Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The "Almost, If Only" Oufit.

Years ago, (um...many years ago sometime around the mid-late '80's) I bought the Butterick pattern below hoping to make a top like the left-most illustration and a skirt with fishtail godet on the right-hand illustration. When I bought the pattern, I immediately thought, "Oh! This is SO Joan Collins!" Alexis (yeah, I'm aging myself with my Dynasty days) would have been proud.

I never used the pattern and only recently just used the pattern cover for a guide and made a self-drafted bustier and self-drafted skirt to recreate the look below:

I went all out except for my darn shoes. Alexis would have had pumps that were a minimum 3" high. Bad me! I added my Hollywood hair too. Even had some bold earrings on. Let's face it though, Alexis would have put me to shame with a great matching clutch or some fancy purse.

However, Alexis would have also chimed in with, "It almost looks good. If only you would have changed the front horizontal waistline seam to a V-shaped seam instead." Alexis was short. But I don't think she was short-waisted like me. One little change on that seam, and the outfit would have looked way better. I accept it. I still like it. It's my "Almost" outfit. After all, I designed it to look like the pattern cover and it does. Except the pattern illustration features a model with an average length torso. You can be darn sure I'm going to change the pattern to a V-waist seam. It could have been a really nice outfit. Now it is just an average/good one. (Hey! Barbie dolls are short waisted too ;) .)

Not too worry. This really started out more like a muslin. I made the bustier in Kenneth King's class. I was hard at work self-drafting the pattern before the class started so I was good to go. Here's a closeup pic of the bustier on my dressform when it was almost done:

In fact, I wasn't paying too much attention on how I was going to close it up, then it was finished and I had to put in the zipper. Therefore, the zipper installation was crap. The zipper tape should have been put in between the lining and fashion fabric layers, and it wasn't. It was put in as a last step. Think raw, bulky edges at the waistline seam. It had to be covered up. There was NO way I'd stand in front of somebody with a shitty waistline/zipper area. So I got to work creating a focal point instead with ribbon work. Here's it is:
I created ribbon flowers for a ribbon flower corsage to match the flowers in the print. Also added some hot-fix crystals for the 80's glam look. Used some long ribbons for extra camoflauge just in case. Which reminds of another snafu. When cutting out the back skirt portion of the top, I forgot to include a CB seam! I was so mad. So I created a faced opening on the top's skirt portion. That's make-it-work sewing for you. No one can tell there was ever an issue.

The ribbon work is attached to the back via small velcro strips. Here's a pic of the back of the top. It doesn't look like the long, thin ribbon colors match the floral print, but they do.

On the skirt, I bound the top edge with bias binding (I just didn't feel like putting a whole lot of effort into an outfit I'll rarely wear) and installed an invisible zip. Personally, I don't care for invisible zips that much. They seem flimsy and sometimes break on me. I used El's invisible zipper tutorial, and it turned out great. Thank you very much, El's. That's a great tutorial as many people will concur. On the back, I had to do a little fudging with the godet. I drafted the godet as per instructions in Roberta Carr's Couture Sewing book, but I was installing it in the CB seam and not as per her info. It required a little work, but I like it, and find it has more of a "fishtail look" than with a standard godet.

Here's a pic of the godet on the back:

Overall, the outfit turned out fine. Not my fave because of the waistline seam and several things I din't think about beforehand due to this and that. However, I'm very glad I put forth the effort.
On to Kenneth King's Bustier class...it's AWESOME! My bustier is like a rock. It has so much support and is so well constructed you wouldn't believe it. There is NO chance of any wardrobe malfunctions in my bustier. In fact, I don't even need to wear a strapless bra--it's that supportive. Usually, I'd wear pushup pads in my strapless bra, but it was totally unnecessary. I can't wait to make one up again with a v-waist.
The reason why I took the class was to improve on my construction of strapless dresses. The ones I've made in the past have never been this well constructed. This info will certainly help when DD#2 asks me to make her prom dress in the next couple of years. When I do the pattern review for this outfit, I'll try to do the review for Kenneth's class as well.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to post my cape and matching skirt outfit.


Cennetta said...

Miss lady, You are drafting your own patterns. You are bumping the sew expertise up a notch. lol

So you dating yourself. Dynasty was one of my all time favorite prime time soap opera. So you are not alone. Some of those styles are en Vogue again. Cute outfit and I love the hollywood hair. I've been contemplating trying out the long pony tail. Still afraid I might lose the hair.lol

Happy Sewing!

Sigrid said...

I totally missed Dynasty (it was started in the years I had no television, can you imagine!), but I get the idea. You look great. I thougth of taking this class too, but knew I would never wear a bustier. Great result, it's wonderful. Love the matching godet in the skirt.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.