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Topic: My surplice-front, black & silver knit birthday wrap dress!  (Read 5253 times)
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squirrellypoo
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« on: March 27, 2006 05:00:07 AM »

It's becoming a bit of a habit now that I make myself a special outfit to wear on my birthday... Last year it was a cami with red pleather trim for my pub-going foray, and this year it's a rather classier surplice-front wrap dress using New Look 6429 and some black jersey I got at Walthamstow Market for 1 a metre.

I must confess, I wasn't that sold on this fabric when I bought it, but now seeing it as a dress, I love it a little more each time. I'm not a flowery person, but I think the silvery flowers look rather Art Deco so that makes them okay in my book, and since they're painted with metallic silver paint, they catch the light and sparkle really subtly:



The pattern itself was voted really highly by patternreview.com so I was expecting a straightforward pattern and I wasn't disappointed. I usually need to alter everyhing to account for my boyish waist, but because of the stetch in the jersey, this dress was absolutely fine in the waist. The only area I needed to alter was the sleeves - I'm no cro-magnan, but apparently somebody at New Look thinks a size 18 dress requires TINY arms. Really, I had to increase the upper am width by 4-5 inches, and the sleeve length by another 3-4 (though I went a bit further because I really like sleeves that end over my hands).

The cool thing about this pattern is that there's no side seams at all, and the back of the dress comes together at a point just above your bum, and it's just SO flattering when it's on. And because it's knit, it just feels like you're wearing a giant teeshirt even though you're sitting in a fancy restaurant for your birthday. Smiley

So, umm, without further ado, here's the finished product:





And the best part is, I got a dressmaker's dummy for my birthday after wanting one for ages and not getting one for christmas, so making another couple of these is going to be even easier! Cheesy
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2006 05:33:26 AM »

Congratulations on your birthday.
You look really stunning in that dress!
Gr,
BeaG
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2006 07:07:16 AM »

That dress is gorgeous you look beautiful in it. Great job
happy birthday
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2006 07:10:11 AM »

Ooh! I like the fabric and the dress style. Very nice, you look great. Happy b-day, though prolly belated.
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2006 08:20:02 AM »

Happy belated birthday!  what day is your birthday?  I recently celebrated a birthday as well...
you did a great job on the dress...
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2006 08:55:38 AM »

They dress looks great.Thanks for the info. on that pattern,I would have just passed it up,but it looks stunning on you!
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2006 09:40:44 AM »

looks really smart i hope you went some where nice
happy birthday btw
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bubbledragon
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2006 10:05:11 AM »

You know, that dress looks so fabulous on you, and you gave such a good review of the pattern that I'm going to take a leap and try it myself!  I used to love little knit dresses, so this will be great!  Thank you so much for showing off your skills!

~bubbles
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Merry Harridan
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2006 10:23:01 AM »

Great job, and it looks really good on you.  I can't wait to try that pattern.
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LRS
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2006 10:23:48 AM »

Squirrellypoo,

You always do great work.  That dress is perfect for you.  Even WNTW would approve.  I believe wrap dresses are flattering on everyone and you've got a beauty.  

You've just pushed me over the edge - I'm going to make a DVF-type dress soon.  I think there's a Burda WOF pattern that will do it.  

Thanks for posting your photos.  Did you put up a review on PR?

LRS
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2006 10:24:46 AM »

That is one hot dress! Classy and sexy at the same time! Well done, birthday girl!  Grin
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squirrellypoo
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2006 10:39:59 AM »

ooh, thanks for the compliments and birthday wishes everyone! My birthday was on Saturday (March 25) and I turned 27, which I'm told (by my housemate) is a very good year. Though now I feel like a wine...

You always do great work.  That dress is perfect for you.  Even WNTW would approve.  I believe wrap dresses are flattering on everyone and you've got a beauty. 
Oh, that Trinny & Susanna, they'd probably say it's too old for me or something. I like watching them sometimes but half the time they make me want to scream!

I did lie a bit, though - it's only a mock wrap dress because it's all sewn up the side. But as far as I'm concerned that's actually better because it means the flap won't get blown open by the wind as I walk to work...

