Monday, June 10, 2013

Blue Brocade Day Dress



I finished this dress a couple weeks ago, and finally got to wear it yesterday! Jeff and I went for a little day trip up to Hudson, NY, to do some antiquing. It was a gorgeous day.

The pattern I started with is Butterick 4443, one of those patterns that's been around so long that it's easy to overlook. It's a great basic with a boat neck, princess seams, and flared skirt.

It runs big, so I definitely recommend making a muslin for this one. I made a 14 and ended up sizing down to a 12, and still removing some bodice ease.

I used a really pretty cotton/rayon brocade that was surprisingly tricky to work with.

It has a crinkle texture that has a mind of its own, and a heavy-ish drape that makes it slip and slide off grain easily. The bias portions of the skirt expanded a good 4" when I let it hang over night! I had to do a lot of evening up.

The fabric is reversible, so I made use of the wrong side on some added pockets and an applied waistband.

The pockets are self-lined and then folded down to reveal the inside. I stitched them on by hand with embroidery thread and then added a decorative button.

A few inside details. I lined the top in radiance sateen, which is a lovely silk/cotton blend that feels great against the skin. The skirt is lined in white silk crepe de chine.

I added a facing to the neckline, serged the bottom of the facing, and then edgestitched it to the lining.

The armholes are finished with purchased bias tape that is stitched by hand to the lining on the inside. It's kind of like a mini facing.

I can see myself wearing this one a lot this summer!

P.S. At your request, I recorded another uke video! Ever want to see a pink-haired soprano sing Folsom Prison Blues in her nightie in her sewing room?



P.P.S. I got more stock of some of the fabrics that sold out last week:

Betsey Johnson silk chiffon

Butterfly print silk crepe de chine

Cherry Blossom Swiss Dot 

Mint Gingham

46 comments:

  1. Pretty dress as always! Those pockets are really cute:)

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  2. I just watched your Folsom Prison video, and all I can think of is Ariel (you know, the mermaid) singing this. Ever thought of working for Disney?

    Great stuff!

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  3. Such a lovely dress! I think the style of the dress is universally flattering on many body types. And I love the fabric you shared at the bottom (I have a weakness for all things butterfly related!).

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  4. That's interesting that this fabric stretched as much as it did. I wouldn't expect that from a cotton/brocade. Regardless, the dress looks awesome on you and the color contrast between the fabric and your hair rocks!

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  5. For a moment, I couldn't figure out what Brocade Day was. A lovely summertime frock, for sure.

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  6. Love that dress. The color looks great on you! Just bought several yards of the Cherry Blossom Swiss Dot, I plan on making a dress with a very full skirt. Now I just need a lining...

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  7. Love the dress! I'm definitely going to have to pick up the pattern. BTW-Had an exciting "Gertie-related" moment last week when my co-worker and I realized we both follow your blog. We both yelled, "GERTIE!" She is 25 years younger than me so I felt very "hip" and "with it" for about 5 minutes. I take those moments when I can get 'em. :)

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  8. I love this fabric! The texture is amazing, and the handstitched pocket details are too cute!

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  9. I love the way you perfected and personalized a store bought pattern! Simply wonderous!

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  10. just to say that I saw your comment about 4 years of blogging and traced it back. Your 4th blog birthday on June 22nd!
    I'm enjoying your older topics which I haven't read before.
    Pat xx

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  11. Cute video! No, I have never seen one quite like it :) Love the pocket details with the embroidery thread....very cool!

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  12. Oh my gosh, I love the video. You have the coolest vibe. That song is great by a pink-haired soprano! :)

    Bobi
    bobijensen.com

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  13. First, awesome dress and great music taste! Second, I'm so glad you posted on *this* pattern. I have the same one, with some grand plans for making a dress for a wedding as my next sewing project. I have a question for you, though. I am a new sewist (very new, in fact, so forgive the newbie-ness of my questions) and I'm currently battling the ease/fullness nemesis in all my projects. (My very first project a few weeks ago was McCall's 6696 - it said easy on the pattern - but it initially yielded a shirtdress that unreasonably blousy on the top and not-gonna-button on the bottom.) Still, my measurements make for some sewing challenges, given that my waist and hips are a 10" difference (31" compared to 41.5"). In the end I prevailed and have even successfully worn my beautiful madras seersucker shirtdress in public twice! And then promptly made a duct tape dress form that I'm using with my current project (New Look 6155,B), which is helping me adjust patterns and seams as I go, but I'm still having waist-to-hip ease/fullness issues (like sewing a curved band to a much less dramatically curved or straight skirt piece). Suggestions, resources? Le Help?

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    1. Hi Laura - maybe I can help, seeing as my waist-hip measurements are 12" different (32" vs 44") - I usually cut a smaller size in the bodice than the skirt. There are fancier ways of doing it, but on a pattern like Kwik Sew, instead of folding/cutting down the "size 14" line, fold so the top (under the arm) is size 12, and the waist is size 14. Then when you get to the skirt part, cut it at a size 14 and taper out to a 16 at the hips (or size 16 all the way and do some jiggery pokery to make the side seams match, which is what I always used to do).

      I also LOVE the Kwik Sew pattern, my first ever dress was made from that pattern. I need to buy it again because somehow it has gone missing... but it's such a simple design and easy to fit and make

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  14. LOL! I got this pattern a couple months ago & just received a wonderful package of Joel Dewberry fabric to make it in... after I finish my Laurel dress from Colette. Good times ahead! ;)

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  15. Yay Gertie!! You rock! Love it, love the dress!

