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.