Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Stretch Denim Megan Dress

When Tilly, of and the Buttons fame, first released her book, Love at First Stitch, I was super pumped about the patterns, particularly the Megan dress. But I was also sad because I couldn't figure out how I was going to get my hands on it here in Thailand.  It's not even released in the U.S. yet!  Then it   occurred to be that I'd had lots of good luck finding English-language sewing and crafting books at the Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya.  Sure enough, there was exactly one copy of the book at Kinokuniya in Bangkok, so I rushed to get my hands on it. Woop woop! Sorry, not sorry, other BKK sewists!!* I probably overpaid for it, but it's mine, all mine!


The fabric: Tim brought back a bunch of fabric he bought on a recent business trip to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. When he told me that his hotel was near Ben Thanh market,  a lightbulb went off in my head: I remembered that Jenny of Cashmerette has written a post about fabric shopping in HCMC and had spotted some cool stuff at that particular market.  I casually mentioned it to Tim and shared the blog post with him, not thinking anything would come of it.  Much to my surprise and he returned with oodles of fun fabrics: floral printed stretch denim in two weights, dip-dyed gingham, super lightweight and breezy madras plaid... Dude definitely got the husband of the week award!  And thanks to Jenny for pointing him in the right direction!  I used the lighter weight floral stretch denim for my Megan dress.


Anywho, back to the Megan dress: so cute! I really love the dart/tucks on the bodice, and I dig how they meet up the the darts on the skirt... nice lines!  Sleek, but not tight in any way.


Here's a close-up of how the the darts of the skirt and the dart tucks on the bodice meet up at the empire waist... good stuff:


I muslined it using an old sheet to make sure the bodice worked and because I was worried about the skirt being tight in the hips.  But the skirt pattern has a great curve to it, so hippy ladies rejoice!  The bodice was great for me, no changes made. The sleeves are a wee bit poofy for my taste** and I was nervous that the gathered sleeve heads would be too bulky in the denim.  


Here are the changes I made:

- Because I was using stretchy fabric, I determined that I didn't need a zipper and I omitted it, cutting the back skirt and bodice piece on the fold, minus seam allowances, of course, to eliminate the back seam (yay! two cheers for stretchy fabric)
- I added 1.5 inches to the skirt length
- I ultimately left the sleeves off and used bias tape facings instead
- I used bias tape on the neckline and skirt hem, too.
- I topstitched the waist seam to tack the seam allowance up towards the bodice because it kept rolling down

I was worried that the light-colored printed denim would give the dress an unfortunately trashy '80s or early '90s look (google "floral denim dress"... whoa, not for me!), but I think the final result is quite cute!  It helps that the denim is more grey than blue. Paired with a cardigan or blazer it's good to work for the office.*** Plus, it goes with my wedding jewels (which I made, see here).  They haven't seen much action since I got married, which I was feeling bad about, so, winning!


* PS: are there any other BKK sewists out there? I know Adrianna of Crafterhours and Hey June was living here until recently, but anybody else out there?

** PPS: Anyone have any good recommendations for a tutorial on how to remove gathers from a sleeve... i.e. how to change a sleeve pattern to have a smooth head?

*** I wore my stretch denim Megan to work on Monday and got 3 compliments within 15 minutes of arriving!  And it was super comfortable all day, so, double win.


10 comments:

  1. Dang girl, your hubby definitely deserves award of the month!! :-) Your dress is gorgeous - have you noticed how the background colour of your dress matches your background of your blog almost perfectly !!! just saying :-)

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    1. Thanks!! Ha ha- he doubly deserves the award because he took these photos of me while sick with the flu!

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  2. Wow, I can't believe that my Saigon fabric shopping guide was actually helpful to someone - that's awesome!! Your dress looks excellent, and funnily enough I bought my sewing buddy some floral denim from there as well, so great minds think alike :)

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    1. Totally helpful! I am pretty sure my husband had your blog post open on his phone when picking out fabrics... worked out well for me, for sure! Thanks again!

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  3. Meg! this dress is gorgeous and I would say a different color palate/pattern from your usual style. Looks very nice with that blue cardigan and i like how it looks a bit more structured and professional. Really nice work!

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    1. Thanks, lady! Definitely a step outside of my color comfort zone, but it works, methinks. And, yeah, it's an awesome work dress... I am definitely planning to make more of these!!

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  4. This is so cute! I can't decide whether to make to Megan dress or not, I prefer a fuller skirt and I just can't picture what kind of fabric I'd use, but I love those cute little pleats! As for taking gathers from a sleeve, I guess you just need to remove some of the seam length, and I found this tutorial that seems to do the job. I don't know how essential the measuring part is, you could probably just wing it if you were only removing a small amount, or get technical for a perfect fit? http://stitchywitch.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/tutorial-removing-sleevecap-ease/

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    1. Thanks! I was nervous about the skirt width, too, because I've only made fuller/gathered skirts, but this skirt is kinda awesome- it's sleek but not tight or constricting in any way. It kinda floats away from your hips. In other words: make a Megan! And thanks for the sleeve tip- I'll check it out!

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  5. Wowsers! This dress is awesome! The Megan dress for Meg! I really want this book too, but it's not available in Canada until October! Crazy! Great fabric and I love this dress sleeveless - your husband totally gets the supportive sewing husband medal! As for the sleeves, this post from Sallie Oh might help: http://sallieoh.blogspot.ca/2012/01/on-sleeves.html or maybe draft your own sleeve?

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    1. Thanks, Heather! And thanks for the sleeve tip, I'll take a look. Draft my own? Why does that sound so intimidating? Ha! In the meantime, sleeveless works for fitting under a cardigan since it's always ice cold in my office...

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