Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gorgeous green zigzag wool shaped like a dress

I have had my eye on this fabric since I was able to put a garment together.

Isn't it beautiful? It's a woven wool, and it gives a little but doesn't stretch. I love the rich green color, which is interspersed with turquoise, brown, and even threads of orange. The zigzag pattern makes it interesting but it's subtle enough not to be obnoxious. The only reason I didn't make use of this beautiful textile immediately is because I was waiting to find the perfect garment to make out of it.

And then, after discovering this BEAUTIFUL piece in my mother's fabric stash, I found this in my  mom's pattern stash...

Before you scream, charge me with fabric abuse and sue for possession, check in the bottom lefthand corner
Pretty good catch, huh?
It's a simpler design than I usually go for. Usually I gravitate towards more architecturally complicated designs, because they are more brag-worthy and you're less likely to find something comparable in a store.

But in this case, it would be quick to make and I liked the cowl and the fabric was so beautiful that the garment was sure to be gorgeous in any case, so I went for it.

And then I was VERY DISAPPOINTED when I opened the pattern and realized that the magnificent cowl that I liked so much was literally a RECTANGLE OF FABRIC sewn into a TUBE and slipped over your head SEPARATE from the dress.

That is NOT up to my finishing standards. WHATEVER.

So between lengthening the pattern into a dress, fitting, and fixing the atrocious state of the cowl, I figured I had enough altering to satisfy my desire for fashion glory. 

And I did A LOT of altering. The pattern is cut loose and completely straight. When I put the original dress on I looked like I was wearing a sack. (I'm sorry to disappoint, but I didn't take a picture of that).

I did take a picture of the difference between the cut of the pattern and the cut of the final garment. Which you'll notice is far from straight.
I constructed the cowl as instructed, but the circumference of the neck hole did not match the circumference of the cowl.

So I used snaps!

I used three sets of snaps--one on each shoulder on top of the shoulder seam, and one in the center back. That left me free to arrange the front of the cowl how I wanted. I connected the cowl to the dress good side-to-good side to prevent a gap opening between the back of the dress and the back of the cowl, which had been happening. And now I can also take the cowl off (not like I would ever want to...except maybe for ease of dressing without getting makeup on my beautiful green wool fabric). 

It ended up being a nice and simple project, and then I had a new dress to wear to my family's Christmas brunch on the beach. Can anyone say perks of sewing?!

Front of dress. I apologize for seriously looking like a vampire in this picture. I need to fix my camera's red-eye settings.
Back of dress. Which, except for cowl placement, looks exactly like the front of the dress.
And you have options for how to wear your cowl! I sort of rolled it up in the previous pictures; in this one, I spread the bottom part out towards the shoulders and pulled the top part forward. 

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