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Thursday, March 7, 2013

But Not a Real Green Dress, that's Cruel!

"If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a green dress (But not a real green dress, that's cruel)"

I've had these song lyrics going through my head for the past week.  Here are the full lyrics of BNL's song "If I had $1,000,000" if you're interested.  And here's a video:



So, yes, I made a green dress.  New Look 6802.

I made view C with the twist front with the view B sleeves.  

There are a bunch of reviews for this dress on PatternReview.com, and I think I read every single one of them before cutting this out.

Changes I made:  I raised the bodice neckline slightly.  Rather than following the size 14 lines, I followed the size 18, which raised it up about 1/2".  I also lengthened the crossover pieces by 1/2" so it would be less constricting over the bust.  Regarding the skirt, there were several reviews which warned that the gathering at the front of the skirt can look a little maternity-ish.  I really dislike maternity looking things (unless pregnant that is).  I had to do something about that!


As a side note: I also dislike gathering.  I like how it looks when finished.  I will do it.  But the perfectionist in me does not enjoy the process.  I have trouble getting the gathers to be perfectly spread out and perfectly formed, and that bothers me (insane, I know).
  
So for this dress, I cut the front of the skirt a bit narrower (a size 10) and spread the gathers across the front of the dress, starting about 1.5" from the side seam.  I think this was a good way to spread the gathers out, reduce the bulk, avoid the maternity poof, and keep the gathers as a design element.

Here is a side/side-back view:


I cut the sleeve band in a size 18.  I don't like tightness across my bicep and by cutting the sleeve in the size 14 and the band in the 18, I spread the gathers out across a larger distance and reducing the puffiness of the sleeve and maintaining the circulation in my arm.  I think it was a wise choice.  

One thing that surprised me about the instructions was that the overlaid crossover pieces are not finished along their edges.  I was also surprised that I didn't find any mention of this in the pattern reviews.  I understand why you might not want a line of stitching visible along the overlay neckline, but my fabric keeps rolling outward.  You can see this clearly in this photo on the lower left part of the overlay:

It's not as noticeable when worn, but I keep looking down to see if my raw edges are hidden.  I hand tacked the edges down near the twist where my stitches are hidden, but that won't work along the length of the neckline and lower edge.  What to do?

Another odd thing about the overlay was the attachment instructions at the shoulder.  The bodice front and back are sewn together first and then the overlay is sewn on top of that.  To me, it would make more sense to sew all 3 pieces together at the same time.  Next time I will do that.  Here are the instructions (step 16):
See?  It works, but it is weird, like an afterthought.

In any case, I am happy with this dress.  It is cute and comfortable.  I can't wait to wear it on my warm, sunny vacation next month.  

I used the remainder of my green jersey knit.  I feel very smart choosing Emerald Green, this season's Pantone color, before it was even announced!  I already used it for this top (Butterick 5354):

"If I had a million dollars, (I'd build a tree fort in our yard)"
"If I had a million dollars, (you could help, it wouldn't be that hard)"
....
"If I had a million dollars... I'd be rich"







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