Monday, December 2, 2013

Fantasy to Reality: Cobalt Dress

When my "Cobalt Fantasy" started, I knew that I wanted a cobalt and black sheath dress.  I couldn't be happier with the final result.  Donna Karan cobalt wool gabardine (2 yards, Haberman Fabrics) trimmed with faux leather (Joann's), this sheath is a marriage of two patterns.  Simplicity 1802 (bodice) and Butterick 5566 (skirt).  I wore it today with my black cashmere (vintage pattern) jacket.
I love the back of the bodice, the deep-v back is so feminine, but not too revealing. No special undergarments required!  The skirt (16) and bodice (14) matched up perfectly with no special adjustment to marry the two together at the bottom of the waistband.  To get a neat finish on the sleeve, I lined it and stitched the layers together at the hem right sides together. Then I turned it right side out, understitched along the hem, and pressed it.  When I inserted the sleeve, I treated the sleeve as a single unit, and used my serger to neaten the armhole seam. Not perfect or couture, but it was less of a headache and just as sturdy with a very clean finish.
I cut the faux leather into 1.5" strips, folded them in half wrong sides together, and stitched them wrong sides together. Stitching the piping in place was easy enough, but made me nervous, as the pattern piece edges were diagonal and I didn't want to stretch it out of shape. I topstitched on the blue alongside the "piping" to help flatten and neaten the seams.  Pressing was done very carefully, as the faux leather didn't care for direct heat!
Look at the matching of the seams with that piping! The invisible zipper is hidden along that side seam, too. There's a fair amount of bumps there, but I managed to insert the zipper without drama on the first try! Please pardon the wrinkles and bumps, these pictures were taken after a full day of work!
The piping on the bodice and the skirt is positioned to point downward, but the center front strip faces left and the trim on the waistband points up on the top and down on the bottom. I can't get over how the leather trim really makes this dress look amazing, and I'm so glad that I decided to use it! I cut about 8 vertical strips, so I used less than 1/2 a yard of the faux leather.

All in all, it's a great dress with professional flair and strong design lines.  I'll be able to get continued use out of it come spring, as it's a light to mid-weight wool with short sleeves. Today a student complimented me and asked if I got my dress at Guess or BCBG. I think that equates to a sewing win!




33 comments:

Anna Christina said...

This is an amazing design. I like your version better than either of the original patterns! Your student was right on thinking your dress came from a great store.

Kristy said...

Your dress is stunning. Cobalt and black is so on trend at the moment, and the fit you achieved is perfect. A very flattering and beautiful dress.

Marybeth said...

It's absolutely gorgeous, Kristine!

Lori said...

This is so beautiful, the dress fits you perfectly. Great job combining patterns and the trim really sets it off.

Kyle said...

It looks great! Love that your student thought it was RTW.

KID, MD said...

Fabulous!!! The dress and you look amazing!!

Rosie said...

Absolutely one of the nicest pieces you have made. The color is stunning on you!

alethia said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Nancy said...

You really look spectacular!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

This is absolutely gorgeous!!!

RhondaBuss said...

Looks great!

Erica B. said...

Love this! You did a fabulous job on this dress and you look amazing wearing it!

fabric epiphanies said...

Your dress is lovely. It does look like it came from a designer store!

Allison T said...

Oh my goodness! Well done, you! It's so well made and I love the black patent trim. <3

http://aredesignedlove.blogspot.com

AnaJan Stepalica said...

It's gorgeous! Well done!

BJ in TX said...

Wow! Just WOW!

Bunny said...

This is stunning, Kristine. You really pulled off a big winner here. Excellent job on the piped seams, wowsa!

ladykatza said...

You did a great job! Two of my favorite colors.

Bonnie D. said...

Wow, Kristine! That is one fantastic dress! The fit is perfect and alignment of seams appears flawless. I have been planning a skirt with leather piped trim since PR Weekend in April - your dress is telling me I need to move it to the top of the queue!

And yes.... the student comment was a score!

Meigan said...

Wow! Stunning dress! Beautifully done :)

L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L said...

You do S1802 MUCH justice! Your frankepattern is FAR better than S1802 will ever be. The trim detail adds just the right amount of va-voom. You GO girl!

Jenny said...

Awesome dress! You did a great job with the piping!

MrsSmith said...

Oh. My. GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!

FANTASTIC! This dress is amazing and it fits you absolutely perfectly!

gjeometry.com said...

Just gorgeous, nice pattern mashup! I love the black piping against the bright cobalt blue. I have that Cynthia Rowley pattern but am still a bit too timid to attempt it as it looks quite complicated. It's nice to see it sewn up so well!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful and wellfitting dress and you did a very good job matching the piping at the sides.

Anna-Karin in Sweden

Vicki said...

Very, very nice! It does look expensive and fits you so beautifully.

AllisonC said...

Great dress, the fit looks perfect and the trim really makes it.

Jean said...

Great dress! The trim really makes it special -- I love the combination of the cobalt blue and black. Very flattering fit!

Gail said...

Beautiful dress and the colour is fabulous on you. Great work constructing a garment that is right on trend.

Anonymous said...

A spectacular example of precision sewing. Brava. It look perfect.

FlyAwayHome said...

WOW! your dress is beautiful and the color and fit is perfect!

Anonymous said...

This is dress is altogether beautiful: Style, Creation and Colors). Do this one again.