Made This Look – The All Mixed Up Dress

I’ve long been a fan of the Make This Look entries. I like Modcloth, but their clothes are kind of expensive , they rarely fit me properly and the construction can be low-quality at times. As I browsed through the archives, I was drawn to many patterns, but eventually settled on the Master Mixologist.

Some of the comments noted that the fabric selection seemed off, and I agree. Closeups of the Modcloth dress showed a subtle tweed-ish pattern, and I went to the store with that in mind. Once there, I found a simply silky print that I couldn’t ignore. Blue and green warped geometric pattern on a black background? Sold!

This pattern introduced me to a few new concepts.The method of lining the bodice and sleeves was a bit different. Instead of piecing together a complete bodice and sleeve with matching lining, the pattern called for basting the bodice and sleeves to their respective linings separately, and then setting the sleeves. It gave a nice, crisp finish to the sleeve edge. I had not done a back vent on a skirt before. Although the pattern directions were confusing at first, it all made sense once I started to sew it.

In addition to new sewing concepts, I got to use some of my new tools! I broke out my invisible zipper foot for the first time, following Sarai’s advice from the Colette book. I was mostly pleased with the results, but found it tricky to sew completely to the end of the zipper in one direction. I ended up redoing part of the back seam in order to get a smoother finish. I adjusted the size of the bow, as I did not find the extra long style appealing. I also used my new blind hem foot, and was quite pleased with the results.

As for the fit, this pattern is not ideal for me. I did not make a muslin first, so I was not aware of fitting issues until I tried on the finished dress. Based on the ease measurements, I  graded the pattern up two sizes in the hips using my french curve. The dress ended up fitting well in the hips, but being a bit too big in the waist. The waist also hit a few inches above my natural waist, which makes me look a bit boxier. I like my curves, so I’d rather show them off! While I am pleased with the sleeves, I know that if they had been any longer, they would bind up and prevent me from raising my arms. This is a problem I’ve noticed with many patterns. Gertie has been working on underarm gussets recently, and I may have to study up on her techniques and begin to incorporate them.

Overall, I am pleased with this dress, and I plan to wear it for work.

The Facts
Fabric: Blue and green geometric print from Joann, $10.48; clearance lining from Joann,$0.88
Pattern: New Look 6968, $3.99
Year: Unknown, but it is a modern pattern
Notions: Interfacing, $0.62, invisible zipper from stash
Time to complete: 15 min cutting pattern pieces, 4+ hours to complete dress
First worn: 28 Jan 2012 for photos
Wear again? Yes
Total price: $11.98

Author

Mary

It's hard for a girl to stay stylish in fashion-starved Alaska. Mary does her best with one fabric store in town, but the next one is 350 miles away.

7 Comments

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  1. Hi Mary, absolutely love the fabrIc, the dress looks great on you.

  2. I very much like your dress and the fabric is a great choice. I am also interested in what you said about arm gussets. That sounds very handy.

  3. I completely love this! Your fabric is fabulous and your shoes!!!!!!!

  4. Gorgeous! I have that pattern and I had to do the same thing through waist and hips. It’s always trial and error with the fitting for me. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one with fitting issues. I also live where there is no fabric store, so I can relate to your situation.

  5. I think the dress looks great too. Well done!

  6. I love that fabric…I just moved up to Fairbanks, and I’ve been pining for the fabric stores down south, and struggling to put together cute outfits that work with my -40 boots.

  7. Looking great! And the fabric is lovely :D