Monday, August 15, 2016

Put a Bird on It: BurdaStyle Shift Dress 04/2016 #115

Put a bird on it! More specifically, put four red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) on it!
(thank you, PepperReed for the bird ID!)


After making Holly's wearable muslin of the BurdaStyle Shift Dress 04/2016 #115, it took me a few weeks to woman up and make her "Put a Bird on It" dress. I think I was a bit apprehensive about working with the brocade fabric, particularly sewing and ironing it. But brocades are in, apparently, so it was worth it.


Since the bust area was too big on Holly's first dress, I started to do an SBA on the pattern. The darts were fairly small to begin with, though, so I ended up removing them entirely. Then I decided to just trace the back pattern piece with the front neckline.


Before I cut into the bird fabric, I sewed up the lining with the bust changes and had Holly try it to make sure it would still fit. The fit was great, and since the front and the back were the same but for the neckline, Holly liked the idea of having it be reversible. I left the back neck band thing off and now she has a reversible dress! She can go round neck or v-neck in the front, depending her mood!


I also agonized over the placement of the birds on the dress- the fabric is a panel design, with 4 panels running from selvage to selvage. There was no way to cut out the narrow dress without getting bird butts on the side seams. I complained on Instagram and my peeps provided some helpful suggestions (thanks, all!), but none of them seemed quite right for this particular situation and small amount of fabric. We decided to wing it (hahaha) and just went for it. In the end, it's totally fine; no one is going to notice the bisected bird butts on the side seams except you guys because I pointed it out.


After cutting, I decided to serge all the edges except the neckline before sewing because the brocade was quite prone to fraying. I also turned the heat down on the iron all the way because I was worried about melting or scorching the fabric, but found that the low temp wasn't accomplishing anything. I incrementally turned it up until it was hot enough to actually press, but not so hot that it melted the fabric. I had to press all the seams a ton because this thick fabric didn't want to stay flat.


Unlike last time, I drafted the cuffs and sewed them on. Although I used lining fabric for the underlayer, I am still finding them to be a bit bulky, particularly at the seamline. I wanted to remove them to keep the dress sleek, but Holly liked them, so we kept them on. 


I did lots of understitching and clipping to get the neckline flat. For the in-seam pockets, which I cut from the lining fabric, I used these great instructions from Sewaholic (sewing them to the bodice using a smaller seam allowance) to make sure they stayed inside. I sewed a blind hem on the outer skirt with my machine and tacked the lining to the seam allowance at the shoulders and a bit above the hem so it wouldn't pop out.


In the end I added bra strap carriers to the dress because the neck is juuuuuust wide enough that they occasionally show and without the strap to keep it in place, the shoulders slip a little bit. I sewed them through the lining and onto the seam allowance of the outer dress fabric, which I figured would help keep the lining inside. I was going to follow this tutorial from Dixie DIY, but it turned out my snaps were really tiny and I didn't have a ribbon narrow enough. Instead I used a tiny crochet hook (1.7mm) and crocheted a doubled thread to form a strong chain to attach half the snap. Worked pretty well! I used some Fray Check on the knot to make sure it doesn't come untied.


We both love the final result! Holly looks smashing in the yellow and killed the accessorizing with her cobalt pumps. A statement dress, for sure!

30 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks!! She makes it look good, I say!

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  2. That fabric is gorgeous. Love how your friend styled it. She looks great.

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    1. Thanks, Manju! It's definitely a statement fabric! Holly rocks it.

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  3. Fabulous! That is just beautiful! And Crane Butts for everyone ~~ AKA shake your tail feather. :^)

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    1. Thanks!! Crane butts all around...

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  4. Holly is rocking this dress. You're a great friend Meg.

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    1. She killed it with those blue pumps, too, didn't she?

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  5. That is an awesome, awesome dress. Love that it became reversible, too!

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    1. Thanks, Gillian! I like the idea of the reversible dress, too! I wish that would work for me ;-)

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  6. Yellow looks fabulous on Holly and so do those shoes! Holly needs bright colors to distract from her amazing legs. I want them, really.

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    1. She glows in yellow, huh? Ha ha- run like 10 miles a day, literally every day, and you could have legs like Holly.

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  7. oh wow! This is stunning, just beautiful. And your work is lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Coco! The yellow is so eye-catching, isn't it?

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  8. It turned out just lovely. This is a great silhouette for your friend, and the bird fabric is really special (despite brocade being a little futzy, or really mostly full of sparkly hairs).

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I think it looks great on her! And the fabric was much easier to work with than I thought... but I'll stick to natural fibers for the most part.

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  9. Oh that's glorious. Well done. Unusual and a real statement piece.

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    1. Thanks, Victoria! Definitely a statement!!

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  10. It turned out perfectly!!! This cut is ideal for showing off a really special fabric, and this fabric is GORGEOUS. Holly obviously loves the pockets, ha! This sack shape looks so Audrey Hepburn on her, I think you should do another one in black lace and she should accessorize with pearls. Just sayin' ...

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    1. The fabric is pretty amazing, isn't it? Ha, I realized after our photo shoot was cut short due to a massive thunderstorm that I had no photos of the dress without hands-in-pockets. She loves them!

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  11. This dress is just amazing, well done for not being scared and backing off of sewing that fabric (like I would have done) it's come out beautiful and your friend looks stunning.

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    1. Thanks! It was definitely worth overcoming the mental hurdle about the fabric!

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  12. I second the person who said it was 'Audrey Hepburn-ish'. Love how this turned out.
    Mary in Thailand

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  13. Gorgeous dress, and I'm curious what you mean by 'bra strap carriers'? Not a term I've heard before, but if there's some magical way to avoid having bra straps show, I'd be delighted to know ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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    1. Thanks, Kim! Umm... here are a couple links to tutorials for adding bra strap carriers. Basically a bra strap carrier is a little string or ribbon with a snap on the end sewn under the strap/neckline of the dress/shirt- the ribbon/string goes around the bra and connects back to the edge of the dress/shirt where the other half of the snap is sewn, essentially holding the dress/shirt to the bra strap. For my string I used a small crochet chain for strength.

      http://dixiediy.com/2013/05/adding-bra-strap-carriers-to-your-dresses-and-tops.html

      http://www.sallyannk.com/2013/08/diy-video-sew-bra-strap-holder-into.html

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    2. Thanks for the info....sometimes trying to figure out what term/s to Google is half the battle! I appreciate the links๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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  14. This turned out so well! It looks amazing on Holly - I bet she wants to wear it everyday!! Beautiful!

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