Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Monique Dress

I'm pleased to report that spring has officially arrived! And not only is my Easter dress done - weeks ahead, mind you - the retreat I was directing at my parish is also over. I'm not completely done, of course (you never are), but most of the work with the retreat is finished and hopefully I can spend more of my free time on sewing and maybe I might even quilt something. (Gasp!) I finished the Monique dress this weekend. Based on the muslin I made, I wanted to lower the bodice, so I lengthened the front "straps" of the dress bodice pattern by an inch and a quarter:
You can see where I lengthened the front bodice piece and front neckline pattern piece. Once I got it all together (with the exception of the arm facings), I tried it on and discovered that rather than drop the front bodice down an inch and a quarter, my alterations had pushed the shoulder seam to the back about an inch. I tried it on while Vicki was over, and she suggested that I simply lengthen the bodice about 2 inches at the bottom of the bodice so that the waistband would actually sit at my waist. I agree, and I'll do that next time. The dress as it is, with my experimental alterations, doesn't look bad, so I'll wear for Easter. I made up the dress in a Jane Sassman fabric that I got in Dolyestown, PA.
The light was bad when I photographed the dress, plus the wind wasn't cooperating. This photo doesn't do the fabric justice, so click on the link above to see what it should look like. I'll try to get Aimee to take a photo when I wear it so you can see what it looks like on. I did find a very cute white cardigan sweater to wear with it because at this time of year, it can always be a bit chilly. I'll be wearing this to the Easter Vigil Mass, which won't start until 8:00 pm, so I know I'll need the sweater.

Of course, nothing ever goes smoothly, as I discovered when I attempted to put on the arm facings. While I had altered the front neck facing to reflect my pattern alteration, I had neglected to do the same to the front arm facing. As Vicki would say, "Duh."

Tonight, having a rare evening with nothing planned, I decided to make my silk dress a silk skirt. The bodice was really too tight, and I have been wearing it with a turtleneck sweater over it, so I wouldn't have bust-revealing issues. With spring here, I really wanted to make it an elastic skirt. I love the silk and I love the colors of it.

Normally I avoid refashioning. It seems to be so much more of a PITA than new construction. Probably because I am operating without instructions and there always seems to be unforeseen issues. : )

But I thought this should be fairly straight forward. I cut the bodice off, slipped the skirt over my hips to make sure it would fit, and then put in an elastic waist. But when I tried it on , it wouldn't go over my thighs. Sign. An unforeseen issue. I don't know why this happened and I don't want to find out. There is no way I'm going to take a measuring tape to my backside. Instead, I discovered that it will slide on just fine as long as it goes over my head. Problem solved:

One aggravation: the elastic is twisted inside the casing despite my best efforts. I hate it when the elastic gets twisted. But as bad I hate it, I hate resewing even more, so twisted it shall stay. The twisting will not deter my wearing this skirt all summer - it's light and cool and the silk is already showing signs of wear, so I need to enjoy it now, before the silk breaks down completely. This will be a one season garment.

Parting shot: I've been baking bread like Loy taught me. It has been awesome!


Vicki W said...

The dress turned out great! Have you made your Easter bonnet?

Deb Levy said...

The dress turned out great!

Every now and then I toy with going back to garment sewing, but then I soon regain my senses :>)

gwensews said...

That's a lovely Easter dress. The print is remincent of Jacobean crewel designs, with pomegranates the main flora. Very nice!

Audrey said...

What a pretty easter dress! I love Jane Sassman's quilts. It is neat to see her designs in fabrics. Those were such pretty colored silk fabrics you used in the silk dress I am glad you were able to refashion it into a skirt.

Summerset said...

Love the dress - very pretty and spring!

Isabelle said...

I simply adore the Monique dress!! Oh dear. Want!!
You always create the most inspiring garments.

Good thinking on the skirt, too. You'll probably get much more wear out of it this way :)