B5147 – The Silk Twill Edition

I finally finished it!  But boy do I understand UFO’s now.  If you don’t finish it right away, it is likely to languish for an indeterminate amount of time.  It’s not that you don’t love it anymore.  It’s just about lost momentum.  If I hadn’t decided to enter this dress into the Pattern Review/ASE Natural Fibers Contest, I might not have finished this dress for a long time. 

Without further ado, some pictures courtesy of my sister, Meredith.  Although there was a lot of pushing and biting during the photo shoot (our kids, not my sister and me), we managed to get a few shots worth posting.  One note about the pictures first, though, if you will indulge me: I could not get the head on picture to look flattering no matter how I stood.  Trust me when I say that it is much more flattering in person.  Not sure why it looks the way it does.  My sister, a kind soul, said it was the lens she was using. 

No, I did not put in the hook and eye yet.  I hate sewing those on.  But I will.  Maybe…  Someday…  Maybe…  Oh wait, I’m submitting this for a contest.  Ok.  I will.  *shrugging resignedly*

With this version of B5147, I made the following changes:

  • increased the bust dart, at the bottom of it only, by about 1 cm, thereby taking out some (but unfortunately not all) of the drag line that points to the bust area.  Partial success.  May increase the dart more on the next version.
  • I staystitched both the neck and armscye area on both the lining and silk to maintain the shape integrity.  Success!
  • hemmed the lining before finishing the slit lining for a cleaner finish.  Me likey!
  • zig zag finished the silk hem allowance. I thought serging it would be too bulky and show through whenever the dress is pressed.  I thought I would hate the zig zag finish and that it would be inadequate for this fabric, but was pleasantly surprised how well it worked and looked.  An oldie but a goodie method!
  • Again, I hand stitched the hem.  I was worried that even hand stitching would show on this silk twill, but, again, I was pleasantly surprised that it did not.  Yeah!

Some interior pictures… 

finished slit with hand edgestitching and slipstitching

hand slipstitched lining


Now that I have made 3 iterations of this dress (including the muslin), I have some doubts as to it’s viability in my TNT project.  And in case you are wondering at this point, yes, I am very picky. 

Here are my thoughts:

  • even if I adjust the bust dart, I think the shape of the shoulder straps/armscye is wrong for me.  It needs to be a thinner strap on the outside (meaning closest to the arm rather than the body) and/or the armscye needs to be cut in (closer to the body) a bit more.  The shapelessness in that area makes me look larger than I am.
  • the neckline, while being very comfortable for me, is probably not as flattering as it could be.  A V-neck is much more flattering to C-cups and larger as it does away with the “bag o’ boobs” look.

Can I change these things myself?  Maybe.  But, as I have already found out, sometimes you have no idea how a change in one area might affect another completely different area.  And I really don’t want to experiment for months on end.  I’d rather just try to find a sheath dress with the elements I now know that I want and muslin it for personal fit from there. 

What’s next?  I have some baby stuff to make, a dress for my cousin’s wedding, and fall coat.  That’s a lot to accomplish in August, but I gotta try!

Wish me luck!


24 responses to “B5147 – The Silk Twill Edition

  1. wow – the fabric is gorgeous and the fit impeccable – well done you, and very well done for knuckling under and finishing it.

  2. Okay, you need to cut yourself some slack! This dress is beautiful on you. I love the fabric you chose and you did a really good job on this.

    I’ve been making my TNT dress pattern forever and I still can end up with a wadder or two!

  3. Beautiful dress – and it is very flattering – I agree with you re: V necks – if you have a large chest and/or shoulders (like me!). But I love it – and your lining is fab.

  4. You look fantastic! Great fabric, beautifully done.

  5. That is a serious amount of work and a serious amount of SUCCESS! That fabric is wonderful and I am very impressed by the lining. Well done!

  6. Lovely dress – that fabric rocks!

  7. It it fabulous. I am so glad thatyou finished it. And head on shots never look good. Hands on hips helps a little, but turning away from the camera a bit is much more flattering.

  8. You did a great job on this dress – it’s beautiful..

  9. Love the pattern on that fabric.

    I never do up the hook-and-eye on RTW clothes even when it’s there….

  10. Totally beautiful! May I beg to differ re. v-neck, the boatneck here is ideal for the graded pattern you have here. No Bag-o’-whatever here! Oh, and Where did you get this gorgeous silk?

  11. The dress is gorgeous and looks fantastic on you.

  12. Your dress turned out great and you look fantastic in it.

  13. Gorgeous dress and perfect fit.

  14. E – I’m with everyone – you/the dress look great. You have created a lemming … now do I dare get that fabric? Very well done!! Good luck in the contest.

  15. I’m loving this dress on you! Nice shoes too.

  16. Love the fabric. This dress looks amazing on you. The whole outfit is perfection. I am loving those heels too. Great job. I dream that one day I will be able to make something that looks so nice.

  17. Beautiful!! All of your hard work has more than paid off!!

  18. Beautiful dress! Love your shoes, too!

  19. What are you talking about? You’ve done a wonderful job on the dress. You look amazing!

  20. So pretty!!!! That print is really spectacular and you made the most of it with a simple line and a perfect fit. Congratulations!

  21. Very stunning indeed!!! This dress looks fabulous on you – this classic style is a real winner. The print works perfectly and gives the dress a real designer look. I love all your careful hand finishing. (Oh, and I very rarely put a hook and eye on dresses – I just put the zipper in as high as possible and leave it like that – I hate hooks and eyes!)

  22. Yay, you. It’s just beautiful and aren’t you glad it’s done? Oh, and I approve of your sister’s name. Very unusual. 🙂

  23. Gorgeous!! You look stunning. Excellent work!

  24. Elizabeth – I just wanted to ask you about how you laundered that silk twill fabric. I’m sure you remember that I got the same fabric last weekend and I’m wondering if you handwashed it or dry cleaned it. I’m taking a load of dry-clean only fabrics to the cleaners in the morning, and I’ll throw this in the pile if handwashing won’t work for it.

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