Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lekala 4352, Summer Linen Dress

Lekala 4352 in fuchsia linen

This is my "wow" dress for the summer.  
Wow - I finished it.
Wow - I did it.
Wow - It fits.
Wow - I wore it for a special dinner with my husband's company.

The outdoor photos were shot at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Hotel in sunny Southern California.  My pint sized photographer was a little grumpy after a day of travel and his desire to stay on a very comfortable bed.  Mom twisted his arm and got a few photos, but the dress back and some details were not photographed.

My Pinterest board for Sewing Inspiration is full of items I would love to sew.  Sadly, most will never find their way to my sewing room.  This black dress with an interesting neckline did make it to the sewing room.  Let me tell you about it......

Modcloth dress I pinned on Pinterest and fell in love with.

Line drawing for Lekala 4352

Lekala 4352
Lekala is a new Russian pattern company.  You input your measurements and they email you a PDF pattern to fit.  I was very skeptical of this whole idea, but figured I would fit it once I had all the pattern pieces.  Well, I was shocked when the whole dress fit.  I did add a little fabric to the left bust line, because I am a little thicker on the left side and it showed in the muslin I made. Also, my shoulder slope was tweaked just a little, but I didn't make any other changes.

Red line shows how much I added to the left side bust line.
Dress muslin

A few notes on the pattern.......
1.  This is not a beginner pattern.
2.  Essentially there are no directions.  The few that are printed are very difficult to decipher the English/Russian translation.
3.  Pattern has no seam allowances.
4.  Pattern pieces do not have common US pattern markings.  A squiggly line was for gathering the neckline.
5.  Not all pattern pieces are marked with names.  You figure out which is the front and back pattern pieces and the top and bottom.  
6. No fabric yardage is listed.  Thankfully, I have an 1/8 yd left after this dress.

Fuchsia linen with a beautiful drape from my stash.  I wish I could remember where I got this fabric because I would love to have it in every color.  
White silk organza for the interlining.
Fuchsia rayon lining.

Dress Construction:
1.  The neckline is unique so I tried to follow the directions in the pattern, but went on my own when I couldn't figure out which piece went where.  Making a muslin sure helped.  I worked out all the construction details.  
2.  I used silk organza as the interlining using the old fashioned hand basting method after wax marking the pattern onto my organza.  This makes the dress hang beautifully.  
3.  All the seams were hand basted before machine sewing.  All seam allowances are one inch and sewn to the organza.
4.  After finishing, I realized the floppy part of the neckline was very difficult to keep in one position. So, I added a broach to keep it from rearranging itself.

Very happy with this well fitting dress.

Yes,  it was a difficult dress, but SOOOOO worth it.  A marriage of the perfect fabric, perfect interlining and pattern design.  A few more Lekala patterns are hiding in my sewing room and I can't wait to tackle them.  

The dress fit so well and looked so good, I wore it to a very fancy dinner.  My husband was a top agent in 2014 for Nationwide Insurance and we ate at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach this summer.  I felt a little sneaky wearing my handmade dress with the Executive Staff of the company.  No one knew I made my dress.........except me.

Front collar details.

More front collar details.
My husband and I at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach.  We ate dinner with my husband's company's executive staff and no one knew I wore a handmade dress.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tween Dress Magic. McCall's M7079

Tween dress winner, McCall's M7079

McCall's M7079, View F

Red tye dye rayon knit from High Fashion Fabrics
Denim knit from Helen Enox Fabrics (This is great fabric.  Mostly used for leggings, but it hangs on the skirt like a million bucks.)

Construction and Changes
I love this pattern and it fits well.  I self-lined the bodice.  Added clear elastic to the waistline where the denim knit and tye dye meet.  Under stitched the neckline.  

Back view

One happy tween.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Found a New Favorite, Colette's Myrtle

A new favorite dress pattern, 

Colette Patterns, Myrtle, Version 1

Poly knit pink and black paisley from Fabric Mart

Fit and Construction Changes:
1.  Took out the extra bodice and back height so I could serge a clear elastic waistband inside the dress.  See below pictures.
2.  Changed the shoulder slope on the back pattern piece.
3.  Used a Med size back and a Large on the front to eliminate the FBA.
4.  Cut the skirt back on the fold.

My Thoughts:
1.  This pattern gets an A+ on the bodice construction!  
2.  Eliminating the bulk of a casing for the waist is a plus!
3.  This knit is wonderful.  Wonderful to sew.  Wonderful to drape. Wonderful to wear!
4.  This dress will be made again.
5.  From the time I opened the pattern to putting on the dress took 2 1/2 hours.  Includes: tracing the pattern, fitting from my sloper, threading mess with the serger, sewing it together and giving it a quick press.

Back pattern piece.  Removed about 1 1/4" height.

Front pattern piece.  Removed 1 1/4" height from both the inside and outside layers.

Back waistline.  Pinned the skirt and bodice together.  Pinned clear elastic (cut to my waist measurement) where the seam line would be stitched.  Machine basted with a long stitch length, stretching the clear elastic to match the fabric.  Best to do this in quarter sections. After basting, I serger the two fabrics together catching the elastic in the stitching.  

Front waistline.

Side view
Love the drape.  

Back view.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I won, I won!!!

My local SAGA group hosted at Gail Doane workshop back in March.  Our project was the Entredeaux Edge Capri Set.  If we finished the outfit by June, our name went in a hat for a gift certificate to our local heirloom and smocking shop, Buttons and Bows.  

I WON!!!!

Even better than just winning is a completed class project.

If you ever have a chance to take a class from Gail Doane, DO IT!!!  Her techniques are wonderful.  Her teaching style is so calm and reassuring.  You won't be disappointed.

Completed front of the top.  I learned the technique for cast-on flowers, but still need to perfect it.

Up, close detail.  Don't look too hard!

The pants are too cute and reversible.

Gail Doane and myself at the workshop.