Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Pleated Dress, completed

As promised, here are some pictures of the completed pleated dress.

The fabric I used had an all-over print (feathers!), which made the pleating a bit hard to see in photos. Here is a close up, but it still doesn't show the details...I guess you had to be there!

After cutting out the front pattern and marking all the dart/pleats, I fused a piece of interfacing to the 'tab' area, to help give it a bit of support. I extended the interfacing to what would be the dart/pleat's center 'fold-line' on each side of the tab, so that when the pleats that create the tab are folded, the interfacing will fill the fold on each side of the pleat, to avoid a knife-sharp edge. However, pressing the pleat while it is basted created a pretty sharp fold there anyway!

Once the horizontal pleats are basted closed, I could then baste the 'dart' on each side of the tab. After basting the dart/pleat closed, I then sewed (permanent) again about .5" away from the basting, to close the dart/pleat permanently. You can see how the tab's dart legs on each side of the tab are now of equal length.

Since I decided to do an all-in-one facing, I block-fused some rough-cut interfacing to my fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces.

Here is the completed dress. So much for the lighting...

I really struggled with deciding what length to make this dress. I was encouraged to go shorter...so I did. I wasn't uncomfortable wearing it, but it is shorter than anything I have worn in a while. I don't generally wear high heels, as my DH is not much taller than I am and I don't want to tower over him.

Here is another close up...from the other side/angle.

You might have noticed that I did some contouring under the bust. Remember in my last post, when I did the muslin, I was aware of a bit of excess fabric under the bust and so, decided to move the Bust Points closer to the center? Well, as I said, that was not the solution...and it actually had a negative impact on the fit in the bust area! What I really needed to do was a bit of contouring under the bust.

Here is my front pattern. I have indicated where I made changes...in bold hot pink (although I DID shorten the dress 2"...that is not shown!)
Look closely at the front (vertical) waist darts.

Basically, first I located the level that was 5" below my Bust Point, then increased the width of the front waist dart between that 5" level and waist level...offsetting the dart leg on each side by .25". This removed an additional .5" on each side of the front... a full inch of fabric across the whole front. But, notice, the original waist dart was not a 'normal' dart to start with...it was not a '/\' shape. I had already drawn that dart straight up from the waist to a level that was 3" below the BP. This was done to provide some contouring, but apparently it was not enough.

In my design choices, I had selected a SIDE/WAIST POINT position of 1...which means I made the total width across the front pattern 1" larger at waist level than the total width across the back pattern at waist level. That turned out to be too much. Increasing the size of the front waist dart would be the equivalent of a SIDE/WAIST POINT position of .5...meaning the front pattern's waist measured .5" more than the back pattern's waist, instead of the 1" as before. Better.

For the lower end of the waist dart, I drew curve lines to blend with the original dart legs (full tummy).

On the full front pattern above, also notice the hot pink lines at the sideseams at hip level. I had to reshape those during fitting, removing about .25" on each side (front and back), which means I lost about 1" of hip ease. But THE POINT of the reshaping was to smooth the curves there. TAPERING the hem created a point on the sideseam that my body doesn't have! Perhaps the start of the tapering should begin at a level just below the hip...? I just used the TAPERED HEM choice...there is no HIP SHAPE adjustment available on the SHEATHS, as there is on the PANTS.

Using the Tapered Hem choice creates another problem...the tapering extends all the way to the hem, instead of stopping 2" ABOVE hem level and drawing straight side seams to the hem. The way it is drafted, when the hem is turned under, the cut/free edge of the hem is smaller than the circumference of the dress at that higher level... something I forgot to consider beforehand.

I drafted this dress at 40" long, but then decided to hem it 2" shorter...at 38".

Here is a back shot...not terribly flattering but you can see the kick pleat.

In both the front and the back necklines, there was a bit of gaping. This gaping was NOT there in the muslin, but I had not cut the neckline away (wider) on the muslin as I did on this 'real thing'. I forgot to compensate for the contouring of my shoulders, which are curved lower in the middle than on each end of the shoulder seam. While my books tell me that I should have lowered the shoulder end of the neck seam, I can't help but wonder if I should also have raised the arm end of the shoulder seam...like a see/saw! I know that makes no sense...but that is just how I think! :)
I did use the facing and lining patterns that I showed in my previous post. Here is the dress inside out on my paper-tape dress form:

Yes, it is wrinkled a bit from sitting/wear but not too badly. I LOVE wearing things that are lined in Bemberg Rayon!! It feels so luscious to the touch...my skin just loves it!
I *hope* my dress form has posture that is much worse than my own!?! Those shoulders are very uneven...I hope mine are not as bad NOW as they were then! But I suspect they are...


Sew4Fun said...

Fabulous, both you and the dress! You did a fantastic job drafting such a complex design.

Ursula said...

Very nice. It would make a great black dress too.

Marilyn said...

Looks great, as usual, Mrs. Smith. I wish I could be as detail oriented as you.

Kirsten said...

Great job Trish, thanks for posting details of what you do.

Trish said...

Thanks to all for the nice comments!

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