Saturday, March 02, 2013

I don't care, I'll start my own group! Rejection from society is what created X-Men!

Hola everyone and happy Saturday! I've been having a very happy day following a VERY busy and reasonably stressful work week. I had a long lie in, breakfast in bed, and then a happy afternoon in the sunshine with my friend and her beautiful baby. And I got to do all of it in one of the pretty dresses I sewed last week. Can't say fairer than that, right?!

Now, I know this might get my anonymous OMG COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT commenter's knickers in a twist, but I have been exercising my seamstress privilege and sewing a dress instead of buying it. The dress in question is another Bernie Dexter beauty:

Bernie Dexter Jackie dress 

Gorgeous, isn't it?! I've had it pinned on my pinterest 'dream dresses' board ever since I first spotted it, but as ever, the price was just a bit too rich for my blood. It's £125 at What Katie Did, if you want to get your hands on one though! Anyway, having pinned it, when I saw that the fabric was available to buy - well, it was a no-brainer. The fabric is from the 'Ahoy Matey' range by Michael Miller and the print is called 'Stay The Course'. I saw it in a few fabric shops, but eventually picked up 3 metres of it from Ebay at £10 a metre - bargain! Initially, I wasn't too sure if the fabric was a bit busy to have close to my face, but it does look gorgeous in the Bernie dress. I looked closely at the Jackie dress and, while I like the collar detail on it I knew that really, it was the fabric I loved and I wanted that to be the focus of the dress. I decided on the bodice from Simplicity 2444, as I love the fit of the bodice and thought the dart details would look great in this fabric. To keep in line with the inspiration, I added a dirndl skirt. Simple! So, here's my Stay The Course dress...

Saturday 2nd March 2013 
Stay The Course dress worn with Office 'Love Me Tender' shoes and a vintage handbag

So basically, I FREAKING LOVE IT. The fabric is everything I wanted it to be and I really adore the print. It is everything I like - loud, bright, silly and nautically-themed. Which is a bit silly really considering that Leamington is, like, as far from the sea as you can get in this country and also that I can't swim. But IDGAF, you know? 

In terms of construction, not much to say really. I think the sloped darts on the bodice front are really snazzy and I like that the horizontal lines of the print draw attention to them. It would have been easy enough to draft a little collar bit to go on the dress as with the Bernie Dexter frock, but one of the things I love about the other Simplicity 2444 dresses I have made is the simplicity (der) of the neckline and I'm glad I kept that here. The fabric is printed vertically (as with the Paris Ville fabric) which made it easy to work with the stripes and figure out the placement on the bodice. Unlike on the original dress, I didn't want the anchors going across the widest part of my bust as it would distort their shape (busty ladies represent) and I'm really pleased with how that looks on the finished dress!

Saturday 2nd March 2013 
Bodice detail

I didn't line the bodice. I used the neckline facings from the pattern, but used red bias tape to finish the armholes and the waist seam inside:

Waist seam

Armhole bias-binding

The other thing I decided to do, just on a whim really, was to create a bit of contrast at the side seams and mismatch the stripes. They're matched really well everywhere else, and I thought this would give an additional bit of visual interest:

Side seams

I didn't manage to get a close-up of the hem, but it's mega deep! I wanted the anchor border to be the bottom of the dress and I wanted a full row of ropes as the hem, and I had lots of fabric! It also meant I was able to have the turquoise dots right at the bottom of the dress. Hurrah!

Saturday 2nd March 2013

As with the Nana dress, I'm thrilled with my own take on a dream dress! For one thing, it was a lot cheaper. I had the pattern and the zip in my stash, so without counting the hours I spent on it, this dress cost me under £40. Also, I had the pleasure of making it.

I was saying to Nic today that my shopping ban is having a really positive effect on me. As well as saving me money, it's encouraging me to sew more and that's good for my health and my happiness. I know I will enjoy this dress far more than I would if I had bought one instead!

Saturday 2nd March 2013 
Side view - so you can see how those mismatched side seams look!

So, yeah - I don't have a huge amount more to say because this is pretty much form for me by now - fitted bodice, full skirt. It's what I like! I am planning two more of these dresses - because I bought some of the companion fabric with boats on it - BOATS - and some Monaluna 'Fox Hollow' fabric, as well. I know what I like, what can I say?!

This was perfect for a relaxed afternoon in Leamington, and while the sunshine was warm obviously I had a cardigan with me. I always have a cardigan with me at all times. I know red would work, but I am enchanted by the little turquoise spots, and there was blue in my shoes...

Saturday 2nd March 2013 
I do have a cardigan in basically every colour...

I haven't done any sewing today, but I have a few projects in the queue to crack on with tomorrow - and another new handmade dress to show you in the next few days. I told you I'd been busy - I'm just not sure how my wardrobe is going to cope!