Quote
You've just pushed me over the edge - I'm going to make a DVF-type dress soon.  I think there's a Burda WOF pattern that will do it. 
ooh, which issue? I can get current issues at Borders, and I just found a good back issue supplier in Upminster, too.

Quote
Did you put up a review on PR?
yup. I lurk on there all the time but this is the first time I've ever posted a review, though I might go back and review some of the ones I've done before, especially since the 1930s-style ballgown I made last fall only has one review and no photos, which just doesn't do the pattern justice...

And I'd like to add that I've finished padding out my dressform now, so it's looking like a shotgun victim (from all the fiberfill and ace bandages) with a fashion sense (I tied a pink ribbon around where my jeans waist is!).
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butterflygirl
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2006 10:52:41 AM »

That is such a good idea to make yourself something special for your birthday! I might have to do that myself. I love your stuff and that dress is really gorgeous, I really must look out my Prima wrap dress pattern, I've got some nice black jersey with self-coloured squares I got in a 50p bundle at Abakhan which might just do it.
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McJulie-O
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2006 02:04:33 PM »

You've inspired me as well! Love the look of this, and I've got some stretchy knit I've been wanting to try. Thanks!
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2006 10:50:06 AM »

Happy belated birthday!  I love that dress, you have inspired me to try and make it! I stopped in at fabricland  to find the pattern, but I forgot who made it when I got there.  I have a vintage wrap dress pattern from the eighties, but the picture on the front is scaring me too much to try and make it.  I think it is the shoulder pads. 
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2006 03:24:22 PM »

That dress looks so fabulous on your figure!   Cheesy

I have this awesome red jersey with dark red flowers on it that is BEGGING to be used.....and it looks like this pattern might actually work with my shape too!

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2006 12:06:05 AM »

OOOH!! I really love that dress! Great pattern and fabric choices!
Glad you had such a nice birthday! Smiley I passed 27 a while back *cough*.
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kreenzart
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2006 11:37:51 PM »

beautiful, and great info on the pattern- it's nice to feel special on your day!
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2006 02:52:44 PM »

absolutely cute as a button with personality...  let me ask a *dumb* question though-- when sewing with knit fabrics does one need to use a serger?    cause i sure as sh*t don't own one!
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2006 06:24:25 PM »

I will add to your *dumb* question Gretchen28!  Is there any tricks to sewing with knit fabrics?  Because I bought the pattern and am going to try it out, but I just had a flashback of sewing with jersey, - it was a horrible scrunchy mess.  I think I pulled on it too much.   
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2006 11:03:36 AM »

These aren't dumb questions at all - you'll never learn anything if you don't ask! Smiley

absolutely cute as a button with personality...  let me ask a *dumb* question though-- when sewing with knit fabrics does one need to use a serger?    cause i sure as sh*t don't own one!
Nope, you don't need a serger (I'm proof, I don't have one!!). A serger will just neaten up the fabric edges, which you can finish with pinking shears or a zigzag stitch over the edge if you've just got a regular machine. I can't be bothered with the latter, so it's just my trusty ol' pinking shears for me.

I will add to your *dumb* question Gretchen28!  Is there any tricks to sewing with knit fabrics?  Because I bought the pattern and am going to try it out, but I just had a flashback of sewing with jersey, - it was a horrible scrunchy mess.  I think I pulled on it too much.   
Yes, there are tricks, and believe me, I've had my own special horror with stretchy fabrics before someone told me:

1) Use a narrow zigzag stitch everywhere where you'd normally use a straight stitch. This allows the stitching to stretch with the fabric and not break
2) DO NOT STRETCH THE FABRIC AS YOU SEW! This is a great way to get horrible puckers when the fabric isn't stretched.

And, umm, that's about it. Burda World of Fashion magazine always has a little corner in the instructions area talking about stretchy fabrics if you want particulars (like using twill tape on shoulder seams, reinforcing zipper, etc) but if you follow the two tips above you'll be sewing stretchies like a champ in no time!
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