|This dress has been an awfully long time in the making. The idea started back when I took the Pattern Magic 2 class at Morley College last winter, where we learned a technique called "Fundamentals: Create three-dimensional forms with design lines only" (it just rolls off the tongue, eh?).|
Essentially what this means is you sew up a muslin, draw design lines all over it, cut along these lines, then introduce snips of ease until the pieces lie flat, and there's your new pattern! I did all this (based on a sheath dress from the June 2012 Burda magazine, which doesn't appear to be on the US BurdaStyle, sorry) last summer, but then the project stalled when I couldn't find any heavyweight stretch satin anywhere in Europe, and had to import this gorgeous salmon stretch duchesse from Gorgeous Fabrics.
Then there were further delays as I didn't have a wide enough cutting table to lay out the asymmetric and strangely-shaped pieces, until a few weeks ago when the Thrifty Stitcher invited me to pow-wow at her studio and suddenly my swirl sheath dress was back on track!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Because all the darts from the original pattern (bar one) are now incorporated into a bunch of curved seams, this means there's a lot of easing going on, so if you don't like easing princess seams, for example, you really won't like sewing this. My easing motto is "pin the crap out of it", and I'm proud to say that I didn't have any tucks or unpicking in any of these seams. Though I did use 58 pins on just the lower semi-circular seam! (Photo of pins!)
When drawing up this design, I knew I wanted the back to be as interesting as the front, so I used similar design lines there. You'd think that the pattern pieces would be very similar, but considering the different amounts of body ease that's incorporated in the front vs the back, the pieces are actually very different!
The reason I was adamant on finding a hefty satin for this dress was because I knew from the very start that I'd be alternating the shiny vs matte sides of the fabric in the different panels. It's something I played with in my wedding gown design, but there I used original vintage mesh over the satin to create the matte texture, whereas here I just flipped the fabric over. (Fabric detail photos)
It may have taken over a year to make, but I'm really proud of this dress, both in the design and execution, and I'm really looking forward to wearing it to a friend's wedding next month!
For way, way more photos and details, head over to FehrTrade.com!