Thursday, June 16, 2016

Floral Upton Dress

Drama! Intrigue! Tragedy! Redemption! Beauty! 
The tale of this dress has so many plot twists, you may not be able to keep up.

This is the Upton Dress, the first woven pattern from Cashmerette. I was a tester for this pattern, but this version is made from the final pattern. My tester version was made from assorted quilting cotton scraps from my stash (stash busting! woo!) and was not fit for public consumption.

For my Upton, I went with the v-neck (love me a good v-neck), high back and paneled/gored skirt. I am quite delighted with the fit in the bodice. No gaping at the armscye, no need for a swayback adjustment, which I often have to do on dresses. Whoop! The gored skirt is quite pretty, too. I love how it catches the wind. I can also say from my testing experience that the pleated skirt is quite nice, too.

My fabric: this is some digitally printed Italian cotton that I bought here in Bangkok. It's so soft and silky... I loved the electric pink and orange color combination and the large-scale floral (although in retrospect, I'm not sure the background color, a purple-pink-grey is the best on me). I decided not to bother with pattern matching and just let things be, which worked out ok, but not great. I definitely have some prominent giant orange pansy repeats across my abdomen. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

This was my first time sewing a lined bodice with an invisible zipper... Honestly, I don't make all that many zip-up fit-and-flare dresses, mostly because I don't have anywhere to wear them. Anywho, I can't say I'm an expert at the lining part yet... mostly because I suck at stitching in the ditch and catching the underlayer, but, baby steps, right?

I am also still pretty terrible at invisible zippers. After polling my fellow Instagrammers for invisible zip tips, I tried basting it in first and going very slowly. Success! I was able to get the zip in, lined up, and pretty invisible. However, when trying the dress on to confirm the hem length, the zipper popped... Failure! Tragedy! Devastation!

I let it marinate for a while (almost 3 weeks!) before coming back and unpicking it. Ultimately, I decided to do a lapped zip. The seam allowance for the Upton is only 1/2", but by offsetting the center back zip slightly to allow for the lap (one side uses 3/8" SA, the other side 5/8"), I was able to eke it out. It's not the prettiest; unpicking the zip from the lined bodice made everything a bit tortured. But it got the job done! Redemption!

I forgot what a pain sewing circle-ish hems are. The outside of my hem looks fine, but the inside is a hot mess. Don't look, ok?

In the end, despite the drama of making this dress (no fault of the Upton pattern), in the end I am really happy with it! It's pretty, girly, dramatic, fun... it will be a good wedding guest dress, for sure. 

I'd love to make another Upton in a more casual fabric for everyday wear. And the fact that I don't really to make any fit adjustments makes it extremely likely that I'll actually follow through on this!