FO (from the archives): red knit dress

10 Nov

As I’m still waiting to take photos of my last few makes, I’d thought I’d dip into the archives and share some pics of a garment I made a couple of years ago. I plan to try to document as much as possible from my old makes, for my own pleasure, so you get to enjoy/endure the ride!

The first is the red funnel neck knit dress.

All photos courtesy Sarah, of course. Taken at the beach at Balaena Bay. I love the Wellington coast!

All photos courtesy Sarah, of course. Taken at the beach at Balaena Bay. I love the Wellington coast!

This dress is from Vogue 2756.  

Vogue 2756, some great pieces in here

Vogue 2756, some great pieces in here

I chose the pattern for the two curved darts on each side and the darts in the neck, as I’m a sucker for unusual darts or seams. I like a good funnel neck too. 

The awesome dart details I loved

The awesome dart details I loved

I made it in an oxblood suede textured knit. It’s lovely and textural, so soft to the touch, and although the colour is outside of my normal jewel tones there’s something about it that I really like.

The curved darts gave me all sorts of trouble initially. I marked the matching points, but I couldn’t eyeball the curve between them and get them all to match, so it ended up sitting in my UFO box for over a year. Then I discovered carbon paper and tracing wheel and that worked fantastically, so I dug this out and finished it off. Other than that it was super easy to sew. I also didn’t cut the waist according to the pattern. I know that my bust/waist/hips ratio is not pattern standard, but didn’t know then what the best way to address this was, so I simply cut the fabric in a straight line from waist to hips and after it was all assembled I got a friend to pin the waist to fit.

Despite the fit and construction issues, I love this silhouette, fitted and below the neck.

Despite the fit and construction issues, I love this silhouette, fitted and below the knee.

Despite this custom fitting, I didn’t love the way this dress fitted. The zip was beautifully set to look at BUT it buckled and warped on me. I realised straight away I should have interfaced the zip seam allowance, and that it had probably set during the setting process, but was despondent at the thought of unpicking my beautiful zip and cutting the interfacing and resetting it. The back of the funnel neck was a bit high as well. So frustrated was I that I decided to take it to a tailor and get them to reset the zip and lower the back of the funnel neck.

I paid my money and they did the zip. They did a great job too. BUT – I still don’t love the dress.

For the record, photo shoots on beaches are fun.

For the record, photo shoots on beaches are fun.

The zip still forms a dowager hump on me. I think that the dress is too tight in the hips or too long in the body, and either way the dress is riding up just enough to make the zip bunch up. I can tug it down and it flattens out, then over the next wee while, it rides back up into the hunch. The use of the belt helps with that but not enough to make it go away. In addition, the arm hole isn’t in quite the right place, and it was my first time sewing knit after a long spell and I didn’t get enough stretch in the armhole seam, so I can feel it cutting in when I move my arms. So overall, it doesn’t have the comfort I’d expect a knit dress to have. And it is super staticky and clingy too!

I did a great job on the split and the hem, I'm pleased! But if you zoom in you can see the humpy zip.

I did a great job on the split and the hem, I’m pleased! But if you zoom in you can see the humpy zip.

So in my recent wardrobe audit it got a solid B: enough for it to stay, for now, in case of sartorial emergencies (I have very few long sleeved things) but definitely not a long term keeper – as soon as the niche it holds is filled by something better, out it goes.

And it did indeed do well for a recent sartorial emergency – I wore it to World of Wearable Arts this year, on a cold and windy night, and dressed up similar to these photos. It was cosy and stylish. Just not super comfortable!

It was windy. It's often windy. You can almost see the dart details in this, and you can definitely see the drag marks from the tight armholes.

It was windy. It’s often windy. You can almost see the dart details in this, and you can definitely see the drag marks from the tight armholes.

So, you win some, you lose some. And although this was a long make, and one I threw money and a tailor at, I learned heaps and I don’t regret it. My sewing skills are a lot further along since then, and one day I will have another crack at it and the lessons I learned here will be reinvested. You know, eventually.

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12 Responses to “FO (from the archives): red knit dress”

  1. Jo November 11, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    This is lovely, it’s too bad it won’t be a favourite. I mean, a knit that’s not comfortable? Oof I hate uncomfortable clothing, so I see why you don’t wear it much. Well done for your perseverance though. It does look stunning and your next version will be even better!

  2. macstabby November 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Love it! It looks comfortable AND stylish! I need more clothes with those qualifications.

  3. Gjeometry November 12, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    This is a lovely dress! Very sophisticated, for sure.

  4. Teresa Buckthought November 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    I love this dress on you – it really looks great. Plus I love these beautiful beach photos – you look stunning!

  5. Sandra (Sewist-Stitch) November 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Too bad the fit is a bit off, coz the colour is scrumptious and the patttern looks great.

    • missjoiedevivre November 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Thanks! :) I’ve had so much positive response I’m trying to think of ways I could resurrect it.

  6. Calico Stretch April 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Gosh I am late to the party on this but I love this colour on you. Interesting that it isn’t in your normal colour palette …. that’s something us stitchers get to try more than RTW folk hey.

    I also have this pattern so really appreciate your notes about construction and findings on fit. Its something I may make up in my black 100% wool ponte one day, though I wonder if the ponte would be stretchy enough…. Hmmm.

    • missjoiedevivre April 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Thanks!

      I think ponte would be fine, the zip means it doesn’t have to be stretchy at all!

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