Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sagittarius

 ... the sign of the centaur/archer.  
My new dress doesn't have a centaur, but it does have the next best thing... a horse!  Plus; the requisite bow.  And two arrow(head tab)s. 
Ha!  (mutters sotto voce) nailed it...  :D
This is made using pattern number 35, from Patrones 7, a magazine given to me by Merche in a little exchange we did last year; thanks Merche!  Cassie got to the magazine first and made this little top, and now I have something from it too  :)
Um, so the dress turned out very... retro, I think.  This was not the effect I was going for, btw.  I was going for modern and summery.  I think I got WW2 era and autumnal.  Slip on a handknit woolly cardigan, put flesh-coloured nylons on my pegs, sensible brogues or wellies on my feet and victory curls in my hair; and this is exactly the kind of ensemble my grandmother would have worn as a young Englishwoman in the 40's.  I didn't think the pattern "looked" retro when I picked it for my dress, in fact I thought it rather modern and timeless.  Funny thing.  Seriously I have no idea what happened, twixt design and execution, but something sartorially timewarp-y happened.
The fabric is a mustard silk crepe, originally from Tessuti's in Melbourne? I think?  I spray-printed a negative-space horse on the front skirt, and random spots all over the remainder of the dress pieces.  The dress is fully lined with silvery grey silk habotai from Fabulous Fabrics.  The greyness of the lining filled me with anxiety at first.  I could have got a perfect colour match if I'd chosen polyacetate lining but I had my heart set on silk habotai and grey was the least offensive choice.  I just went for it... and y'know? I've worn it a couple of times, and am so glad I did go with allover silk, because it is seriously sooo beautiful to wear!  We had 34C yesterday, and no kidding I felt like I was wearing nothing, the silk habotai is sheer heaven; divinely light-as-air and fluttery and slinkily gorgeous against the skin. 
Also; the colour.  (Sings) love it!  This project was an obvious contender for my swap, but I'm not going to count it since something else is going to be my one allowed thing before Christmas.  But of course the excellent thing is that both the colour and the style of the dress will fit in beautifully with my autumn wardrobe too.  And I can just enjoy wearing it on its own for now.  Yay!
The bodice is cut on grain, but the skirt pieces are cut on the bias.
Bias cut silk; for both dress and lining.  So yeah, ok; bias cut dresses look great and hang gorgeously, but they hog the fabric like nobody's business and make for a dang masochistic sewing project!  Now I remember why I only make these very occasionally  ;)
I sewed all seams as French seams, using strips of tissue paper to prevent those bias side edges from stretching out.  The closure is by invisible zip in the left side seam, and I stabilised the bias edge first by stitching a strip of the silk habotai selvedge to the seam allowance, like so.  Before hemming I left it hanging up for five days, and it was interesting that the bias didn't drop out very much.  But it did just a bit; just enough to reiterate the old rule of thumb; yes, always hang a bias cut garment for several days before hemming!
I hand-sewed the sleeves and lower hem in a narrow rolled hem, but I got lazy with the lining and just whizzed it up on the machine.  Not a total masochist, then!

83 comments:

  1. This turned out beautifully. The dress has so many interesting features - all fascinating and subtle at the same time. Silk habotai is my lining of choice as it's so beautiful to wear. I am intrigued about the colour - is it more like the beach photos or dress form photos in real life?

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    1. thanks Bernice! the colour is kind of halfway between the two, really. It really does kind of glow in the sunlight, as in the beach photos, but I was surprised at how "cold" it looks in the shade, in the photos on the dress form. I think I might of taken those ones in too low a light.

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    2. ...might *have*.... (sorry for dopey grammar)

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  2. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the color and would never have thought to make a dress in it...until now of course! WOW. I need to check out this magazine!

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  3. Stunning! Just stunning!
    Agree with the silk habitat too, use it in all my dresses, worth every penny.

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  4. It is really beautiful. I love the colour of the lining and I think you can't have a silk dress and not a silk lining. I think the dress is timeless and suits you beautifully.

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  5. Gorgeous work. I love the pattern you have used.

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  6. Oh my goodness, this dress really is so beautiful.

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  7. You're right, the dress does have a retro feel and it is seriously gorgeous!

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  8. The fabric came out great! And you placed it perfectly on the dress. Nicely done!

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  9. it does look timeless to me! beautiful dress, carolyn, just beautiful.. that color is so rich and intense and goes really well with your hair, and that beautiful blue backdrop (btw, that is exactly how i invision heaven on earth - colorful silk dresses to wear, fine sand under my feet, ocean and clear blue skies.. would add few cats and nikola to the picture, and then live happily ever after..)

