Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pattern Magic linked-front dress

A new dress...!
This is drafted from the Japanese pattern book Pattern Magic, by Tomoko Nakamichi.  Since mine is the Japanese version I don't know its translated name, but it is the design on p49.  There is a bit of a story behind this thing...
confession time:
This is the second version of this dress I have made; the first was an unmitigated disaster.  I was planning a three quarter length version using white chiffon (polyester-y stuff, so it was cheap, thank heavens) which I decided needed underlining as well as lining, because the seams would have shown through the fabric otherwise.  I won't bore you with the whole saga, just cut straight to the climax which was me heaving the whole thing in the bin during a bad case of sewing-rage one night.  I don't want to talk about it because it is still a painful memory... and if you're wondering... (wails) yeees! I do regret chucking it out!  After only a short bit of mulling it over, I realised how I could have solved the problem I was having and now wish I had not been so hasty, but as fate would have it the bin was picked up by the rubbish truck the very next morning while I was still in the "never want to even look at it again" mood.  Oh well.  C'est la vie.  I suspect I would have had plenty more issues with it to be honest, so maybe all was for the best...
This version is completely different.  I've had this teal silk jersey in my stash from about eighteen months ago, and I envisioned a quick, stretchy, Metalicus-like, pull-over dress with a full-ish skirt; no zips, no underling, no lining required.  Far less fuss!
I made a petticoat to go underneath, why?  Partly because the design has an extremely low neckline.  And also; well the dress in indoor or calm weather circumstances looks like the above, but in a stiff breeze like today...
Lol!  And just so you know, stiff breezes are veeeerry common where I live, and especially during spring.  Yaas, just one of the reasons why hairstyles here are very much au naturel...  The design is completely open at the front, and whilst it would be a simple matter to sew up the front skirt seam I decided I like the idea of the contrasting colour to be a strong part of the final look.
Now, I've mentioned this before, but it is worth saying again; Pattern Magic is not for the fainthearted who need step-by-step instructions.  You need to have pretty solid sewing knowledge on how to construct and finish a garment before you have a go at these designs.  The designs as they are in the book give no clue about things like facings, closures, tips on construction, even details like sleeves (to sleeve or not to sleeve, that is the question) are often left up to the individual seamstress/seamster.  So for the sake of clarity I will give some details below as to how I finished off this garment... so you can skip this if you want.


Details:
Dress; drafted from Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi, teal silk jersey
Petticoat; my own design, of yellow swimwear fabric (polyester? spandex?)
Sandals; Pedro Miralles, from Soletta shoes


I drafted and cut the front neckline edge facings as part of the fronts, and folded them to the inside of the dress so the shoulder edges sat wrong sides together...
I also drafted and cut the back bodice partly on a horizontal fold, with the fold at the back neckline... so the facing of the back bodice is part of the back bodice also.  It finishes about halfway down the back bodice.  This saved having to finish off the back neckline, and also allowed me to enclose the front shoulder edges within the back shoulder edges in a nice clean close-in seam... see, the neckline has no seaming showing!  (self high five)
I felt pretty chuffed when this bit worked out OK.
I drafted a sleeve using a Tshirt I already had; that green internal stitching you see above is the sleeve set-in.  The only topstitching on this garment are the sleeve hems.  These were simply twice folding in 1cm and topstitching with a zig-zag stitch.  The bobbin thread is black while the topstitching thread is blue; and yah, I'm okay with that.
The petticoat is self-drafted, based partly on Tshirts I already had, as well as pinning and fitting to myself.  The bright yellow stretch fabric I used for the petticoat is actually swimwear fabric; so theoretically, on a hot day I can just flop in the pool in it!   It is a lot thicker than the turquoise silk jersey.  After experimenting with a few finishings for the neckline and armhole edges, I eventually settled for serging the edges to stabilise and then folding to the inside once and topstitching slowly with a wide zig-zag stitch, being careful not to stretch the fabric at all.  All the other seams are overlocked.
The lower hems on both dress and petticoat are not finished because these fabrics will not unravel or fray.  I just cut the fabric as straight and as smoothly as possible.

42 comments:

  1. wow! i love the dress. it looks so good. and thanks for all the details of how you made it. I have an e-version of Pattern Magic I (in japanese) and a hard copy of Pattern Magic II (in English) but yet to sit down and do one pattern,

    As you rightly said it would need some serious time to get about doing it, this dress of yours has inspired me to do so, but i guess it will have to wait for 1 more month as of have Sew Skirt September scheduled all month long on Adithis Amma Sews. But definitely the first thing after Sew Skirt September!

    Adithi's Amma from Adithis Amma Sews

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  2. Wow, I love this dress! The colours are so perfect together (I love teal). I've never really thought about owning this book but now I'm beginning to wonder as you make so many lovely things from it :)

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  3. Wow, that is GORGEOUS, Carolyn. The colors are so sophisticated and unexpected. The fit is amazing. WOW, you have outdone yourself.

