Sunday, 21 September 2014

A two piece less ordinary: shift dress and cropped jacket

I had the plan for this outfit in my mind's eye for some time before getting the time to make it. I completely fell in love with the picture of outfit B in this Burda Style 7113 pattern: the dress with the little cropped high neck jacket that buttons up at the back rather than the front.

I imagined it in a pale blue, thick, textured fabric. In the event, when I went shopping - surprisingly enough - I didn't find the exact fabric that I had dreamed up, so I went for this Chanel-esque white and navy check. It's really quite thick, which, along with a cotton lining I added, means it should see me a fair way through the autumn.

Despite originally having fallen for the jacket and dress in this pattern, I decided I wanted a higher neckline on the dress, so I made the jacket only from 7113 and teamed it with the Burda Jamie Shift dress that I had made before. I made a few adaptations to the two, but nothing major.

1. I added a white cotton lining to all but the sleeves.
2. The sleeves came up a little broad, so I stitched a line down the centre inside each one, creating a pleat effect.
3. The pattern suggest five buttons up the back. But I was doubtful of my abilities to do up proper buttons on my back by myself (!), so I inserted four metal poppers, which are hardly visible, and stitched on three buttons for decoration only.

1. The only change I made on the dress was to line it with the same white cotton.

I used French seams wherever I could on the seams, and used a pale blue bias binding to finish remaining hems, with the exception of the sleeves, which are a simple double folded hem.

The jacket pattern was pretty easy to follow and the result fits well. I'll definitely use it again as a base pattern, or perhaps make the cape version C, which looks really cute. I found the Jamie dress a lot easier to make this time than the last time I tried it. That's probably just because the lining was simpler than what I did last time, which involved what felt like endless hours of adding bias binding to every loose edge of facing or seam. I suppose it should also be a positive sign that I am progressing!

Now, I'll readily admit that it is not a wear-everywhere-outfit... I think it would look best with pointed flats and a large bag for a smart lunch, or trip out to a gallery or museum. I'd like to try it with a metallic collar-style necklace too. And the dress by itself will be perfect for the office, with a white or navy jacket.

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