting to read how you constructed everything.

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  12. This is, simply, gorgeous. I adore the mock collar - very lovely drafting & it suits the plaid beautifully. I'll still love it in December too ;)

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  13. I love everything about the bodice. Simply everything.

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  14. This is a wonderful dress on you!

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  15. That looks amazing. I want one for myself :)

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  16. Beautiful. Love the circle skirt.

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