Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wedding Guest Dress: Finalizing Details

Vogue 2745
Last week, I placed one important order and one free and fun order for fabric swatches. To be completely honest, of course both orders were fun...they were for FABRIC!!

I need to finalize fabric for my dress project, Vogue 2745, both view A and B are to be worn this coming June 10. View A will be in Mood Fabrics' Kelly Green silk crepe de chine (above), but the slip could be made from several different fabrics.

Side note, before moving on to Vogue 2745, I was considering making New Look 6244 but with a different slip (all pics of its slip made up looked shapeless and badly fitted, an obvious fault of the drafted pattern). Instead I was going to use Butterick 6031 from my stash, which I wanted to make regardless, but never could find the right fabric. From my last Emma One Sock swatch order I knew the venezia 4-way jersey lining was the ideal fabric but I was not willing to sew a $22 slip, which didn't already include the cost of several yards of two different widths of lace, elastic, and the strap hardware.

However, the pattern suggested tricot and a Google search brought me to Fabric.com and their selection of 40 and 70 denier tricots. While I have now switched to using Vogue 2745, the site provided me with some other suggested fabric possibilities so I ordered a yard of the 70 denier tricot in Oat (will use it for skirt lining) and swatches (8" square!) of a China silk in Silver, charmeuse in Cappuccino, stretch charmeuse in Silver, and a crepe de chine in Purple, all made of polyester.

Results: I love the tricot, the texture is exactly as I expected from the website image. I now wish I had ordered a less neutral color but I can immediately use this as lining for a current skirt. I will definitely order some for use with Butterick 6031 in the future.

70 denier tricky in Oat

The China silk I was sent would not work for the slinky slip I was envisioning but would make crisp garment linings. Both charmeuse swatches were lovely but I preferred the feel of the non-stretch one, the color was gorgeous, and it played off my skin tone very well.

Charmeuse and "China silk"

When ordering the polyester crepe de chine, I had secretly hoped I might use it instead of the far more expensive Mood silk but is not at all the same. This crepe de chine felt more like a simple crepe to me with that spongy pebbled feel, it was the same on both sides, it had no sheen, and was also not opaque. I am 90% sure I received the wrong fabric; however, as you can see above it is dated the day it was packaged and had three separate labels claiming it is crepe de chine. Regardless, it doesn't come in the desired green.

Crepe or crepe de chine, see what I mean?

From Emma One Sock, I ordered swatches of their Emerald silk crepe de chine (since the price is similar to that of Mood), an organic cotton double gauze in Cocoa Dots, a poly rayon sweater knit in Wine, a rayon blend ponte (no poly!) in Charcoal, and finally some 100% silk habotai (China silk) in Teal for comparison to the polyester one coming from Fabric.com.

The silk types in white, the colors both in CDC

Results: The Emma One Sock crepe de chine was nice but not the same as Moods in weight, drape, or sheen. Or perhaps I've just become very fond of my bedraggled little swatch. (It looks that way because I wanted to see how it would change if hand washed. The jury is still out on that.)

Their China silk (100% silk) is obviously superior to the poly one but still drastically different than what I expected. Its soft delicacy intimidated me, no way would I be attempting my slip in that since I have enough work coming with the main dress being silk. In addition, it's price along with fabric for the main dress would cost more than I have ever paid for a RTW dress!

Check out that shimmer!

The ponte was luscious (and will be tested for pilling), the sweater knit lush, and the double gauze not exactly what I expected. Perhaps I need to experience a larger swatch to understand all the web love for it?

UPDATE: After all that, I went a WHOLE other way! In my last post, I mentioned how the slip could be worn as a dress on it's own? Well, I layered my Mood swatch over the cappuccino charmeuse one and decided I didn't want two solid colored bias dresses that I would rarely wear; one because it was silk (duh!) and the other because the color though lovely wouldn't be that practical to wear. Once I started thinking of prints and something that could be worn under the green crepe de chine, two fabrics immediately sprung to mind, inexpensive, locally available, and both of which I could have bought months ago! Two multi-colored polyesters from, of all places, Jo-Ann Fabrics and designs I had been fantasizing over for months but couldn't justify with my existing stash and queue of projects. It just happened they were on sale and I came home with the one that worked with the main dress fabric the most, in a lovely mix of colors which will also influence my choice of accessories.

So, which one do you think I picked?

If you're interested in a peek at the fabrics, my inspirations for the final outfit styling, and the colored(!) shoe possibilities, check out my Wedding Guest Dress Pinterest board.

Surprise! Actually Buying Fabric With a Purpose!

A Change To The Wedding Guest Dress

Images: my own, Jo-Ann Stores, LLC

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Change To The Wedding Guest Dress...

A few months ago, I wrote about a dress I wanted to create for my nieces wedding this June. Though I've been thinking about it for a long time nothing has been done! And yes it is now less than 2 months away!


In that time, I changed my mind again on what pattern I wanted to use. That Diane von Furstenberg Dita dress (above) that first caught my attention initially led me to a similar pattern, New Look 6244, that happened to be one I had always liked. I bought it and was prepared to make it. However, just during regular maintenance on my Etsy pattern shop and checking out the competition (not really, just looking at stuff I can't buy) I came across a pattern that REALLY matched the inspiration dress, Vogue 8070 (2003).

Even though it IS an exact match, I realized then that it might not be as flattering as I wished. In the time since I wrote this first post, I changed my desired look from appropriately dressed cute aunt to slinky single. I wanted more 1929 uneven hemlines of the handkerchief, high-low, and asymmetrical variety styled on Hollywood film sirens and less of those with by the average woman. Note: For some great research and images on these go to the witness2fashion blog.

Well, while searching for a specific vintage Vogue evening dress pattern for a stranger on Instagram, I shocked myself by coming across yet another Vogue pattern exhibiting some of the same elements along with those additional va-va-voom points.

I don't really have to say anything, do I? Vogue 2745 (2003) is PERFECT!

Amazingly, it has the same v-neckline, gathered shoulders, bias skirt with inset panels, handkerchief hemline, and a slip to be worn underneath. However, it's still different, the neckline is sleeker with no overlap and a darted bodice, the back is no longer a duplicate of the front and is more open. The slip is the biggest game changer here as it is far more fitted than the one from New Look 6244. While the bodice of that slip was horribly unfitted with no structure to support the bust, this one is darted and is actually self-lined, which will be very appreciated as the dress will need to be worn braless. If created well enough and in the right fabric, the slip could be worn as a dress on its own.

Next steps: Selecting fabric for the slip and starting a muslin.


Images: composite image by @sewandstyle_