Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Colorblocked Shift Dress

This dress was my final project in Draping class last semester.  Last spring I posted about the collection I designed for Kate Spade in my Fashion Sketching class.  This is one of the dresses from the collection.  My God, I'm terrible at drawing.  Wait until I post my drawings from the Fashion Illustration class I took this spring...

The coral fabric is a Casa Collection satin from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  (It's not as hot pink as it looks in the pictures; it's a deep coral.)  I used the wrong side because I didn't want this dress to be all satiny - I don't even like satin.  (I don't think anyone does.)  But it was the perfect color and had the body I needed for this dress.  That also makes this dress a little harder to wear.  I had originally envisioned a very casual summer dress in a cotton.  But since I used the wrong side of the satin maybe it doesn't look wicked fancy and I'm just overthinking it.

The white fabric is a Kona quilting cotton from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I read online that the best fabric to use for scallops is a tightly woven one made of natural fibers.  And the whole thing is lined with white rayon challis I ordered online from Hancock Fabrics.

Total Cost: $17.73
  • Coral Fabric: $3.99
  • White Fabric: $6
  • Lining: $5.99
  • Zipper: $1.75

I originally had a different white fabric.  It was some sort of satiny thing with a crazy name I've never even heard of.  So I had the whole dress sewn together and I had just understitched the lining and somehow I ended up with a run - like you get in pantyhose - all the way down the front of the bodice contrast.  I nearly had a nervous breakdown.  So I had to unpick everything and pull the whole dress apart and re-sew it.  It was traumatic.

It was impossible to get a good picture of this dress.  Even though I used the wrong side of the satin, it still reflected light like woah and made this dress look all wrinkly in the photos.  I tried to take a picture of the back and it looked so terrible that I can't even post it.  (There's an invisible zipper down center back.)  Also, these pictures don't do justice to the silhouette.  The best picture I could get where I feel like you can really "see" the dress is in my bedroom mirror:

So let's talk about fit issues.  This dress is a little tight across the hips.  By "a little tight" I mean the hips could probably be taken out an inch.  And the armscye feels tight, too.  Maybe it's cut too high or needs to be shaved off a bit.  But maybe it's because I am wicked sensitive to the way an armhole feels because that has always been my thing.  I am very disappointed that I ended up with these fit problems because I made a muslin and agonized over every detail for days with my Draping professor and everything was fine.  I would like the opportunity to make this again with some coral cotton I have in my stash.

Drafting the pattern for the scalloped hem was sort of complicated.  It involved math and drawing halves of scallops and tracing them onto paper.  My professor helped me and it was six months ago, so I can't remember all of the details.  But that means it will be hard to take out the hips because I will have to re-draft the scalloped situation which will not be fun.

There hasn't been a picture of Sox lately, but he was very much involved in the construction of this dress:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Crochet Scalloped Top

And another month has passed since my last post.  I hate that.  I have six projects done and ready to be photographed.  Things have been busy at fashion school.  I showed four pieces in the fashion show at school this year and entered another competition. There is a sneak peek fashion show photo at the end of this post.

I finished this top at the beginning of February, but it was too cold to wear it until like last week.  The pattern is available online for free.  

This top was easy and worked up very quickly.  The stitch pattern was fun to crochet.  This is the first warm weather top I have knitted/crocheted and I am excited to have a knitted/crocheted garment to wear when it's not negative 30 degrees.

I used Knit Picks Comfy worsted weight yarn in Rosehip.  The pattern calls for 100% acrylic yarn, but I decided to use a cotton/acrylic blend instead of 100% acrylic since this is a warm weather top and acrylic yarn would be too warm.

Total Cost: $14.95

I made some modifications to the pattern.  The pattern was for a 40" bust, but that just seemed excessively large. My gauge was a little small so I followed the directions for the 40" bust and ended up with a 36" bust.  You can check out my Ravelry Project Page here.

So this year was my Junior Year Fashion Show at school.  It was fun, but very stressful.  I have already posted about the two dresses on the right; the Design Wars/Project Pink Competition Entry and the Floral Skater Dress.  My fabulous friend/Jo-Ann Fabrics co-worker and the author of the blog Crash Into Common Time was kind enough to model my pink dress. The dress on the hanger was my final project for Draping class last semester (it's been too cold to take photos!) and I'm wearing a romper I whipped up for the show.

So in the near future there will be posts about the two fashion show garments and the competition I entered (I won Most Wearable, by the way!).