We've had a mini heatwave the last few days so I haven't been able to take any photos without looking like a sweaty, frazzled mess but I promise I made this latest project from the November issue in the month of November. How's that for tackling my Burda challenge head on and then some? Admittedly, the dress I chose to make is easy peasy, but still - two garments from the one issue in the same month!
I chose to make 11/2012 #136B, a very simple kimono sleeve dress with no shaping other than very curvy side seams:
Not my usual style, since I always feel the need to cinch in my dresses with vertical darts in the front and back, plus a swayback adjustment and a narrow shoulder adjustment. But one of my good friends recently wore a similar style dress in a stripe knit which looked fantastic so I decided to copy the look using the multi colour stripe ponti that I've been wanting to use for a while:
Remember I asked you all whether I should make a dress or skirt from this fabric? Well I'm glad I went with the dress option because I love, love, love this dress! It's so comfortable because the ponti (a Japanese ponti from Spotlight) is very soft and has enough stretch for comfort but isn't thin enough to be clingy. Plus it's fairly casual in a nice way, and I think it looks really flattering. Even better, I took this photo after I'd been out shopping and it's hardly wrinkled at all.
Of course, being a Burda pattern there had to be some issue with it. Foolishly, I didn't notice on the pattern diagram or the model photo in the magazine nor when I was tracing out the pattern that side seam finished well below the bust line and not under the armpit like a normal dress. And in my humble opinion, there is nothing more unsexy than a flash of side cleavage even if you are a supermodel with a spectacular bust. You can see in the photo below that the armhole opening is slashed almost to my waistline:
This would be ok if I had planned to make this as a winter dress to be worn over another layer, but since it's a summer dress I knew that I didn't want to wear anything under it so I decided to try to modify it to make it a more standard kimono style before hacking in half to make a skirt. The photo below shows the new seamline where I sewed it to a point under my armpit and back down to the sleeve hem, as opposed to finishing so low:
I could have taken the seam straight across from the point to the sleeve edge instead of angling it downwards, but I wanted to keep the flutteriness around the sleeves so I didn't want to reduce the width of the sleeve at the hem line. I think it works too, because now the sleeve is closed up under the arms but isn't puckered or bunched up and I've still maintained that flowiness around the shoulders:
Making that change doesn't restrict arm movement at all, and nor is it too tight across the bust line so it was a good save. I much prefer this fabric in a dress to a skirt because I just don't know what top I would have worn with a skirt.
And best of all, check out the seam matching at the shoulder line:
To get that seam matching I did have to slide the front piece along the back piece until the lines matched, which meant there was a bit of overhang at the sleeve edge and neck edge:
But I just trimmed the sleeve edge to make it even and the loss of that bit of length from the sleeve and at the neckline isn't too noticeable and was worth it for that chevron effect. (Just ignore that horrible amount of skin under my arms and nude coloured bra strap you can see - this was before I sewed up the side seam).
The other change I made to the pattern was to draft a facing for the neckline because I didn't want any visible top stitching since I wouldn't be able to match the thread colour to the fabric. Because this is an 'easy' style in the magazine, the pattern instructions called for neatening the seam edge, folding and stitching which is what I would have done if this was a solid fabric colour, but I think the neck facing looks cleaner for this fabric.
My final verdict: when Spotlight has it's next sale on fabric (probably any minute now since it seems to happen very regularly) I'll buy some more of this fabric in a different colourway and make another version or two of this dress. Sure it's not nursing friendly, but these days I can't feed Toby unless we're in complete isolation anyway because he gets so distracted so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
And speaking of Toby - yes Angela he is standing. A little too early for my liking, because he surprised me one day by standing up in his cot and I hadn't pulled the sides up yet so thankfully he hadn't toppled out but I freaked out anyway! He is such a strong little boy and he seems to be hitting his physical milestones much earlier than Anna, so much so that I need to get started on babyproofing the house because he's very nearly crawling too.
So now I need to finish the year on a high note and make something from the December issue. It arrived in Friday's mail, and I think it's going to be a little tough because there isn't too much in there catching my eye at my moment. But I shan't let Burda beat me - I'll find something I'm sure.