Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mini Wardrobe Final Piece: A New Nettie Dress

Last post about my mini wardrobe! When I finished the first 4 pieces, I had a number of scraps of faux leather left over. It was the sort of annoying amount that almost isn't worth saving, but is too much to feel justified in tossing. So, I decided to use it to make one last coordinating piece of my Mini Work Wardrobe.

This is a Nettie Dress with faux leather insets.

I sewed the Nettie Dress by Closet Case Patterns twice last spring (here). One is perfect as a wearable muslin - but only in the deep winter on account of it being a snuggly sweater knit -  and the other, which fit better, turned out to be a fabric fail. So, I knew I would sew the dress again. I still don't feel like I have totally nailed this pattern (note to self: the bust dart height needs adjusting).

I decided to use a remnant of black ponte for this dress. I knew the ponte would be more stable than the fabrics I had previously used and figured that I would just s
ew the dress with a smaller seam allowance to give myself some extra wiggle room. But after cutting, I realized that the seam allowances for Nettie are only 3/8" to begin with. Oopsie! So, I've ended up with a rather close fitting dress, particularly thru the bust. C'est la vie!

The fun part of this dress is the faux leather accents which inspired it. I didn't stress too much about perfection. I just drew the insets onto the pattern - triangles that peak at the waist - traced off the pieces and added seam allowances. One of the great things about a pattern like Nettie is that a small simple embellishment can transform a simple dress into something more.

I've already had a few people ask about the neck binding. It's important to note that I used a stretch faux leather for this dress; it married well with the ponte.

I cut the neck band according to the Nettie Dress pattern's specifications. Since this is a stretch fabric which is not a knit and doesn't really have a grain line, I cut it with "the DOGS" (that's the Direction Of Greatest Stretch) which you find by grabbing hold of your fabric and stretching it in a few directions until you find the way it stretches most. In this case, that was perpendicular to the selvage.

I followed the basic method of inserting a neckline binding that Heather outlines in her sew along (prep the band here and insert it here).  I find that I get the best results on a neckline when I:
  • stretch the binding more around the curves and don't stretch at all or very little along the straighter parts of the neckline - this prevents any parts of the neckline from gaping. It hugs nicely; 
  • make sure NOT to stretch the neckline of the dress. ONLY stretch the binding. Otherwise, wonkiness ensues. 
To make sure that the faux leather stays neat and doesn't flip to the outside, I stitched in the ditch as best as I could - you can see the stitches peeking out in the photo below, but it really is not discernible when I wear the dress.

And that is all there is to tell for this dress, other than I really like it. And messy haired photos.

Bed head, in need of a haircut, and sun damaged. My hair. 

So, that's a wrap on my mini-wardrobe! I've been wearing it pretty nonstop for work to the point where I don't really remember what I wore before. Ha ha.

But I do have lots more going on, so check back soon. 

No comments: