Oh, let's open with a picture of the only crepe paper flower I've managed to make this summer. It's so pretty!
And on to one of the most interesting projects I've undertaken lately - Marcy Tilton's French Apron Dress. I bought the pattern when it came out and have kind of ignored it ever since - because I knew in my heart that any attempt would require a lot of tweaking and fitting.
So right. I've put about 20 hours into this, it's finished, and I mean it's finished!! But it has some good parts. As we go forward, please know that this is a muslin. I used scrap fabrics (but all are poly ITY jersey), and tried to keep the color and print palette within reason.
The front. Great inserts and pockets.
I was a little concerned about how well the upper front would support the weight of the attached middle front (striped fabric). I didn't want a big dip! So I stabilized it with a strip of knit fusible. In fact, I did the same for many areas that might otherwise sag: top edges of pocket pieces, necklines, and the pivot corner that supports the pocket and middle front.
I also underlined the upper front and upper back to add stability. Not wanting to add weight, I used a very light burnout jersey. An added benefit - it has only 2-way stretch (horizontal), which counteracts the 4-way stretch of the dotted ITY.
The back - way easier than the front!
I love the placement of the upper back insert - it's very graceful.
A few sewing notes:
- I sewed the size Large, but should have used the Medium. I bought the pattern before my breast surgery last year, and I'm lots smaller now - went from a C cup to an A. The pattern sizing is XS-M and L-XXL - I had to pick one.
- The pattern has a shoulder tab, from which the front and back are suspended. It's kind of like an epaulet, and I left it off completely. Thank you, Fabric Princess, for this idea, which lifts the armhole and makes it work for a sleeveless dress.
- It also has huge facings for the armholes and back neckline. Not. I just used binding on the neckline and armholes.
- Sort of true to the 'apron' name, the front and back middle pieces are pleated into the upper pieces. A totally lost design element. I just gathered mine.
- This dress is crazy voluminous below the waistline. I removed quite a bit from the lower back side seam:
- My view of the multi-piece/contrast lower front is that it's just too much going on...I drafted it as one piece.
- I also evened out the back hem, so it doesn't look like a mistake.
- I made my dress to be midi-length, because I wanted to be able to play around with it. I'm not fond of my midi length, but a maxi might look good. In fact, I like the look on the envelope, with leggings and a tee (both patterns are included, a nice touch). It would be cute with high-shaft boots, a turtleneck, a scarf. But this is Florida!!
OK, one pic on me...
I'll probably leverage this project and borrow my favorite elements for a tunic to wear over leggings this winter. Eventually. It really was fun to sew - the fabric and seam management were challenging, and it sure kept me out of trouble.
Thanks for such a useful post,Coco. And for the record the dress looks great!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for the details of this project. I will definitely refer to your helpful hints. And it looks quite chic on you, not cutesy at all.ReplyDelete
I like this dress on you! I appreciate the in depth review of the pattern changes.ReplyDelete
Well, very nice make of this! I must admit, I'm just not a Tilton fan. I made the french house dress, it was cute, the pockets kind of silly , they catch on everything and I find the sizing just plain strange. This one works beautifully for you though. I like the fabric combo!ReplyDelete
Love the combination of fabrics and looks perfect on you!ReplyDelete
This is a "muslin" ??!! Too cool to be a muslin.ReplyDelete
Wow, that's lovely. I think that you are right about fabric choice - and you have definitely made sure that you have stayed away from the cutesy. It looks great, and even more so as a muslin!ReplyDelete
I too bought this pattern ages ago and have sort of ignored it. I'm glad you rediscovered yours and showed us what it looks like and the changes you made, which I think make the dress better. Never a muslin Coco, a very wearable garment.ReplyDelete
I love your version of this pattern. This dress looks great on you! I like your ITY knit combinations and they worked well together.ReplyDelete
A very good muslin indeed! Enjoyed reading this post (and all your posts) because you let us know all you did to get the results you do. Like this very much.ReplyDelete
I think this is a super dress with some lovely design features. It looks great on.ReplyDelete
You have been sewing alot of cool pieces lately and they all look great on you.ReplyDelete
You did a great job combining fabrics, the dress turned out really cute with a designer look. And I love your dolls. :)ReplyDelete
I like to make paper flowers. It has come out good. Your hands have done magic and the output is a good design dress.ReplyDelete
Love this dress on you! You did a fantastic job!ReplyDelete
Your make looks great on you. I've this pattern too, but never made it. I like the changes you've made, especially the strap removal! And such a great combination of fabric colors and prints. I think you've inspired me to give it a go, Coco.ReplyDelete
Coco, this is really cute! I could image it was challenging putting those pieces together...almost like a puzzle! The end result is so worth the effort though!ReplyDelete
Wow - I'm overwhelmed by all the nice comments! Thank you all so much :-)ReplyDelete
I really like your interpretation of this pattern. I am getting ready to start my own and you have given me permission to stray from the design. Thanks! Your version is awesome and I like it far better than the original. That long column of print in the back has really got me thinking........ReplyDelete