Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wave-y orange welts

I made a little sundress.
First impressions are that this is just a very plain little thing with minimal detailing.  Note ... first impressions.   The apparent plain-ness is intentional because I wanted for the one and only detail to stand out big-time; those wave-y pocket welts (my own added feature), which took a little bit of working out and of which I am inordinately proud.  Why? well they are not just decorative, but functional; and happily situated over satisfyingly HUGE pockets. 
I have to say, one of the (many) reasons I like to sew for myself is so that I can add pockets to things... silly?  maybe, but a practical sort of silly, which is OK in my book.
I'm very pleased with how those wave-y welts turned out.  I was directly inspired by this Christopher Kane dress (at right) with those wonderfully wave-y details.  The pocket welts and collar on this dress are heat-sealed plastic filled with gel of a satisfyingly toxic shade of nuclear-waste green.  Love it!  However since gel-filled plastic is currently beyond the capabilities of my little sewing room I just tried to reproduce the look in fabric.
The dress is all made using leftover fabric scraps, and the wave-y welts were basically me experimenting and playing about which happily worked out just how I'd hoped.  The dress fabric is sea-foam green linen, the leftover bit from the shirt I made for my husband here.  I was sooo glad there was a little bit of leftover, since I had been such a good wife-y, making him a shirt and all.  I thought I deserved to keep this little bit for my own devious purposes, mwahaha.  And the pocket welts are of the leftover fabric from my burnt orange skirt, here.  The facings and pocket linings are of baby blue cotton, a biggish piece from my stash that is not a colour beloved by nor even suited to anyone in my family; but has still been incredibly useful.  It is getting eaten away slowly but surely for little things like this...


Later edit: I wrote a how-to on making those wave-y welt pockets here.  Thank you for showing an interest!




Details:
Dress; based on Burda 8511, sea-foam green linen with burnt orange raw silk pocket welts
Shoes; Country Road

The dress is loosely based on an old favourite Burda 8511, and the pockets and welts are my own added feature.  This dress pattern is a very useful one, that I have used several times, but it has a fairly form-fitting silhouette that cannot accommodate pockets.  So I flared out the skirt part of the dress slightly, so that shoving my hands down deep into those pockets is both possible and comfortable.  Just this small detail alone is deeply satisfying...  I also altered the depth and length of the back darts to make the dress a more flattering fit to my shape.  Namely, because I have a slight sway-back, I generally make the back darts deeper and lower, and because I also have a narrow torso I take in the side seams in the upper torso region as well.  These are my standard fitting alterations for this pattern.
All the internal raw edges are finished with HongKong seaming and the lower hem is finished with a wider cut strip of bias.  Little secret; that bias hem strip is not just there as a quality dressmaking finish, but pretty well necessary in this case... This dress was cut from such a small scrap, the amount of actual dress fabric in that hem is about 5mm!

31 comments:

  1. Love the pocket detail, how did you make them?
    Great finishes. Great

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  2. The pockets are great! Mind explaining how to do them? And no- adding pockets is NOT silly :P

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  3. I LOVE your giant ric-rac pockets!!! How whimsical and fun!

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  4. another great idea. Yes I totally agree it is only fair that you made that dress just as it is only fair that you use his shirts to also make your dresses !
    Good luck to your son with his year 12 exams - my daughter is only doing 2 since she is Year 11 but I will be so glad when it is over -she is a bit of a stresshead currently.

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  5. Great dress and use of leftovers. Love those pockets. It sort of reminds me of the dresses my Nana made me as a kid (in a good way). It will be a very practical addition to your wardrobe I am sure.

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  6. This is beyond cute. So creative and chic. L.O.V.E.....it!

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  7. I love it ! Great colours together and perfect cut.

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  8. Very clever indeed! The pockets are fabulous, you clever, clever girl.

    Nice piece of linen. I hope to I get sew my linen up soon:(

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  9. I'd love to see how you did that! So cool! The color combination is perfect.

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  10. This is perfect. The colour contrast, the simple lines of the dress and the fabulous, fabulous pocket wavy thing (technical term here). I love it. It looks beautifully young and fresh and I wish I was the right shape to copy it.. um make a version inspired by it instantly. Maybe my daughter wants one...... Your photos look like a summer holiday.

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  11. Those wavy welts are so much fun, it makes me wonder why Burda made them atonal in the sample dress?

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  12. meli88a; the welts and pockets are my own design and are are not part of the pattern...

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  13. Shame on me for not reading closely! Would you believe it, I clicked on and looked at each photo of the pockets very closely to try to understand the construction, but I shouldn't have let them distract me from your description and source inspiration.

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  14. The welts are fab! I love the zing of orange against the light blue, and the whimsy of giant ricercari.

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  15. What a great way to add a graphic pop of colour to a "simple" dress! Love it!

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  16. Superb! you have really knocked it off! any tips on how to recreate them, my daughter loves pockets and i am sure she would heart this wavy one!

    BTW my deepavali outfit can be viewed HERE - simple Churidhaar Kameez with shawl

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  17. A wonderful dress carolyn, indeed perfect for summer. Your wave pockets are really interesting - in a good way

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  18. I love that this gives the illusion of simple (we know better!) and unique at the same time. I'm jealous of your sunny weather, it has been cold and rainy here...

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  19. I love the pockets! And I also love that your entire dress is made of leftovers.

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  20. Oh, I love this. I really like your designs (or interpretation of designs), they always have this certain twist that make the clothes unique and beautiful. You're a very talented lady!

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  21. I love your dress! thank you for the blog link, i'm going to have a read now.

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  22. Wonderful! Those orange welts are magnificent.

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  23. I really love how you have taken a simple dress and lifted it into designer territory with your wonderfully creative, perfectly executed, pockets and welts. Great job!!

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  24. So sweet, I like it a lot! And that inside is so clean!

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  25. Big pockets with orange ric-rac. I love it! The orange really looks fab and makes the dress so much better than just a white shift.

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  26. Love love love the orange welts. Very Mary Quant.

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  27. Wavey welt pockets - I take my hat off to you! It's a great dress and it'll be perfect for summer.

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  28. Wow, really cute pockets there! This looks like a super comfy fun sundress! I just love linen.

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  29. What a fun dress! I love the welts and I love the "prettiness" of all the interior finishing. Very pretty!

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