Friday, 26 October 2012

Opinions please

I know that none of you are shy in coming forward with your learned opinions, so I'm putting this out there seeking some advice.

For my October Burda challenge I'm making the cowl necked dress, #118A:


I was very, very tempted to make this dress in a soft grey colour fabric like the magazine picture, because I do have more than enough grey fabric to choose from.  But I'm still trying to embrace colour wherever possible, and I found in my stash this lovely soft and drapey teal cotton with a multi-coloured plaid woven pattern. 


However I was a bit concerned about matching the plaid at the side seams, and in fact how the dress would fit if I changed how the pattern would be cut out.  You can see from the pattern layout diagram that the cowl part of the front bodice is cut on the straight grain, meaning that the majority of the dress would be cut on the bias:


I wanted to cut out my fabric with the main part of the dress on the straight grain, and just the cowl on the bias so that I could pattern match at the side seams.  So I decided to make a muslin to test it out.  Yes, another muslin! I'm slowly coming around to the benefits of making them, although I still hate the time it takes.  But I suppose it's also a good way of getting rid of some less than lovely fabric from the stash too.  Unfortunately I didn't have any other plaid in the stash, so for this muslin I picked an ugly stripe cotton fabric that has similar weight to the fabric I want to use.

Since this is just a muslin that won't be elevated to wearable muslin like the previous dress, I haven't hemmed this, sewn on the sleeves or attached the back neckline facing so just ignore the somewhat unfinished state of this dress.

burda 10/2012 #118

burda 10/2012 #118

The good news: I love this dress.  It's so flattering and looks lovely with those gathers at the side.  Changing the direction I cut the dress out didn't seem to cause any problems at all. The only change I made to the pattern is to grade out from a size 36 at the bust to a size 40 at the waist and a size 42 at the hips, yet look at that lovely fit at the back.  I didn't make any swayback adjustment, nor did I deepen the vertical darts and yet it fits wonderfully.  Maybe giving birth to a ginormous baby has altered my body in a good way as well as ruining in it other ways!

burda 10/2012 #118

The bad news though is that I'm not too sure about the way the fabric curves to the side at the cowl neckline - would this look a little wrong or messy in a plaid? I was thinking I might need to use a solid or a non directional print, but after looking at this photo I'm rather liking the way the stripes curve to the side at the top.

So here's my question to you all: would you use the plaid, a solid or perhaps a print instead?  On the Russian Burda site, there are several of these dresses in solid colours, and one in a brocade style print which looks really striking, so now I'm quite undecided and need your help!

33 comments:

  1. You ask for opinions and that is what you're gonna get. I think your muslin looks amazing. The colors are good, the vertical "stribes" in the fabric and how the direction slightly changes in the body look realy good. I would actually suggest you to make this dress a real dress.
    I think the plaid with it's two dimensions _ vertical and horizontal will not be as nice as this one. Being a huge fan of "less is more" I think the plaid would be too much. I would go for finishing up this one, and make another grey dress.
    The fitting of the dress just looks amazing on you. It is definitely a good pattern you can use over and over again.

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  2. I can totally see this in a plaid (Vivienne Westwood comes to mind).

    Check out this site with many examples of plaid cut on the bias here that may inspire you:
    http://couturecarrie.blogspot.ca/2008/09/yeah-were-biased.html

    Your muslin looks fantastic. I can hardly wait to see how the real thing turns out.

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  3. I disagree with Balles! I think the plaid is fairly subtle (as plaids go) and I think it will be lovely. If it was a tartan that had wider stripes of colour, I might be more inclined to agree.

    It's an amazing dress. Go for it!

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  4. That is a fabulous pattern and a beautiful shape for you. When I saw the layout from the mag, I immediately pictured the dress with the front in a bias plaid, and I thought it would be great! No plaids to match on that case! I think your plaid is lovely for this dress in either direction though, and I like the assymetric fall of the bodice.

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  5. I love everything about your muslin! The fabric, the fit, the way the vertical lines veer sideways. I think it is cool and funky! I think the plaid would work just as well, either on the bias or on the straight.
    Kathryn

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  6. I say make a bunch of them, one plain, one plaid, one patterned - it's a really flattering dress! I made this in a stripe recently and now I wish I had cut the skirt part on the straight grain too - oh well next time.

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  7. I like the shape of the dress, I don't like how the lines twist up your torso. It looks like operator error instead of design feature. I would go for a solid fabric. So far I seem to be in the minority in that camp! Can't wait to see what you go with.

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    1. I woul also go for a solid color... Grey is so in! Or non directional subtle print. The muslin looks great! I want to make that dress too!

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  8. This looks better on you than on the model.

