Tag Archives: killer project that almost killed me

FINALLY COMPLETE: The Bombshell Dress

7 May

Yay! It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or lurk the MMM Flickr Pool have already seen this picture… I snapped it right before I left for a lovely Saturday afternoon wedding (spoiler: it was a beautiful wedding and I overindulged and DEFINITELY paid for it the next day, ugh haha).

I did take better pictures, though! And now I will share then with the group :)

Fair warning – there’s a lot here, and you can see that I moved locations a couple of times while shooting. I actually took over a hundred pictures – I know that sounds kind of, uh, self-obsessed, but the light was extremely bright and it’s pretty difficult to get a good shot when you have to keep running back and forth to the tripod! I was able to narrow the selection down to WAY below 100, but there are still quite a few. I normally feel a little narcissistic posting a bunch of pictures of myself in the same freakin’ pose, but I’m really proud of my dress so just indulge me this one time. Ok? Ok!

Bombshell Dress
Here is where I started – in my backyard. Isn’t it so lush & green? Lovely backdrop for this dress :) Unfortunately, the light was too harsh here, so only a couple of pictures survived the cut.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
On the porch (which appears to be the best light ever; this is why you always see outfit pictures on this porch haha). Not a terribly awesome picture of me, but – my hair! My hair looked so good! Alas, it was almost 90 degrees on Saturday and extremely humid so the curls ended up drooping about 5 minutes later. Ah well.

It got too hot, so I gave up and went inside to the air conditioning.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
The strap! I made mine fairly wide, with small gathers where it joins the bodice. There are button holes & buttons, but the strap didn’t sit right buttoned in, so I used tiny fell stitches to anchor it to the top of the bodice as well.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

I’m not going to share any more pictures or details of the insides, I think there are plenty enough as it is on this blog!

A few thoughts on the Bombshell:
– It is quite comfortable! Of course, I tend to wear my clothing with little to no ease regardless, but boning is something that I’ve always associated with discomfort. The boning in this dress is great: it kept everything into place but didn’t hinder any movement whatsoever.
– When I first finished the dress, I was worried that the bodice was too long for my torso. Maybe I’m just used to a shorter bodice, because this one absolutely ends right at my waist, so it’s the correct length. Anyway, now that I’m looking at the pictures, I think it looks fine.
– Despite multiple muslins, the middle of the bodice does not actually sit flush against my chest. I guess my cups are a smidge too small as it should fit just like a bra does (and my bras do fit with the middle flush against me. Is that tmi?). Then again, I think any gal who is increasing the cups to fit a chest that is too big for the original pattern size is probably going to struggle with getting that piece to lie flat. The lesson here: no one else noticed, and I only noticed because I have this wonderful angle of looking straight down. I still think the fit looks great. Don’t sweat it if yours doesn’t lie flat either!
– As I mentioned, it was 90* outside and the wedding ceremony was in the middle of a flower garden covered with direct sunlight. It was hot outside! And even though my dress has many layers and is extremely fitted, I didn’t feel any more warm that I would in shorts & a tshirt. Make sure your fabric (and lining) is very breathable if you are planning on wearing this in super hot weather!
– I enjoyed working on this dress, and I loved the process of all the fiddly detail work, but I will confess that toward the end I was just ready to be DONE! I think this is a great dress for a special occasion, but make sure you give yourself a nice long deadline in the distant future so you don’t feel terribly rushed – a dress like this, with all the fitting, and handwork, and special techniques… doesn’t need to be rushed.

I guess that’s it? I am very pleased with my finished dress, and I definitely think the course was worth the $$ – I learned so much, including new favorite hand-stitches and little tips/tricks that never occurred to me otherwise. If you are still on the fence for a class like this, I hope this post & these pictures nudged a little closer to my side :)

Bombshell Dress
And I’m still rolling along Me-Made-May! :)

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Completed: Dotted Swiss Colette Violet Blouse

31 Jan

Swiss dot or dotted swiss? I’ve heard it both ways. Which one do YOU use?

I’m going to apologize in advance for 2 things – 1. These pictures are terrible (when am I going to figure out that white photographs like doo-doo?) and, 2. This isn’t even how the shirt looks now, and no I won’t be taking more pictures (see fig. 1).

Ok, now that that’s off my chest…

Violet - front

Here be the Colette Violet blouse in pretty dotted swiss! Let’s talk about the good stuff first.

I barely – barely squeezed this out of 7/8 yard. The under collar is actually cut on the bias and pieced in the middle. The bias part actually makes it roll quite nicely at the seam, so bonus mistake turned into a ~design element, yeah? My dotted swiss was extremely sheer, so I hand-underlined the whole thing with equally sheer cotton batiste – you can still kind of see the seams through the fabric, no biggie. I was originally going to leave the sleeves underlined, by a practically unanimous vote, but when it came down to it… leaving the sleeves sheer just looked like I had run out of underlining fabric. They didn’t go with the rest of the blouse at all, sadly. Instead of interfacing, I used a slightly heavier bleached muslin to stabilize the collar & facings. I wanted the entire shirt to be cotton/white/breezy – perfect for a summer bike ride :)

The fit was… interesting. I wanted this version to be more fitted, like Joanne’s fitted Violets, so I put some giant (like 1″) vertical darts down the front. If you’re curious how I did it – ehh, I sewed the entire shirt up, minus the hem, put it on inside-out and properly buttoned, and then just pinched away until it fit the way I like. Then I basted my darts, checked the fit right-side out, and sewed them down forreal. Easy! I think fitted looks much better on me and now I don’t have to tuck it in if I don’t feel like it :)

Violet - front

I sewed this up in a size 4, but cut the back down to a 0 at the side seams to make it a little less blousey. In the future, I will probably cut this to a 2 and add a FBA because my darts were all kinds of in the wrong place! You can’t really tell in the pictures – partially because I’m standing still so it stays in place, and partially because the pictures are total shit, but trust me. I wore this thing all day yesterday and every now and then I’d look down and notice the side darts were hanging out on the tops of my lady lumps. It would appear the shoulders were too big, which would cause the shirt to ride up every time I moved. I had originally moved the darts up when making my first Violet blouse, and they look fine where they are, so I’m not sure why these were such a pain. Maybe because this version is more fitted? Ehh.

Violet - back

Of course, the entire shirt is serged within an inch of it’s life, so any normal person would probably either deal or wad, but I REALLY NEED A DOTTED SWISS PETER PAN COLLAR BLOUSE TO WEAR WHILE RIDING MY BICYCLE THIS SUMMER. So I ripped up all the seams last night & spent an hour pinning, fiddling, basting, tucking, and pressing until I moved the darts into a more respectable position and shortened as much of the shoulder seams as I dared.

Violet - side

Violet flat
Flat – the buttons are from the flea market! Love it when stuff like that just appears for me :D

Violet flat
Inside – underlining, serged seams, oh and yes, my tag :)

Violet waist dart
Nevermind the dart creeping upward, here is a vertical dart for waist fitting.

Anyway, I am quite happy with my shirt now :) It fits nicely & the darts are in the correct places. And isn’t it perfect for a summer bike ride? Hm I need to sew me up some plaid shorts asap :)

Violet - front


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