Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer is for easy projects



At long last, my poppy-print version of Burda 4-2014-124 is done. Let me say right here that my next few projects are going to be purposely simple. Or at least not ridiculously complicated.

I do love this poppy fabric. You can read in this post how I fell hard for it . . . but, man, was it difficult to work with. Seam allowances that frayed almost to the seamline before I could get to them, little shredded areas that materialized if the fabric so much as hung over a corner of my cutting mat—this one had me gnashing my teeth. Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. Okay, enough with the qualifications.

I think I might be able to wear this dress in real life if I just sit quietly in a corner somewhere.

The pattern itself is a good one, though not a quick make. There is a complete underdress (same pattern pieces for the six-gore skirt, different pieces, including spaghetti straps, for the bodice) sewn inside the outer dress. With the French seams that I used throughout, this meant a lot of sewing and pressing. Looking at the photo above, seems I need to press that left front skirt seam a little better, ahem.

If you look closely at this next photo, you can see how the finest sewing-machine needle I have, which I changed out several times during this project by the way, still left little "bites" in the fabric.



I made a number of changes to the pattern. For one, I lengthened it by over two inches (but compare to the magazine photo; I'm sure that model is at least as tall as I am??). More important, I left off everything that I thought of as frippery. Frilly details just do not work well on me, so I substituted a simple edging for the piping, and omitted the lace on the underdress bodice, the topstitched batting under the neckband, and the shirring on the sleeves (in fact, I ended up leaving off the sleeves entirely and finishing the armholes with bias binding). I do feel that the part of the underdress bodice that peeks out looks a little plain, so maybe keeping the lace trim there would have been good.

Here's how the neckband looks up close with my changes:



Again because of the fragile nature of the fabric, I had a heck of a time figuring out a way to hem the skirt without it falling apart on me as I went. I ended up using my serger to make a rolled edge, and I'm happy enough with it.










Nature notes:

Photos are from last month, so not brand new, but I still want to give these turtle mamas a little appreciation. This sweet painted turtle was laying her eggs in our front yard one day in early June.



And she brought her sister along to lay her eggs!



The same day, as I walked down the driveway to get our mail, I came across this snapping turtle looking for a good egg-laying place. She is much bigger than the painted ones, like a large dinner plate, and can easily take off a finger if you're silly enough to present it to her.



GO TURTLES!

15 comments:

  1. This dress is so pretty, and you look wonderful in it. it sounds like the fabric was a bit of a challenge to work with, but the result was worth the effort. We had a snapper amble across the yard while we were at my parent's 4th of July picnic. We didn't mess with ours either.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Audrey. Just before I saw your comment here, I was going through my blogger reading list and admiring your dégradé orange-to-purple jacket—it is gorgeous. (And now, as a person interested in words, I am pondering the difference between dégradé and ombré, which I think must have to do with the number of shades involved? Will check it out.)

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  2. Looks gorgeous, Patricia! Congrats for hanging in there with a difficult fabric. Now are you making little outfits for the turtles?

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    1. Thanks, Julie! The turtles will have to wait--I am in NYC for a couple of days, looking forward to visiting the Charles James exhibition tomorrow. I know you really enjoyed it when you got your early look.

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  3. Your hard work has paid off! Your dress turned out beautifully :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Hana! I appreciate your comment.

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  4. I really love everything about this dress! The poppy fabric is divine and the dress looks terrific on you. Shame about the fraying. I think your neckline looks better than the original. A good make all round and I hope you can wear it without sitting quietly in the corner!

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  5. PS. Thank you for the turtle update!

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Sue! Sometimes I miss being in a more walkable urban environment, but at least we have this crazy wildlife to entertain us. The dress fabric somehow seems more stable now that it's made up and has an underlayer, I'm glad to say.

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  6. Your dress is gorgeous, it's obvious you have put a lot of effort in it because it looks perfect! And I'm so envious you get to see all these adorable turtles in your garden, the only wild reptiles in mine are lizards and frogs^^

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    1. Thank you, Cecili! To me, where YOU live looks very interesting . . .

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  7. Ohhh, this is beautiful!! The white and poppy print is so elegant and summer-y fresh and the dress looks divine on you!

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn! I was really pleased that I managed to make something wearable out of this summery fabric.

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  8. Lovely, lovely. I am so glad you were able to produce this dress as I looked at it long and hard before deciding it was too much for me. I had a fabric that was similarly poorly behaved, and I went from really liking it to being unable to look at it! Good for you persevering.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Spasibasong!

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