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  9. Love it! Love the way the stripes go diagonally in the bodice and what a fabulous fit! This is such a flattering dress for you. Sorry, no help on the plaid etc. but I love the muslin.

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  10. this dress is so flattering on you! it brings the attention to your upper half and pretty face. you should definitely make more than one of these for your wardrobe!

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  11. This is a great fit and the changes in the diagonal lines are visually interesting so please keep it.

    As for the plaid, give it a go because the plaid lines are subtle and of course, your colours.

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  12. I'm going to agree with those voting against the plaid. My main reason is that the gathers at the side are lost in the fabric pattern. I think the lines going up the torso do look interesting (in a good way), but because the lower skirt is not curving that way, it does look a bit like a mistake. But my oh my, the fit is amazing on you!! I can also agree with making multiple versions! I get what you are saying about the cowl falling oddly. Have you considered an alteration to make the cowl a little larger/wider (best word I can think of...) so it will fall a little deeper with a bit more drape and perhaps lay better? I can't wait to see the end result either--it's an amazing shape on you! :)

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  13. I think your dress looks great and the fit looks good. I think a lot of the detail would be lost in a plaid but I'd be tempted to give it a go if you really want to because I would have thought the current pattern would hide detail too and it doesn't really.

    IMO though the dress is about 5-7cms too long though you may not have hemmed it yet? :)

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  14. I don't actually have a dress opinion, but I love your muslin! The colour looks great on you - I think you should finish it!

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  15. That's crazy - that fit is amazing! I've got a fairly similar build to yours, so I think I might have to get myself that issue.

    As far as the fabric is concerned - I'm torn. I don't think it works at all on the muslin - it looks a bit "wonky". But, I think a bit part of that is because of the stripes - I think with the plaid forming diamonds rather than diagonal stripes, it might work a lot better. I'm not entirely sure how well it would look with the pleats, though. I guess it comes down to how much you like the plaid fabric - would you be devastated to have wasted the fabric if you made the dress and you weren't entirely happy with it? If so I'd save it for another project and pick up a solid for this dress.

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  16. I'm with Trumbelina, look at V. Westwood. Almost every one of her tartan pieces deal with both straight and bias grain. Here's a near replica of that pattern in a plaid by her. I say go for the plaid!

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  17. voting for a solid for this dress

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  18. I really like your muslin dress and think you should keep it, but it is up to you to decide whether you feel comfortable in it. As for the plaid, you won't know unless you try it, so long as you don't regret using the fabric if you don't like it.

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  19. You have got an amazing fit from this dress. I think it depends on how much you love your tartan fabric, as I think it will be a bit of gamble but it could pay off big time. My biggest concern is the cowl, you realy do have to have the right drapey fabric, does the tartn drape as good or better than your msulin?

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  20. I can absolutely see this in a/your plaid. I think the muslin fabric is a bit busy which distracts from the interesting lines; the plaid is a lot more subtle, yet it will nicely emphasize the play with grainline in the pattern. And I think your switch of direction is spot on; this cowl being on the bias will give it a nice drape.

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  21. The "ugly" cotton sure looks good. I think the plaid will look great.

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  22. You look fantastic!

    The plaid should be OK. I was in the no-plaid camp but I've realised that it's possibly because I'm not such a fan of that particular plaid (personal taste) rather than because a plaid wouldn't work in generality.

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  23. I think this dress fits you perfectly!! love the shape in your back, and how the fabric is in different direction body - skirt. I don't know what to say about plaid, sorry.

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  24. Loving it!!! I also admired it a lot, but also need to grade out at the hips. Your muslin looks GREAT!

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  25. I love the plaid and I am concerned about the cowl. Can you muslin it to see if it would drape well. OR, just go for it. I think you would be the only one to notice the "non-drapey" cowl. Thank you for sharing your sewing adventures!

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  26. I think it will be unusual, but fantastic. Give it a try!

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  27. I love the fit and silhuette of the dress! Question - is this dress nursing friendly? Our babes are roughly the same age and we are still nursing frequently so my dress wardrobe is gathering dust in the closet...

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    1. not nursing friendly at all, I'm making this in anticipation of the day I can venture out of the house without a baby glued to my hip!

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  28. oh lots of opinions here - will wait with baited breath to see the result. I think go for it unless as others have said you will be disappointed to have lost the plaid if it doesn`t work out but I `m thinking you have plenty more fabric to play with.

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  29. I love this one too. I have a Vogue pattern with a cowl neck that is illustrated in plaid. Go with your instincts...they are pretty reliable.

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  30. try weighing down the cowl somehow, or pinning to one side.

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  31. I'm going to side with everyone who voted against the plaid. This dress would be great if made with a soft light to medium weight knit. Why not try making it in several different colors and fabric types? Go for it!

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