Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Bad Boy Dress is Ready to Go

This Burda 08/09 #113 was made from a panne velvet fabric that acted like a bad boy the entire time that I was sewing. I even used a roller foot. The foot helped but the fabric was still a challenge. When I wasn't fighting the fabric, I was fighting the confusing Burda instructions. In the middle of this "exciting" experience, some thread got caught in the bobbin case. Big Bertha (my Bernina) simply refused to move along the fabric. Naturally, I thought it was the fabric, the needle or the tension. I nearly panicked. I finally tried to sew on some cotton and, of course, it didn't sew any better. I even rethreaded and didn't notice the caught thread. I didn't see it until I tried different thread as a last ditch effort before taking it to the dealer. Of course, my machine is due for her annual check-up, but not in the middle of making a dress! When I saw the problem I felt so STUPID. There were so many times that this dress almost went into the waste bin. Now that the pain and suffering has subsided I do like the dress and plan to wear it to a concert next week. After looking at the picture, I don't like the tights and shoes with it. I look too much like an old maid school m'am. (Note: I'm referring to the dowdy look. I know a number of single school teachers who look quite chic.) The major difficulty that I had with the Burda instructions were the direction for attaching the facing. I did read Dawn's blog where she just eliminated them and added stretch elastic for support. I planned to do that until I started working with the bad boy panne velvet. It just didn't hang smoothly and got bunchy and ucky looking. Sooo I went back to studying the directions for facings and, finally figured them out. At least, I think I did and was able to attach the facings. Here is the bodice before the facings are attached. There is a lining piece that is sewed right sides together to the front section and turned inside out before attaching the side fronts. I used a stretchy knit fabric that did work well. The center front section is gathered.

Here the facings are attached to the back, sleeve, and side front in the standard manner,
I sewed a piece of seam binding to the front edge to control those gathers. I would have preferred to use stretch lace but only had red and bright blue colors (ugh for this dress). I then folded the front edge level with the facings and hand stitched to the lining.
After attaching the bodice and skirt, I started to sew the casting for the elastic at the waist. Fortunately, I did a "try-on". Sewing the elastic where Burda said created a muffin top and made me look like someone from Alice in Wonderland (can't remember the character's name). Anyway, it looked ridiculous. I did remember Carolyn's wise words: just because the pattern says to do it one way doesn't mean you can't do it differently. I put the casting and elastic below the waist and on the skirt rather than the top. Yep! It's done and ready to go. The blood (from pin pricks), sweat, and tears didn't even stain it!

Since I finished this dress, I made a pair of pullon pants and the HP Sunshine top that I'll post about when I get pictures. Today I traced the pattern for a pair of shorts. It was 80 degrees and I was ready to wear them. I certainly was not in the mood to sew the wool skirt that is cut out and ready to sew. Who knows - We could have temperatures in the 30s next week! Meanwhile, I'm dreaming of Spring and Summer and all the great new patterns out there. My February Burda even came today with several tempting garments crying to be made.


gwensews said...

Woohoo, way to go Rosie! You tackled that bad boy! That's a very nice looking dress. I love an animal print--grrrrrr, dah-ling! Nice sewing!

Angelia said...

Alot of drama!! but you have a very nice dress! I would pair it with some stylish black boots!!if FL's not to warm for boots..

Becky said...

Laughing at the name given to this dress-- it looks great, though. Way to persevere through it!

Anonymous said...

This dress looks amazing on you!! Everything is 'spot' on (sorry - couldn't resist!).