Monday, June 15, 2009

Lady in Red

May 2009 Burda World of Fashion, #122
Way back in May, I asked you all to help me choose the perfect dress for my sister's wedding. Now that the school year is over (yay!), I've finally found time to finish the dress! Just a few things about this project (then my review is below)...

1. Can you say, "Pleating Nightmare"? 52 (yes, fifty-two) pleats, most of which were in the sleeves. I assumed the bubble sleeve was formed by gathering (never having made a bubble sleeve before) but, each sleeve actually had 6 pleats at the hem, 6 more on the lining hem, and 7 at the cap where it attaches to the bodice. If I had known, I probably wouldn't have chosen this pattern, but seeing it through was a good skill builder (and confidence booster)! Below is the interior of the sleeve and you can hopefully see all the pleats on the lining and sleeve itself.
2. When will I learn that making a muslin is a helpful step? I'm too impatient, and while it fits in the waist, it is a tad bit snug. In the very least, I should've measured the flat pattern to be sure. Just extra incentive to lose 10 pounds (and not eat too much at the wedding)!

3. I really, really like this dress. I'll be able to wear it to lots of different events, and throw a jacket on over it in cooler weather. I say it again in my review, but the little (headache) details make all the difference in this dress!

Pattern Description: Très chic! When wearing this feminine summer dress in washed silk with short balloon sleeves you’ll feel like you‘re in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.

Pattern Sizing:36-44. I made the 42, but it was a little more snug than usual.*I strongly recommend making a muslin to check the waist and bust!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Absolutely!

Were the instructions easy to follow?2 dots, BWOF? Uh uh, I don't think so...Pleats: 24 (sleeve hem & sleeve lining hem) + 14 (sleeve caps) + 6 (shoulders) + 8 (waist box pleats bodice & skirt) = 52 pleats. I had no idea when I chose this pattern (thought the bubble sleeves were gathered), but it's really a "happy accident" because...1. It looks well made (i.e. expensive, high end, designer) and 2. Completing such a daunting task gave me kajillions of sewing self-confidence. Baby stepping is the key to climbing a mountain!
The instructions were decent and all the pieces made sense, so I can't complain.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I needed a dress for a Sunday afternoon wedding, and this pattern fit the fabric I wanted to use. Now that I've made it and can see it up close (magazine pictures don't show everything!) I love all the pleating on the shoulders and sleeves. I will be able to wear this to many other events, and work too!

Fabric Used:"Baby Silk" from Jo-anns (poly blend). I know, I know... but here's the deal: This is probably the nicest piece of fabric I've ever purchased there. It's ridiculously soft (like a sueded silk) and didn't fray at all. It didn't slither all over and pressed nicely. So, say what you will... with my coupon this dress cost about $20! (below is the shoulder and sleeve cap)
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:None. If I make it again, I'll sew the next size up (or hopefully lose 10 pounds this summer and not have to worry about it!)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, I would make it again, it's a very wearable design and wasn't so bad. Recommend it to others: yes, but mark your pleats carefully and take your time. It's well worth it!

Conclusion: Remember that movie from the 80's "The Woman in Red"? I feel like Kelly LeBrock in this dress. It's got an understated sexiness to it, and all the little details (yes, enough of the pleats already!) make it look anything but "homemade"! Below is another view of the back where you can see the invisible zipper and how the box pleats on the bodice and skirt join at the waist seam (to be hidden by self fabric belt!).

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Coming Up Next Week: My summer sewing plan! (It's a doozie...)

18 comments:

Summerset said...

Love it, love it, love it! You look fabulous!!!!

You know, you could have just gathered those bubble sleeves on the inside, know one would have known!

Salinda said...

Kristine- You look awesome! Great job on your amazing dress.

Trudy Callan said...

Gorgeous. Great fabric choice

www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

gwensews said...

That is a beautiful dress and it looks fantastic on you.

Amanda S. said...

Wowza! Gorgoeus dress on you. I love the red and the pleat details. Try not to steal all the attention away from the bride, k? :)

Adrienne said...

Beautiful!

Michelle said...

Over 50 pleats! That is crazy! But well worth it, your dress turned out gorgous, and you look fantastic in it!

Bunny said...

Fabulous and I think you look great in it. It doesn't look too tight to me. Sometimes things feel tight but they don't look tight so maybe that's the sitch. You will look wonderful at the wedding.

Julia said...

You look amazing!! It looks like a perfect fit! I mean it, you look fantastic!! Hope you don't show up the bride! LOL

Gail said...

Stunning. Red is your colour!

Sewfast said...

Simply Gorgeous!!!

Sara said...

Looks fantastic! Congratulations.

AllisonC said...

Great job, I had no idea it had so many pleats either, but you are right that it is always the details that take these projects to the next level. the dress is just lovely.

Lindsay T said...

You did such a fine job on this! I love a red dress. Very cute.

Dawn said...

Wow, that's a fantastic dress.

gaylen said...

I think it looks awesome. You look great. g

Sue said...

Fabulous!

BConky said...

It's absoultly beautiful. You look amazing in it. Love it.