Sunday, October 20, 2013

And I continue to work my way through unfinished white garments...

So strangely, all the unfinished garments that I have worked on completing so far have been white or ivory... probably because a large number of my unfinished garments are, in fact, white and ivory.  I think I am often inspired by color and as much I like wearing white, it just doesn't capture my interest enough to fully complete my paler creations.

Today's unfinished, now-finished garment is a white and cream floral silk from Butterick 5455, a Maggy London dress with a midriff band and slanted pockets.  Now this is one that I had made previously and know fits well.  This version was begun at around the same time but got put away unfinished and remained untouched to this very day.  And the sad thing is, it didn't need that much work! 

I needed to finish the back closure by adding a hook and eye to the top of the zipper and finish the back seam by completing the seam below the invisible zipper.  (Death to back vents!  They always pull and ride up and make me look vaguely pornographic... NOT what I am going for!)

I also needed to finish the arm-holes, something that I've never entirely figured out the best way to do on this pattern...

Finally, I need to reinforce all the side seams... For reasons lost to the mists of time, 2011 Jenny decided that the side seams of this dress should be sewn on the serger.  Not just finished, but outright sewn on the serger.  There is a bit of stretch to this fabric and it's not necessarily a problem except that my serger is not great.  The tension is never, EVER right and so all the seams of this dress look like this:
So I fixed and finished these minor things and wound up with a very pretty dress.  


Yes, this is indeed a very pretty dress.  A very pretty, and entirely impractical dress.  A very pretty, impractical dress which I will likely never have an opportunity to wear.  Because here is the thing about white, floral, silk brocade dresses... there is NO occasion in my life where this sort of attire is appropriate!  In the end, this has a very "garden party" vibe.  Sadly the only places I ever wear "garden party chic" is daytime weddings... and I know that the rules around wedding guest attire has relaxed, but I still think most people frown upon wearing white silk.  So. 
I do love this dress though so I might eventually decide that it is work wear, practicality be damned.  Dressing down otherwise "dressy" dresses is the primary reason I own approximately 352 cardigans in every color imaginable.  (Secondary reasons include: "but they are so pretty!" "I don't own THIS shade of purple," and "Victoria's Secret is having a sale on their silk-cashmere blends.")
But never mind all that!  Let's look at the fun details!

 One thing I did on this version as opposed to earlier incarnations, is I extended the midriff band around to the back, including the self-fabric piping.  I dislike the very common practice of including details only on the front of the garment and not equally embellishing the back.  (You do not want to hear my rant about sequin tops which are plain cotton on the back... there is no excuse!)

I also used the self-fabric piping to finish the pocket and neckline.  I think this sort of detail separates the luxe from the lazy (or cheap, but that doesn't have the same fun alliteration).  And hey, if I am going to take 2 years to make a dress?  It better be pretty darn awesome!

So 3.5 UFOs down... and a frighteningly large number to go!


  1. It is a very pretty dress and I hope you find opportunities to wear it. There is no fun having nice things sitting at the back of the cupboard. I am intrigued about your dress form. Did you make it yourself? If so, how did you do it? I would love to know so I too can have one :)

  2. Love it! I hav more than one garment that I have condemned with my serger. Weren't they supposed to be miracle workers? The tensions never do seem right.
    I also dress down a fab garment with a card, only I am not so good at shopping. I have one short one in blue and one long one in gray. They are just so comfy, if you find a great name brand, buy one in every color.
    You are inspiring me to hit my UFOs, some day, after the jacket contest. Do finish them before you outgrow them!
    Stunning, great work.

  3. Hey Jenny,
    I think your dress is looking great. It looks to me as though it could be summer wedding appropriate - after all, it's not all white. Or would it be possible to dye it?
    I do hope it gets an outing as it is very pretty!