Friday, 4 February 2011

A dress of great volume

Firstly - I can't believe this dress took 3m of fabric. Burda Style 07-2010-132 suggests using chintz. Other than the floral stuff on couches, I don't know what this is (and wouldn't want a dress made from it). So, I chose a stretch cotton sateen.

I chose an overlock stitch to sew the seams, as this fabric is much too heavy for the usual French seams.
Neat, huh?
At this point, I realised the dress has pockets! Hurrah!

Pin the pocket pieces one at a time
I didn't think the instructions for the cuffs were very helpful. I sewed and pressed them. This is the only part of my finished garment I'm unhappy with. I might sew some on bias tape to cover the loose threads.
Inside the cuff. Messy.
This is *super important*. The lengths given for the cuff and hem pieces are not adequate. Given that they list a length and height (no pattern pieces), I assumed that this included seam allowances. Not only does this appear to be untrue, but the hem piece was so short that I had to lengthen it in order to get it over my hips! So it wasn't just a case of missing seam allowances. Yes, the size was correct for me. But to fit the hem piece to the dress would have required substantial gathers, which the pattern photo does not show. It's a glitch, I guess. I'd recommend measuring the length required from the cut-out dress pieces and then adding your seam allowance.
Pleated and tacked.
I had a good time with the neck pleats. They look really neat, and the heavy fabric holds them well. I loosely tacked them with a zigzag stitch.
After I attached the outer neck piece.
Note that the bra straps are visible on Kat 2.0. Indeed, this requires a strapless bra (odd, for a plus-sized pattern). I'm wondering if I can get away with black straps, or maybe red...
The sleeves are meant to be a little short. I have normal length arms, but these sleeves sit awkwardly right above my wrists. I push them up towards my elbows for a better proportion.
Hem piece
After learning my lesson with the cuffs, I cut the hem longer, and essentially pressed it into a long bias tape so there would be no raw edges.
Inside of the hem. Neat.
Of course, I sewed in one of my labels. Meagan at work suggested that I should also get a bunch of labels that say '8', and just claim that's the size of all my clothes!
And I'm done! Very happy with the result. Two women came up to me today to touch my dress - a little odd, but the fabric does have a nice lustre... My gosh, it needs a belt though. I'm also a bit disconcerted by Burda Style referring to this as a mini-dress - I am the same height as their standard patterns, but this is a knee-length dress. Perfect for work though.


  1. And paired with the Nine West shoes? - excellent work all around!!

  2. Indeed.

    It's part of this theory I am working on, whereby I only have clothes and shoes of quality. I may well end up with less of them, but I will appreciate the ones that I've got, and feel as though I'm dressed appropriately for anything!

  3. You look fabulous in your fine looking dress! Very nicely constructed!

  4. Thanks! I feel as though I am finally constructing dresses to be proud of - instead of just muddling my way through the beginner patterns :-)


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