Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Report dress, again

My sewing friend Rachel from Minneapolis is the co-ordinator (gatekeeper? sentinel? facilitator?) for the Oliver + S blog and asked me if I would demo on the blog how I constructed exposed zippers on the Book Report dress.

For me it was a good excuse to make the dress again, using a different fabric and perfect the zippers once and for all.

This time around I chose a light denim fabric and I am more than pleased with the outcome.

The report, or Book Report on the Book Report dress will appear on the O+S blog in the near future, maybe as early as tomorrow?  Anyway,  I've included lots of photos and a fairly verbose step by step tutorial.

One thing I discovered when constructing exposed zippers is to use one of my favourite sewing aids, Wonder Tape......

on the backside of the zipper peep hole as opposed to putting it on the zipper tape itself.

When the dress is flipped over, I found I could fiddle with the fabric around the zipper much easier and place the edge of the fabric opening - a little bit at a time - exactly where I wanted in order to expose as much of the zipper tape as desired.

The zipper pockets are a hit with Miss C.
She can stash her dinosaur in her pocket and zip it shut when her brother comes looking for it.

I really like the Book Report dress. It's quick to sew, affords itself to some fun mods and fits perfectly.

I meant to put a little loop on the yoke back pleat yet despite having the loop pre-made and staring me in the face where it sat beside the sewing machine, I totally forgot about it. Doh.

Good excuse to make another one.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Oscar knock off

Maybe a year or 2 ago I saw this Oscar de la Renta dress and was smitten.
I absolutely had to make this dress and in the same, or similar fabric.

Well, I asked my sewing friends to keep an eye out, I scoured the internet and a month or so ago I just happened to see fabric at our local Fabricland that seemed to look similar...sort of.

So I bought it and used Oliver  S pattern Fairy Tale dress pattern that I've used plenty of times in the past.

With the exception of the belt, it looks fairly close, I think.

I made pleats and borrowed sleeves from another O+S pattern called Garden Party.

I did find fabric that looks closer to the actual print of the inspiration dress but colour is navy and aqua.
Just the same, I'll make it using the same pattern because Miss C is in need of party dresses right now.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Book Report Dress

A few weeks ago, I came across the image of this dress that is from River Island, a clothing company in the U.K.

Since I had fabric in my stash that looked similar and used it as a table runner for a Robbie Burns Day dinner.....

....and since I've never made an outfit with an exposed zipper welt pocket, I decided there was no time like the present.

The Book Report dress pattern from Oliver + S seemed like perfect pattern to use. It has pocket features in the front, is A-line in style and similar similar sleeves.
To my thinking, it would just be a matter of adding a exposed zippers to the front pocket.

How something so simple in execution could turn out to be so complicated and a complete fail truly amazes me.

Here's the almost finished dress.......

......and here's what's wrong with it.

1) Where the skirt bottom sections meets the main bodice, there is a seam. In order to make the exposed zipper welt pockets sit better, the front should have been cut as once piece.
Also, it was a "b" word to get the plaid to line up along the front between the zippers.

2) The plaid main dress part doesn't line up with the sleeves. In the past, I've never had a problem matching plaids, apparently my plaid mojo is on the fritz.

3) when clipping into the little triangle of the welt pocket, I clipped too far. Doh.
Thank goodness there's Fray Check to glue the corner threads together. Globs of it.

4) Then to make matters worse, while fighting with my broken serger, the knife cut in to the sleeve. Dammit!

So I decided to abandon this project and salvage the little bits of fabric left over for a table runner for Robbie Burns Day next year.

However now I was determined to get it right.  So I got some light green brushed cotton twill, solid this time, and tried it all over again.

The front panel was cut as one main piece.

For the exposed zipper welt pocket I followed this tutorial (click here) except instead of using organza as she demonstrates, used the main dress fabric for the pocket bags.

That turned out to be a bad idea because the weight of the fabric (should have used a thin cotton) and the the weight of the zipper, tugged at the front of the dress making it sag and buckle.

Oh sure, I stabilized the welt pockets with a medium weight stabilizer, but all of that fabric and the zippers still tug on the front.

Instead of turning up the hem as per the instructions, I decided to line the dress so that the pockets and zipper tabs were encased.
I used the cotton twill on the bottom section hoping it would add stability to the front.

It turned out much better this time.
No plaids to mis-match and no knife cuts.

The dress is Size 7 and fits perfectly.

Miss C chose the white buttons and helped me sew them on. 

I'm not overly happy with the exposed zippers on this dress but will certainly use this technique on another outfit.

But I am happy with Book Report Dress pattern.

The first time I made it, my daughter didn't like it.
Miss C did, however I doubt she wore it at all.

My daughter says she likes the pattern now so I'd like to make at least one more.

I saw a dress that looked like a mash-up of the O+S Jump Rope dress on the top section and the Book Report dress on the bottom.


Using chambray, I'd like to try to combine the two patterns and make something similar.