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  10. I've been waiting to see what you do for my star sign and I love it. I love your bow and arrows! So fun. Such a lovely use of the horse fabric and I love that it has a slighty retro feel to it.

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  11. Lovely lady, dress, setting and first photo. A pleasure to look at, warm, gay, friendly ... !!!

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  12. Lovely Carolyn. It's a colour not many can pull off, of course you look gorgeous in it! Duh. I don't see the vintage thing though......

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  13. Oh, my, this is sooo beautiful! And you do look georgous in it, it suits you to a T.
    And maybe that is just the right dose of retro for you (personally, I just think it is completely timeless)?
    If I may ask: how do you wash the dress? The only thing that has so fark kept me from using silk for a lining ist the fact that I like to throw my dresses into the washing machine - I assume you would have to handwash anything that has a silk lining?

    Perfekt placement of the print, as well, btw.

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  14. The picture of you and Sienna facing the ocean is priceless. Your dress is gorgeous!!!!

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  15. I wouldn't have believed that your horse print could make such a great dress! I'm wondering if it's the tabs on the shoulders that give it a retro feel? Glad you love it all the same, it is lovely on you! And I'm determined to wear something all silk one day. It sounds like heaven!

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  16. Gorgeous! I love how you're manipulating fabric to make it your own prior to sewing it up into something fabulous!

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  17. Gorgeous beyond gorgeous! I agree, it does look retro, but not in a subtle way. :) It screams 'classy' more than anything else, I think.

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  18. Divine! This color looks so good on you and the dress loos so comfortable, lite, airy, perfect for hot summer days.

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  19. This is such a beautiful dress and it can be worn in all seasons!!

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  20. No contest, this is my favorite thing that you have ever shown here on your blog. You look like a goddess!

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  21. Very very beautiful..... the manipulating fabric and the pattern.
    LG
    Christine

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  22. So beautiful. I love the color.....
    Fru Purjo

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  23. oh this is stunning. I love the simplicity and elegance of this dress. The colour is beautiful. I love the thought of it being so light with the silk lining that you feel like you're wearing nothing. Hurrah for silk! :-)

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  24. Great dress! If you ever do want to make it look less vintage, I suspect replacing the underbust gathers with darts would do it. So happy to hear it's warm there, since my husband just headed over to Perth last night, After two weeks of phone calls about how cold it is in the East, maybe now he'll be warm?

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  25. Such a beautiful dress Carolyn! Are you a Sagittarius too - We are such great people!

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  26. Regular reader & infrequent poster stopping in to say that I fantasize about having an iota of your creativity & skill set. Wow - this may be my new favorite making of yours. It's absolutely amazing.

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  27. It is such fun to see what you do with each of your self-printed pieces of fabric. Beautiful dress, great color, especially against the impossible colors of your beach backdrop. And there's nothing quite like silk against the skin, don't you think?

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  28. This is art to wear. It is seriously gorgeous.

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  29. This is a wonderful dress. Love everything about it and hope you really enjoy it.

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  30. a bias skirt is always so pretty. very creative. that color is hard to wear but perfect on you.

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  31. I think classic or timeless would better describe your dress than retro. I love everything about it, from the horse to the color to the design to the fabric. A lot of women cannot wear that color, including me, but it works so well with your complexion and hair. It took me a while to see the horse, until you said it was negative. It works exceedingly well. What a wondrous creative endeavor. I know I sound a bit effusive, but I really do love this dress that much.

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  32. Gorgeous. You continue to amaze and impress!

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  33. It's beautiful! And yes, you totally nailed Sagittarius. :) I love your plays with the zodiac signs.
    I like the slightly retro, feminine silhouette on you.

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  34. I think it's timeless and utterly beautiful. (And the way your golden old pup just loves your company always brings a smile.)

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  35. Wow - you really such a super talented sewer. Not easy fabrics and all that careful work and preparation. Amazing. I don't know how you maintain your energy and focus, garment after garment. Such an inspiration.

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  36. It may not have been what you were going for, but it is really, really pretty. And now it can also be a three-season dress:)

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  37. I don't think it is vintage looking at all, it really suits you and has such a flow and ease from the photos, I can only imagine it is a joy to wear. Jo x

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  38. Everytime when I read Your blog I'm in heaven. For me, things You made are always so wonderful!

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  39. Beautiful dress and love the colour and that lining sounds divine!

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  40. This is a beautiful dress, and while it is different from your usual style, it is totally becoming on you. I like the retro style coupled with the surface design. Really pretty, Carolyn.