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  16. Love the dress, love the song!

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  17. Ha! Just yesterday I cut a muslin bodice of this very pattern (same view, too) to use with the fabric I bought from you :-). Good to know it runs big as I was debating what size to use... Your brocade version is lovely & your pockets are a great addition! I love that the skirt has a nice flare but the whole dress uses so little fabric. I'll check your latest video later...!

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  18. Beautiful dress and I love the details. Great video and voice!
    Thank you for all of your efforts in sharing such wonderful information and inspiration on your blog.

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  19. I would love some more information on linings! What kinds to use, where to find them, what to avoid, and so on. You always seem to be using something different. I tend to line with whatever I have around, and I've only recently started to look into getting fabrics with the intention of using them as lining, so some more information and guidance would be really helpful!

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  20. LOVE the video! Gertie, you just made Johnny Cash proud! Beautiful dress too!!

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  21. I've been a long time fan of the Man in Black. Just LOVED the video!

    The dress, as always, was great too!

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  22. Oohh I LOVE this! The fabric, the mix of the reversible sides, the pattern, the fit - every single detail is perfection. Gorgeous!

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  23. No but seriously...you have the sweetest intonations, almost a nostalgic quality to your voice. Between the sewing and the singing, I think you may be exceeding a prescribed quota for human talent. This may be why some poor slob somewhere is struggling to chew gum while simultaneously taking his proverbial walk. But I digress...Lovely dress, btw

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  24. love the dress and the pockets are brilliant. Fallen in love with your butterfly fabric!

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  25. You sound AWESOME! Very pretty voice :) And I love the dress too, it's beautiful on, those pockets are gorgeous.

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  26. Wow. The work and the details of your dress is amazing. The fabric looks wonderful.

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  27. Oh goodness your handwork is so beautiful! the Pockets! the facings! the bias armholes!
    Wonderful!

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  28. The reversible part is pure genius, love it.

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  29. I'm just wondering why you chose to use two different fabrics for the lining -

    "I lined the top in radiance sateen, which is a lovely silk/cotton blend that feels great against the skin. The skirt is lined in white silk crepe de chine."

    Why not the same for both?

    Love the dress, love your work, love you, and LOVE Uke music! Keep up the good work - your information and direction are invaluable!

    Ann

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    1. Hi Ann! There were a couple reasons. First of all, I don't like pure silk for bodice linings for summer garments. I find it uncomfortable. I had just a bit of the radiance left, enough for the bodice lining. I do like silk linings on a full skirt for the drape (and it's not so close to the skin like on a bodice) so I used the crepe I had. Sometimes you want different things from a skirt lining than from a bodice lining, and there's no reason you can't use two different lining fabrics in one dress.

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  30. I love everything about the dress. :-) Jude.x

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  31. Thank you for posting that video. It was a great way to end my day. I don't know why I was surprised that you have a lovely voice in addition to all of your other talents.

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  32. super cute dress! love the fancy touches. im at work so cantt watch uke vid . boo :(

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  33. I like your blog very much and especially the fabrics! Usually only way for me to find retro fabrics is to use old curtains :D

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  34. Thanks for featuring this pattern - I've had it for a few years and made it up once. My regular size was about 1-1/2 sizes too big! Glad to know it's the pattern and not just me. Will have to drag it out again and do some futzing to make it work, starting with the next size down.

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  35. Hey Gertie,
    I love your book and style. I've just started sewing again. Sewing for myself is not easy. I've 6ft tall,size 12 foot and I'm 45 years old. Don't worry about loose arm skin or anything else. My shape has changed fifty different times in my lifetime. There's a point that gravity will have it's way. The Butterick Day Dress, I think is very flattering and I like how you handled the double sided fabric. I picked up pattern Vogue V8788. It has a similar look, however it is the wrap dress. I wanted to try a sundress that was "easy". However, I'm not sure how it will work with my rectangle figure. Have you worked with the wrap dress pattern V8788? any thoughts?
    Thank you,
    Robin, NC, we are all boiling down here in the heat.

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  36. Love the dress!
    Sizing has been an issue forever! I've been sewing for 30+ years and I've always had to make alterations.

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  37. I just noticed your bangs are different. I like that cut a lot!

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  38. I love your sewing, and your blog, and now I am also keen on more ukulele songs with you! Great talent, in sewing and music! Greeting from sunny Switzerland, Doris

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  39. Alice from FranceJune 15, 2013 at 5:27 AM

    Ho my!! I didn't know you get that talent too! Wow! Love your ukulele songs and singing! So great!
    Don't worry for any part of your body, you are wonderful! All women are wonderful.

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  40. Ugh, I wish you'd posted this a few weeks ago! I bought this pattern, and even with a muslin (2, actually) I managed to completely fudge it up. Ah, well, live and learn, huh? :) It was my first attempt at a full-bust adjustment, and while the muslin fit just fine, and I thought everything was going swimmingly, once I inserted the zipper, everything went wrong. I'm pretty sure I know how to fix one of the issues, I just haven't quite gotten up the nerve to rip out the zipper and start again.

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  41. I love this dress! It is gorgeous!

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  42. Your dress is beautiful. Thanks for the information about lining dresses for the summer. I have two dresses that I want to make that will need to be lined. Now I know what to look for. About this pattern, would it be suitable to use a border print for the skirt? I'm contemplating making this dress with this fabric: http://www.gorgeousfabrics.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=18813. TIA!

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  43. that was ADORABLE!! You sing really nicely, too. Thanks for a smile today!

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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