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  4. This is brilliant - the colours, the combination, the craftsmenship, everything!! Love it. You look georgeous wearing it.
    Loved the granny-square skirt, too, by the way.
    You've got excellent sewing skills, I'm dead envious.

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  5. This is stunning Carolyn, I love your colour combo/ clash. I will say this again ...you are soooo talented .

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  6. That's one amazing dress, the colours are stunning and you look gorgeous. The slip was a great idea, although I'm sure you'd have made lots of friends without it ;)

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  7. Your contrasting petticoat is just fabulous. Twist tops are all around, but your funky take on it is very original.

    I have yet to try a pattern magic project. I think my first will ba copy of dress with hole cut out and gathered at the waist, as I keep thinking about it.

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  8. OH WOW WOW WOW! First: Love the colour of the two together.. it's just so spring/summer and perfect. The knot detail at the front is great.
    Shame about the thrown out first dress. I've had a couple moments like that where it just *happens* to be bin day the next day and yep, never get it back.
    And that's what I DONT miss about Perth - the wind!!! It's so nice to go out and about and not have to brush my hair all the time!
    PS: Got a nice men's l/sleeve shirt for hubby from the op shop for $2 but cause he has long arms, had to cut the sleeve to make it short sleeve... BOY that was a pain.. kinda winged it but turned out decent in the end. :)

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  9. Love this!!! You certainly have the ideas and talent for design. I find this dress very inspirational...

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  10. That's a totally awesome dress! So pretty, and I love the color contrast under-dress! :)

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  11. That colour combination is fantastic and I love how the teal dress can 'surprise' with the flash of the petticoat. I think I like this the most of all I have seen so far! And why wouldn't you want to jump in the pool fully dressed some hot days in Perth!

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  12. double WOW! I love the design and the color combo.

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  13. Just wonderful! What a great idea to layer one over the other and love your color choices.

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  14. What a beautiful outfit! You should have someone precede you with a wind machine all day long, so that the fabric is always flowing to show off the two colours! Gorgeous.

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  15. The dress looks stunning. The colour contrast if fab. I was lucky enough to recently win an english version of this book in a giveaway and it arrived yesterday. I was looking at that dress. You make it look very wearble and versatile. Love it. x

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  16. I love the colors and the twist in front, the slip dress is pretty enough on it own too!

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  17. You could design your own line of clothing. You are so talented! I love the artsy, quirkiness of the color combination and the open front. Also, the orange shoes are fab!

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  18. Absolutely gorgeous! LOve the colors and it looks amazing on you.

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  19. Great color combination...I love it!

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  20. lovely! Your projects are making me think I'm going to have to get this book. (The newly available English version certainly helps the cause)

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  21. So beautiful, and once again a fantastic photo composition. Love the color combo and the teal on you. OK this has decided me, I must get this book!

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  22. This is BEAUTIFUL! I love your color choices and you look fantastic in it!

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  23. Beautiful dress! I'm going to have to try it one day! Thanks for the construction tips.

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  24. I love this bold flowing dress on you. Great use of colors and excellent job on the construction.

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  25. The colours in this are amazing. Such a perfectly constructed outfit.

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  26. I liked the look of that dress in pm as well. It looks stunning in the colours you have chosen.

    I have recently had one of those uh oh sewing moments but mine has been shoved in the cupboard for reinvention....its day is coming!

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  27. This dress looks so good. The twist design and the contrast underdress are an amazing combination, how clever of you.

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  28. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Love the colour, love the contrasting petticoat. I'm also in a fit of sewing rage induced hatred of my current project. I have resisted throwing it out and and will endeavour to fix it... but I know how you felt. Brilliant work.

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  29. Love this dress, the color, the style, love it all!

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  30. Really really interesting - you're rocking the whole colour blocking thing and making something very practical to boot. I love your colour choices - everything about this - including the styling for the shoot - is really amazing. Note to self: must try harder!

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  31. This is BEAUTIFUL, Carolyn. My favorite of your creations, yet!

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  32. Wonderful dress. And the color is awesome - as blue as the sky on the pictures. Great work!

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  33. What a wonderfully elegant dress! Just beautiful!

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  34. Wow, this is such an eye catcher! I love the color combo you chose, one of my favorites. The draft is just gorgeous, love the knot on the front. Well done, as per usual!

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  35. This may have be my new favorite of your outfits. I love the color combo & the style. The fact that you get can pushed into the pool with no ill effects can be beat either ;-)

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  36. Gorgeous, I love the duller colours on you but this colour looks fabulous on you too!

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  37. This dress combo looks beautiful on you! You're gorgeous in those colors!

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  38. Love this! The color combination is so cheery and fabulous--it'll be perfect for spring! (Feels weird to say that since I'm going into fall, haha.)

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  39. Carolyn - you've joined the colour revolution too! Simply sensational.

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  40. Oh my goodness! I missed this completely when you first posted it, but I caught a glimpse of it through Alessa of Farbenfreude´s fall moodboard, and I am stunned! This is so well done and pretty! I adore it!

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