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  41. You are so courageous with your art - that is why you end up with such stunning garments.

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  42. Your dress and artwork are fabulous!!! It looks beautiful on you.

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  43. Art and fashion all rolled into a great dress.

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  44. Ahh I think this is so gorgeous - even if it IS more autumnal and retro than you were planning! I mostly think you look stunning and feminine in that slinky bias cut silk (agreed... such a pain, but is there anything better for making you feel like a WOAHman?) And I'm just tickled to see that horse again!

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  45. What a fabulous dress! I love the paint job you did. And the color is stunning on you. Really nice!

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  46. EVERY SINGLE ITEM YOU MAKE has name green with envy. You are an artist, a sewist, dressmaker, designer, and the list goes on. Oh, and quite lovely as well! Thank you for taking the time to share your talents. I am inspired by your creativity and skills.

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    1. Has ME green with envy. Sigh. I hate auto-correct!

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  47. This is so stunning, Carolyn, the color, fabric and design is amazing. You look stunning.

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  48. Beautiful as always! Your creations are always so original and perfect for you. How wonderful to know your own style and to nail it over and over in your projects! And that colour... I may have just swooned :)

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  49. Wow. You have outdone yourself on this one. Nailed it? Yes, ma'am. Now I have to go line my dress-in-progress, just that inspired!

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  50. Wow. This is gorgeous as always. The colour! The style! The printing! Lovely. Rachel :-)

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  51. Wow!!! Thanks for the tips on this dress...I am in the process of also making a dress with bodice cut on the grain and skirt cut on the bias and have been thinking for days on how to overcome the obstacles of this type of design. Your post comes in the niche of time!

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  52. Wow, what a beautiful creation. The colour suits you so well and your sewing skills are impeccable. Thanks for all the very helpful tips too.

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  53. This is really stunning! I love the treatment of the sleeves and your screen printing work always impresses. Thanks for your lovely comments on my daughter's formal gown.

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  54. That colour looks absolutely amazing on you.

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  55. This is gorgeous! Beautiful dress, beautiful colour and print...Ah! And beautiful you! :)
    I was watching the first photos and wondering whether it was cut on the bias as it looked so light and pretty. You nailed it again, Carolyn!

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  56. The color is so rich and beautiful. Looks lovely against the blue green ocean. I love seeing your painted/printed designs!

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  57. You nailed it again! Your fabric and pattern choices really can't be beat. I love the pattern you've chosen, and didn't get retro at all until you mentioned it. The color is stunning against the ocean!

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  58. You took the home sewing on a new level: not only do you make your own clothes, but you create a fabric for it as well! The result is amazing! Love everything about it!

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  59. It's beautiful, not quite 1940s though because the fabric print is more modern. I love all the details, the cap sleeves, the ribbob tie, the bias cut, and it looks comfortable and stylish at the same time. I think you will have lots of fun dressing the dress up or down depending on the ocassion.

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  60. I agree it's a bit of a retro shape but you can totally pull it off (I rather like a retro shape anyway). The colour and construction are beautiful.

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  61. It's a beautiful dress! I don't know what's best, the warm and happy color or the stunning horse. I love it in you and it feels indeed light and nice for summer. And I'm sorry, but I love that unintended vintage look. I think it's the collar shape and the bow that makes this.

    BTW, I'm hosting a give away. The prize is a pattern of your choice from Ravelry. You just have to leave a comment on my last post.

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  62. Amazing! Love the color, the horse motif, the cut... It suits you perfectly, too.

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  63. Looks wonderful! Amazing details:)

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  64. Yes, I can definitely see the 'retro' in it, but it TOTALLY suits you. I think it's gorgeous and even though it has a retro 'flair' it doesn't look costumey or like you were trying really hard to be from the 40s.

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  65. Really pretty. The horse is almost abstract. It took me a while to see it and then I was like "oh!! how cool!"

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  66. Beautiful. I agree it feels very forties but the print makes it so cool!

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  67. Gorgeous!!!! Love the print!!! When I first saw the picture, I thought it was a edited pic...what a cute dress and print! I love it!!!!

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  68. Oh, dear Carolyn ... I was so curious to see what you sew with this fabric ... the dress is gorgeous and it lives up to all the work that has behind it. So beautiful! Wonderful job!

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  69. That dress is wonderful, and I just love the printing you did of the horse. Magical.

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  70. Gorgeous dress! I think it's timeless - looks modern like this but could easily be dressed up for a retro look.
    Love the dog pics!

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  71. I was really interested to see what you would do with this fun fabric. It's beautiful. I love the neckline.

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