Saturday, July 17, 2010
The plan was to make a wool tweed dress that was professional enough for work, but not too dull - the Kay Unger dress was perfect for this. It is rated as an easy pattern, but with 12+12 pieces, there is no instant gratification! It is certainly doable by beginners, it just takes some time and patience to line up all of the pieces and do all of the top stitching. It is well worth the effort in the end! I used a silk/wool tweed from gorgeous fabrics. It was my first gorgeous fabrics order, and I think I'm addicted!
I made a few modifications - you can see the pattern alterations below.
1) SBA - I trimmed the curve on piece #2, as well as shaved off about 3/8 inch from the bottom of the side bodice piece as well (see red arrow). Then I had to pinch an equal amount out of the midriff so everything would line up.
2) The neck line initially gaped, so I also pinched out almost 1/2 inch from the neck line ending near the bust point (see fold on piece #1).
3) I also took out 1/2 inch on each side of the zipper tapering to mid-back.
4) I pinched 1/4 inch from the side seams so the arm hole didn't gape. It sounds like I was gaping everywhere!
5) Shorten hem by 1 inch to bring above the knee.
6) Add interfacing to the midriff.
I think that is it. After all of the cropping, maybe I could have started with a smaller size! I started with a size 10 for the bodice, and transitioned to a 12 in the midriff. For some reason my muslin ended up being a little small in the hips, so I initially added a little fabric in there, but ended up taking it out in the end.
Overall I am quite happy with it - the muslin was an absolutely essential step in the process. I'm jealous of people who fit straight sizes! My only major issue is the large front skirt darts - I would be happier if this part was flat, but I was too lazy to change this as well. I could probably have tapered to a size 12 a little lower down than I did too - I have a little too much ease in the belly. Luckily I mostly wear it with a white coat over it so no one will notice! The instructions were fine - I was a bit perplexed by the skirt flap in the back, but just made something up as I had never done this before.