Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two more knit dresses

First dress is more of a wearable muslin. I had this cotton knit in red, a warm red with a tiny touch of orange. I normally prefer cotton/lycra to cotton jersey, so I decided to make a wearable muslin - I will make this dress again in black, for salsa dancing and going out.

It is Burda World of Fashion 05/2008, dress 104.



I don't have many things to say about this dress, it is easy to make, you can see more close-ups than I managed to take on my friend Tany's blog - the post about the saffron dress. A few words about changes made and changes that will be made:
  • I didn't insert a zipper - why does Burda plans for a zipper in a very elastic dress, it's a total mystery to me. You simply don't need it.
  • I once again refer you to the Burda workshop about jersey - very useful, especially the part about stabilising necklines and armholes with bias fusible tape, staystitched with a chainstitch (you buy it in notion stores - see a photo on Tany's blog, in this post) - they say how you should fuse this tape - the chainstitch must be placed on the stitching line. I didn't know that and have wondered how I should do it.
  • I made a mistake and cut a different pattern piece for the belt. The dress has a symmetrical belt, the asymmetrical belt that I cut was meant for the top using the same pattern - this top. I actually prefer asymmetry to symmetry in many cases, but in this particular case, I do think the dress would look better with the symmetrical belt.


  • I used a metal buckle (the only one I had in my stash) but a plastic one would be better. The metal is heavier and pulls a bit the belt.
  • Next time I make this dress I will make the neckline wider, shortening the shoulders at neck by about 2 cm (approx 0.8") on each side. A wider neckline would look better on me. I might draw a deeper neckline as well, since this dress will be for going out. As it is, this is a very non-Burda cleavage, meaning very decent as compared to their regular plunging necklines :)
  • For the next dress, I will lengthen the self-lining part of the bodice to reach under my bust. I plan to insert bra cups in the lining and finish the end of the lining with elastic.
Even if I'm not totally happy with this dress, it got me plenty of compliments at work (probably because of the colour too).

And now, my absolute favourite dress so far:



This is Burda WOF 02/2008, dress 103.

Once more, go to Tany's blog - this post - to see more close-ups and explanations concerning the construction of the front knotted/draped detail. I read the Burda instructions a couple of times to understand how I'm supposed to do this. It is not that difficult actually, pretty straightforward once you get it.

I made the short-sleeved version but I'm totally in love with this dress - it was such a success that a woman stopped me in the street to ask me where I bought this gorgeous dress - so I'll definitely make the 3/4 sleeve version too, probably for fall and that one will be underlined.

I made a petite alteration to the pattern and that's all. The fabric is cotton/lycra, a lovely shade of green. Even after the petite alteration, the dress was quite long, therefore I made a wider hem and I love this look. I think I'll only use wide hems from now on on knits (about 5 cm = approx 2"), they give such an elegant appearance, especially when used in a dress.



This dress is the perfect example of instant gratification. Three hours for making it (including cutting the pattern, as it was traced, but not cut) and maximum impact because of the very interesting design. I could see this dress made again with the top part changed to a cami style - the raglan construction would be so easy to turn into a strap-design.

And for hemming knits, I've been using this tip by Sewing Diva Gigi for quite some time now. Great tip, it definitely improved the appearance of my hems. Her tip is for a coverstitch machine, but it works equally well when you sew your knit hems with a twin needle, on your regular machine, like I do.

31 comments:

KayB said...

Laura, I like the red dress, even though you call it a wearable muslin. It certainly looks good to me. The green dress is simply gorgeous - two dresses I really would love to make, but they are a No-No for my figure - So I best admire them on others :-)

Lori said...

Laura, wonderful dresses. They look great on you.

Adrienne said...

Both dresses are beautiful!!!! I love the green one!! I have that on my list for the fall!

Isabelle said...

Wow, Laura, I love all your new dresses... It is so good to see you managed to find both time and inspiration to sew :)
The green dress is my favourite as well, it is really fabulous! Love the matching earrings :) (I love matching jewelry and makeup with the clothes I make, too :) )

Nancy K said...

The dresses look great on you. LOL about the neckline on the red dress. so true.
I love deeper hems on knits like that. There was an English designer(maybe Irish), Jean Muir and one of her trademarks was a deep hem on knits where the top and bottom of the hem was double topstitched. Very beautiful.

Erica B. said...

Two great dresses! I really love the red one. They both look great on you.

Alexandra said...

Absolutely gorgeous dresses! You look amazing in them!

Cindy said...

Great dresses. I adore the green!

AllisonC said...

you really are back with a bang aren't you?! i love them both, but the green one is especially fantastic. looks like a lot more work than 3 hours, I must try it.

Emily said...

Both of your dresses are just gorgeous. I especially love the green one too -- I have plans to make that dress out of a somewhat sheer wool knit for fall, so I'm looking forward to your underlined version!

Dana said...

Both dresses are great! It's nice when they're in a solid fabric instead of a print so you can see the design lines.

Christina said...

More fabulous dresses! I like the asymmetrical belt too. The green dress is so classy!

Melissa said...

Gorgeous dresses Laura!!!

Sigrid said...

Laura, they are wonderful dresses, and you do come back with a lot of great clothes to share.
And wearable muslin sound like a "so so" dress, it absolutely is not, you look as wonderful in that one as in the green one.

Vicki said...

Lovely dresses, no wonder you got compliments. And thanks for the tips on the hem and staytape.

Cherie said...

Laura, you work those colors wonderfully! The dresses look stylish, but young enough, no wonder you got compliments! Great job on the details, as you always do!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Well when you come back, you come back in a big way! :) Love, love, love the new pieces...I think they definitely accent your personality! Can't wait to see what is up next!

Ingrid said...

These are both lovely, isn't it nice when you get compliments like that? I don't think I would have looked twice at the green one in Burda due to the silly model's pose but now I think I will. I need to make a few easy dresses for our trip to the Czech Republic next month! Thankyou for all the great tips.

paco peralta said...

Laura .- congratulations on these magnificent clothes. The green dress is especially nice, really. hugs, Paco

Katrin said...

Whow, you are in a knit sewing rush, aren´t you ?
Both dresses are beautiful. I love those bright colours on you!

Best regards,
Katrin

angie.a said...

Ooh both dresses are gorgeous, but I LOVE the green!

Val said...

Both dresses look smashing on you. It's nice to see you're back at it.

Nancy W. said...

Well, you're certainly making up for lost time! You've made some great looking garments. Very nice!

Tany said...

You look terrific on both dresses, Laura! The first dress is smashing in red and the fact that the band is not symmetrical doesn't seem to matter! The green dress is one of my favorite models this year too and you made a fabulous job with it!
Sending you many hugs and good vibes!

Anne e le manine d'oro said...

Everything has been said, what can I add ? I love the shoes you are wearing with that red one. As I said on PR, the green one is my favorite. It is in deed a total knock out. I can just imagine the "jealous" living on your street. You must be the most elegant woman in your area. I love seeing your work. Bravissima vai !

Adriana B. said...

Both dresses are nice on new but the green one is outstanding! Very much Jackie O. with a twist!

Marjie said...

The red color is outstanding on you! I'm glad I'm not the only person who ever eliminated the zipper on a knit dress. Why complicate lif if it's not necessary?

Stitching Mama said...

Those are great!

Angela

Angelia said...

A great collection of dresses. Thanks so much for all the information and resources for sewing knits.

Angelia said...

Beautiful stuff Laura!!! I love all your dresses!
Thanks for the tips too!

sushee said...

Hi Laura..This Dress is georgeous.I love evrything about ur blog.Keep posting:)