Gertie’s Vintage Inspired Wrap Dress

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This has been one the best learning experiences I’ve had in a long time, so prepare yourselves, this is going to be a long post and hopefully I can make it coherent. :)

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Wrap Dress Muslin, Part II

When we last left, the muslin was in a questionable state. My biggest problem was how to handle the bust darts. They are in an nontraditional location for bust darts (darts normally “point” towards the bust point to help with the shaping of the bodice) and neither of the two (per side) were pointing where I would think they should point.

Bust darts are off to the side and go past the bust point

Bust darts are off to the side and go past the bust point

Oh, and there’s a ridiculous amount of ease in the bust area (about 4″ of ease for size 12), but since it fit when I tried it on with the bra I was using, I’m fine with it. Back to the “dart issue”. I mulled it over in my head for a while, posted about it in PatternReview.com‘s forums, chatted with another blogger who also created the same dress to see what she did about it. Ultimately, I’ve decide to leave the darts alone. It’s going to be a headache to move them around, and I’m Gertie placed them there for a reason. Far be it from me to screw up a design that she created (and probably make a bigger mess of it for myself) just because it doesn’t fit neatly into the box my engineering brain thinks it should fit into.

Next, I wanted to make sure (because of previous short waist issues) that the waist length really was fine. I went back to the muslin and drew lines for the waist position and even lines for the button and button hole placement.

Muslin with lines

Waist line drawn and buttonhole and button markers

The waist location was perfectly located at my natural waist, so no back waist length changes necessary (whew, that was going to not be so fun with this dress if I did). Also, I had the wrap backwards from the first time, so when I tried it on again, I made sure to pin it up exactly where the button would be. Fortunately, that lead me to another change I would need to make: the hip width.

It was actually a little tight. I haven’t been working out or eating as well as I was back in August (after I got sick in September, I pretty much fell off the bandwagon and am trying to find the motivation to get back on it). Since the muslin waist and hip are the pattern’s largest size already, I had to grade out a total of 3″ in the hip width. It was fairly easy, and I just slipped a piece of pattern paper under the pattern and extended the width at the hips. Should still have 2.5″ ease in the hips!

Widening the pattern at the hip

Widening the pattern at the hip

Well, I threw the fabric in the dry with a Woolite dry cleaning sheet, and I’m ready to start cutting out this pattern!

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“Vintage” Wrap Dress Muslin

Since it’s hovering around freezeing temperatures in Seattle, what better time to make a wool dress?

This is Gertie’s vintage inspired wrap dress, published by Butterick. I bought some wool and gabardine for this project from Mood a little while ago, so I didn’t want to start cutting into that until I had made a proper muslin. I finished the muslin last night and I’m mostly happy with it.

Front view

Front view

Ignore the crease that looks like it should be the waistline, because it’s not. I just didn’t do a very good job ironing out the wrinkles and creases in my muslin fabric. I didn’t follow Lynda Maynard’s technique with the lines (tsk, tsk, I know), but I had my husband assess the back for bagginess, which he said there was none (it didn’t look that way in the mirror when I tried it on, but it’s good to have a second opinion from someone who can actually see your back without you twisting to look in the mirror). So now I’m questioning whether my short waist really is THAT (3.5cm) short. I guess it’ll require a few more muslins to be sure.

Regardless of my short waist or not, the fit was pretty comfortable. What wasn’t okay was that the bust darts (and there’s four of them) go up and over my bust point by a couple of inches. Yikes! So, my plan will be to mark the waist point on the dress, make sure it’s where my waist is (and adjust where necessary), like I should have done in the beginning. Then, shorten the bust darts so they’re not going up and over my bust point.

Guess this is a good lesson on not skipping steps, too :)

Back view

Back view

I’m super excited to start this dress, but I want to make sure I achieve the right fit for this, because, this is why I sew :)

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Planning for Gertie’s Vintage Inspired Wool Dress

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I was on vacation most of this past week, so I didn’t finish anything. I worked really hard on knitting the Tappan Zee cardigan, but there’s only so much knitting that can be done in Las Vegas… especially when you’re getting sunburned by the pool. Today, I picked up some swatches I ordered from MoodFabrics.com (I’m planning on making my husband a wool coat for this winter). These swatches are for one of the new Butterick patterns.

As usual, my picture taking abilities are pretty poor, so here’s a description of of the different swatches: Black wool with red accents and red gabardine; black and white cashmere in houndtooth and black gabardine; a purple wool (I realize it looks black) with lilac accents with a lilac wool/lycra blend. One of these will become the dress below, which is one of the new Butterick patterns from Gertie. I’m partial to the top two selections, but threw in the third because it’s different, and might be a little cute. Which would you choose?

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