Monday, September 23, 2013

Fabricista Fashion Challenge: Week 2-- THE REVEAL!

Today I'm revealing my results for the second round of the Fabricista Fashion Challenge sponsored by Fabric Mart.  Last week unfortunately we lost Tanya, a very talented seamstress who constructed a really pretty vintage peplum top that involved some extremely creative and inventive work.  We've had some top notch competition here from day one so I got to work hard to stay in!

The folks at Fabric Mart will post all contestants work on their blog Tues, Sept 24-- voting will be open Tues and Wed-- results will be up on their blog Thurs, Sept 26, 2013.

Week 2-- The Salme Yoke Dress ChallengeUsing the pattern that Fabric Mart has selected, create a unique garment that reflects your personality. You can alter the pattern or add to the pattern to make it more you. Think of one of two words that describe what inspired your look.  This challenge will be judged on creativity, craftsmanship, how well represented your two words are in your design, difficulty, and fit.


My words that describe what inspired my look: Comfortable & Contemporary



I printed and assembled the Yoke Dress pattern from Salme (it was easy to do, not many pages to tape together.)  There are no seam allowances on this pattern making it so easy to re-draft.  This is a sleeveless, sweetheart neckline, very simple and basic beginner dress pattern ideal for whipping up as an adorable little party dress.  I would wear Salme's original design but the challenge asked me to change it up and "make it my own".  I knew from the get go that I didn't want to make another "party dress" like I did last week, nor did I want to keep the sweetheart neckline as it was a well used design element found in another indie pattern that I've sewn up numerous times some time back. The skirt is too much like the one I sewed up last week so that had to be re-drafted, too.  So I drew up an idea, re-drafted the pattern, and from the Salme Yoke Dress pattern I came up with this plan! 



I tweaked and converted this pattern intended for woven material to one for knits.  My goal here was to make a good fitting, comfy, wearable, (almost) everyday, cold weather dress.  If you've read my blog before, you know I sew with knits all the time.  Knits for my wardrobe make sense for my life right now as they are easy to wear and wash (I have a two year old who I chase around and play on the playground with!) 


I used a printed poly/spandex sweater knit (it's soft and fuzzy!) and a cotton/spandex black knit-- each had nearly identical weight and stretch.  There are a few important things I had to take into consideration when converting a pattern meant for woven fabric to one that is sewn in a knit.  I had to go down about one size.  I also excluded the zipper on the side and button on back  Plus I had to disregard any directions this pattern had and go it all on my own (I didn't read any of them, so I can't say whether they are good or not.) Part of the novelty of sewing with knits is you can often get away without having darts.  I kept and altered mine as a design element.  My french dart echoes the yoke angle. You can see how I took the original pattern and moved the darts.

RELOCATING MY DART 1) I cut out the original dart triangle. 2) I located where I wanted my new dart-- I chose a diagonal french dart. 3) I removed the original dart triangle, moved the other piece over to meet the old dart line and tape it on. The empty triangle is my new dart!

I also redesigned the bodice.  I taped the yoke to the bodice, drew and re-cut new design lines and seams creating new pattern pieces.  The red lines show where the old design lines for the sweetheart neckline and curved back were.

I slashed the front and back skirt pieces down the center of where each dart was on the original design.  It was a very full skirt so I just trashed the center pieces on each one, cut off the top of the darts on the top seam and lined up the skirt pieces to create a fitted waist and an a-line skirt.

I drafted pockets for the front skirt, extended the width of the shoulders a touch to match my shoulder measurements (the red lines show the original design.)  For the waistband, the collar and wristbands I cut them as I went along the sewing process.  The sleeve was taken from a Vogue pattern I previously used, it measured about right with some tiny tweaks and an addition a wristband.





To stabilize my shoulder seams and front pocket I used Pellon Easy Knit Tape.  It's a perfect substitute for Vilene Bias Tape that is wildly popular in Europe (Burda loves using this stuff.)  I've had a number of folks ask me for a tutorial on how to use this stuff since it's so readily available at big box sewing stores in the U.S.  I will post one soon!  But more about my dress for now.  To make my waistband I removed about an inch (2.5 cm) of length from the front and back bodice, measured the lower edge and cut a strip that echoed the curved shape.  I took care to make the black fabric just under an inch (2.5 cm) shorter then the bodice width-- this helps draw in the waist slightly.  This similar technique was used for making the bands for the neck and wrists.  I measured the the openings and reduced the overall length my 15%-- giving it a nice tension on the bands allowing them to lie flat.

The pockets are a fun and functional addition.  I often exclude pockets on dresses because they can add unnecessary bulk on the hips.  I drafted these to lay very flat.   I made sure to understitch the pocket seam in front to prevent it from rolling out (I didn't want any top-stitching on this dress.)


Here are some details of the inside as well as the cuff.  You can see I used my serger exclusively (except for the darts and the hem.)  I chose such a busy fabric you can't see my darts on the outside!  The pocket bags on the inside lay oh so flat.  You can see the white of the Pellon Easy Knit Tape on the shoulder seam.


I can't wait to see what the other ladies have whipped up this week!  I love seeing how a bunch of seamstresses work out the same pattern, everyone has such a different take each time.  Good luck to everyone!  

Me and my little helper

20 comments:

  1. I love it, Kathy! Very Urban Chic! The colors are very flattering on you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another great good-looking dress from you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. By the way, I love the photo bomb! So cute!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the changes to the pattern and you certainly made it your own. It fits you wonderfully and is well sewn. Great job! And I love your helper hiding behind the curtain, adorable.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the way you did the yoke, and the way you mixed the fabrics looks great! Very cute, modern and comfy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great job again! This looks super comfy and very complicated pattern! You definitely made it work!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You did some great changes here Kathy! You made it so comfy and easy to wear! I'm really font of the fabric you chose. The colors look so vibrant!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, Kathy! I love the way that you altered this dress. It's now very wearable and versatile, plus it looks very comfortable. Thanks also for the kind words. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks!! I was nervous the pattern was too dowdy, but when I brought it to daylight out of the artificial lights at the store, it just really popped.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, he was all over my photos and I didn't really stop him too much, her just wanted to hang around mommy while she took photos :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks! It's so comfy and cozy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks! I hope to wear it a bunch this fall.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you! It was a lot of fun to put together and sew up.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you! The colors just popped in the daylight at the moments I was taking the photos, it was good luck, sometimes the light in that spot in my house can be terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you Tanya! I hope to see your garment up on your blog, too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This does look so cozy!! Love what you did with the pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your pattern changes are amazing! It looks great on you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, you really made some significant changes! (I'd be way too lazy to do all that work - I'm impressed!) The dress is so "you" though!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this dress and want one, but I couldn't possibly make all those changes to the pattern! You are so talented. Great job!

    ReplyDelete