Monday, June 18, 2007

Productive weekend

I did have a productive weekend. After a big salsa party on Friday evening, cleaning the house, cooking and ironing on Saturday, I sewed the entire day of Sunday and managed to finish the Cosmopolitan dress and another top for the PR contest (they were already started).

So my count is: all the bottoms done (3), all the dresses done (2), the accessory - jacket :) done, two tops out of five. I've started another top (it just needs hemming and finishing of armholes) but stupid me, what was I thinking? I got carried away by the design of this top and didn't think it won't work with my jacket, because of the neckline. I hope I'll post pictures soon and you'll see. Grrrr... another "added value" item in the contest :)

Here we go....

Cosmopolitan dress, two views (with sash tied in the back or in the front)

Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Cosmopolitan Dress

Pattern Description:
A pair of fabulous dresses, inspired by a great Michael Kors design, these dresses will work best in fluid, drapey fabrics like heavy rayon, washed or double crepe, silky jersey or even a stable double or single knit.Semi-fitted A-line Dress has faux-wrap or scoop-front neckline, deep waistband with optional wrap-around ties and a center back zipper entry. Choose from elbow-length scarf-style sleeves or flared full-length sleeves gathered onto a cuff. Skirt finishes at the knee or at mid-calf length.Wear these gloriously flattering Dresses for work or play, dressed up or down for day or night. Mix up those sleeve, hem and neckline details for maximum fashion mileage!

Pattern Sizing:
6-26. I made a 6.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did. Except it doesn't have sleeves

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn't pay any attention to the instructions. Hot Patterns instructions are quite difficult to understand sometimes and I was confident I could manage without them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It is a very trendy flattering dress in my opinion. Also, one that stands multiple variations. I like to tie the sash both in the front or in the back.

Fabric Used:
White and pale avocado cotton/lycra, clear elastic, stay tape, steam a seam for the hem.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
First of all, I scaled down the pattern pieces, because my cotton/lycra has a lot of stretch. I've also eliminated the zipper.

Secondly, I decided to make the waist pieces and the ties in the avocado cotton/lycra that I used for the appliques on my PR contest white jacket and for the Burda World of Fashion knotted straps top. I've also decided to bind the armhole and the neckline with the same avocado fabric, to tie it more to the waist part. I used stay tape both for darts and for the waist pieces (upper and lower seam), catching it in the seam.

Third, I noticed that my white fabric (a very good quality one) is quite heavy and I was afraid that my neckline and armholes will "drop". What I did to prevent this:
1) staystitch the neckline and armholes immediately after cutting them.
2) sewed a piece of 1 cm wide clear elastic to the neckline and armholes, gently stretching it, especially in the more curved areas.
3) bound the neckline and armholes. To avoid bulk, I didn't bind use a double folded piece, as I usually do. Instead of that, I cut a 5 cm wide piece of knit, sewed it to the neckline and armholes with a 0.9 cm allowance, turned it under, stitched in the ditch with a stretch stitch (zigzag 0.5 mm width, 2.5 mm length) and cut with small sharp scissors the remaining fabric.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will definitely sew it again, at least two more times. Next time I want to make it out of woven (I'm dreaming of a soft velvet, with flowers and beautiful autumn colours). Or a turquoise version, with the long gathered sleeves...

I think it is a very nice dress and the possible variations are quite many. Once the fit issue is solved, it is quite easy to sew. What is important in my opinion is to scale down the pattern if you're using a knit and staystitch and stabilise the neckline (so many people here complained about gaposis in this dress).

Top and details of lace embellishment that I thought of adding after finishing the top and taking pictures

Back of the top, sorry for the bra straps, I need to wear invisible straps for this top

View of the facing

Eyelet-type lace

Green ribbon threaded through holes in lace

Top with embellishment

Burda World of Fashion 12-2005-104
Pattern Description:
Triple-layer luxury! Both the skirt and top are made of tulle embroidered with glittering blossoms and it is lined with lamé tulle and satin, lending the whole outfit a warm golden glow. With so much glitz the actual garments should be cut quite simply. Bust and vertical waist darts sculpt the top to the figure.

Pattern Sizing:
34-42. I made a 34.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it surely does.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I never follow the Burda instructions as they are quite short and vague (not to mention poor translation...) but do it my way. This is a simple pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It's a classic pattern. I like the straps and the neckline, I like that it is quite fitted, I liked the oblique bust dart.

Fabric Used:
Viscose with a green, yellow and blue flowery pattern on a white background. Very nice and drapey.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I made no alternation except shortening the straps by 2.5 cm. I shortened only the back ends of the strap. The front was ok, but the back neckline was so low that it risked showing my bra band. See the back of the top here. Sorry for the bra straps showing, I will wear a bra with invisible straps.

Caution, the Burda doesn't provide you with a specific pattern piece for facings, they just mark the line where the facing should end on the front and back pattern pieces. If you cut the facing pieces like that, after sewing, you'll have the facing showing on the outside.

What I did was cut the facing pieces and trimmed about 3 mm from the side seams, armholes and neckline. My facings are cut (I was out of fashion fabric) from a semi-sheer elastic cotton batiste, interfaced with fusible knit. After trimming, I sewed them, turned, understitched and then topstitched at 3 mm distance from the armhole and neckline edges.

After finishing the top and taking pictures, I decided it needed some embellishment . I had this eyelet-type lace and decided to thread a green ribbon through the holes in the lace.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will definitely sew it again and I do recommend this pattern. You can make it in any kind of fabric, from prints to solids, from plain shirting fabric to elegant laces or metallic silks etc. Also, as it is a simple pattern, it lends itself easily to various embellishments. Think embroidery, lace at the hem, decorative bias binding at the armholes and necklines, appliques, nice trims. Or the top made out of black lace and lined with contrast satin.

Lessons learned
Next time I will interface the straps too. They are ok but tend to fall off my shoulders because of the slippery fabric. To solve this problem, I've ironed a piece of fusible stay-tape on the back of the straps and it seems to work.


cidell said...

The white and avocado are just beutiful together. I don't know if I should hand you a martini or a glass of lemonade!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Laura - I like both pieces. The color combination for the Cosmpolitian Dress is fresh and summery. The fit of course is great! And I really like the embellishment on the tank top! Two great new pieces for your PR Wardrobe.

christina said...

A sleeveless Cosmopolitan - what a great idea! I love how your SWAP is coming along.

dawn said...

Really great job. I love your colors.

Isabelle said...

I love your sleeveless version of the Cosmopolitan! Your top is also very sweet and feminine.

Erica B. said...

Both pieces are great but that dress is a showstopper! I love the avocado on the white.

Tany said...

I second Erica: that dress is something to behold! You look stunning in it! I really like the lace detail on the top, it makes it so special! Impeccable sewing, as always!

Laura said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I wore the Cosmo dress yesterday and it felt great. It was really hot outside and the dress being cotton, white and sleeveless really helped.