27 minutes ago
Friday, February 23, 2007
Introduction (you know there's always a backstory, don't you?)
Well, my dear husband - really, he is a dear; who else would put up with me for 21 years and change? - did the laundry the other night, and managed to wash and dry my favorite silk velvet dress. That's the one that I would pull out for singing gigs, my birthday dinner, nights out, and when I generally wanted to look hot. It now fits my 13-year old niece. But it's okay. After sulking for about an hour, I shook it off and decided that hey, the Boho-chic look is so gone this spring anyway. It's time for a new dress. And what should hop to the top of my pattern stash? The HotPatterns Deco Vibe Cosmopolitan Dress!
How were the instructions? To tell you the truth, this dress was drafted so well, I didn't use them for the most part. The only time I checked them was for the cuffs. There I did find a mistake in the pattern.
Now, before I continue, please don't jump all over HotPatterns. There are a lot of HP-haters out there, which I never understood. I'll give you the straight scoop on what I found and what I did to fix it, but please don't use this post as a bandwagon. Thank you. We now return to our regularly scheduled program
The mistake I found is that the directions tell you to sew up the sides of the cuff, and turn and sew to the notches on the long side. There are no notches on the cuff pattern piece. But that's okay. Instead, I sewed up the sides, then turned the cuffs right side out and pressed. I finished the sleeve slash and gathered the bottom of the sleeve as instructed. Then I pinned the cuff to the sleeve, having the raw edges even. I adjusted the gathers on the sleeve, basted and then serged the cuff to the sleeve, with the short edges of the cuff even with the edges of the finished sleeve slash. Is that clear as mud? If not, let me know and I'll go back and take pictures.
Pattern Sizing: All sizes are included. I made a size 12 with no alterations. It fits great out of the envelope.
Fabric Used: If you follow any of the style magazines or websites, you know that graphic, black and white prints are very in this spring. I just happen to have one that works perfectly, a poly/nylon jersey with two-way stretch:
You'll actually be able to purchase this fabric from my www.gorgeousthings.com website within the next couple of days. As my darlings Tom and Lorenzo like to say, "stay tuned, kittens!"
Any pattern alterations or any design changes? This fabric is a very fun graphic print that has a border that has a smaller print. I decided to use the fabric to good advantage with this dress. I didn't need to make any alterations for fit, but I did use the border print as contrast in several places, including
I also left off the facing, and followed Gigi's lead. I put lingerie elastic in the neckline to hug my decolletage a little closer.
Since this dress will take its place of honor as a singing gig dress, it's going to get used at religious gigs. Contrary to popular belief, I don't always want to raise eyebrows in church (my daddy used to say, "He likes to hear from strangers, you know."). I used the border print as a binding to finish the neckline
The neck hugs nicely, and sits right where it should.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Gigi broke ground with this pattern, and then she made an even more fabulous version to wear in NYC when we were there with Phyllis last month. Seeing it on her cemented my decision to make it as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Gigi made the kimono sleeve version. Since it's still quite frosty here in Boston, I opted for the long, cuffed sleeve instead. I love, love, love the look of this dress on. It is so comfortable, and it looks very chic. You can make this in a wild print for a fun dress, or in a silk jersey for a sexy dinner dress. Its mood changes with the fabrication. It's an incredibly versatile design, and it looks great on fuller-busted gals.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Hell yeah, to both!
Conclusion The pattern is very well drafted. The only error I found was the cuff, and that was minor. Anyone who has any knowledge of sewing cuffs can get a great result with no effort or stress. This dress will become a staple in my wardrobe. My eleven year old son saw is on my dress form and said (unsolicited), "Mom, that dress is awesome! You know what it looks like? It looks like a cross between Jeffrey Sibelia and Laura Bennett in the black and white challenge!" Was there a black and white challenge in Project Runway Season 3? I don't recall, but never mind. I'll bask in the compliment!
I'm working a charity fashion show Downtown next week (not walking, thank God!), and I'm going to wear this dress. It's that fabulous!
Oh, and to answer Els' request - I will post a picture of me in the dress. But right now I have a cold and look like death warmed over, so I want to wait until I'm feeling better.