Slow and Steady is the Mood

Silk burnout dress

Well.  Y’all had some excellent suggestions on getting the sewjo mojo back, many of which I implemented to get this dress past the “folded up and staring accusingly at me” stage.  In fact, there were so many great ideas I’ll be doing a little credited wrap up on le blog later, a mojo-maker, if you will.  (Oh now come on, if that isn’t a cocktail waiting to be made I don’t know what is.  Must get Ruggy on that.)

Silk burnout dress

Speaking of Ruggy, my reluctant photographer was unavailable this weekend, so I had to go all self-timer on these shots.  Wanting some natural light, I turned to that old standby, the alley of my building.  You don’t go teetering around Manhattan by yourself and expect your camera perched several feet away to remain where you intended. or expect to be left alone in a snazzy getup like this.

Speaking of get ups.  This is one of Victory Pattern’s latest releases, the nicola dress.  I LOVE THIS PATTERN.  the pattern itself is as beautiful as the story behind it.  It’s a deliciously forgiving wrap dress, with six darts at bodice front, two in the back, and simple tucks on the skirt portion.  If, say, you happened to grade from a 6 to an 8 at hips, and really should have cut a straight 8, well then, you could just rip a dart n’ a tuck out and give yourself a little more wiggle room.  But of course one could avoid that problem by MAKING A MUSLIN.

Silk burnout dress

If I’m not going to get behind a muslin when I’m working with fabric like this, I’m truly never going to get behind it. but I did tissue-fit the pattern (read: hold it up to myself and call it good) and tried it on multiple times during the process.  The carnival spiral staircase in our apartment got a workout on this ride, our one full length mirror being below ground.

Silk burnout dress

Speaking of below ground.  At this point, I’m glancing up the alleyway stairwell at four men getting ready to move many large pieces of furniture directly onto my camera.

Silk burnout dress

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand in I go.  Had to get a last shot of the back for you, I’m in love with it (and no, not just because I am a cheerleader for my badonaka booty).  Behold: no center back seam!  Mount Crackatoa doesn’t stand a chance!  Smooth as a baby’s bottom.  You’ll forgive the pun.

Silk burnout dress

So for the precious yardage: I knew this fabric was not going to be a stroll in the park, but I fell in love with it immediately.  In a previous post, I dubbed it burnout velvet, but I think it’s a laser cut. I think.  I really should listen more, because the lovely peeps at Mood LA certainly told me what it was.  Sheer as a moth’s wing.  Little furry velvet patches flecked with gold.  My floors look like three hundred fairies went crazy with sparkly dust.

I cut the fabric on my twenty dollar Ikea low-pile carpet to keep it from shifting around, magazines holding it in place.  Look, when you don’t have fancy pattern weights, you do what you gotta.  There were a few wonky cuts I had to deal with on the large skirt panels, but as it turned out I tapered the skirt in anyways.  This does not bode well for me, as really I need to just get some good pattern weights.  I don’t need any more encouragement in the “do it wrong and make it right” department.

But I’m learning.  Just a few months ago I would have made this jammie up out of the sheer fashion fabric only, and thrown a slip on under it.  In fact I struggled with that decision here.  Taking the time to do it right, instead of do it quick, is something I have to constantly pummel myself into.  I think that years of buying cheaply made, inexpensive RTW produces a need for immediate gratification.  Why go for quick now, when I have control of the wheel?  I may want to cut a dress Saturday morning and have it ready by happy hour, but I’m always happier with the outcome when I take a more leisurely drive.   

Sunday driver Oona won, and I decided to underline it with a satin I had in my stash.  But I did forgo a lining, since I didn’t want to add any more bulk.   Instead I serged the seams in a complimentary shade.  Sleeves were left sheer, with a gold open weave ribbon as sleeve binding.  The bodice is attached to skirt at waist, snap closures.  I considered upping my Sunday drive with buttonholes… but I’m a belt girl anyway.

(and I do believe I will always be race car Oona in the case of buttonholes.  But hey, I’ve been wrong before.)

How ’bout you?  Speed racer, or sightseer?

16

Comments


  • Kristina
    October 3, 2012

    Love the dress and the color is gorgeous on you! Did you do any finish to the fabric edge of the sleeves before the ribbon binding or did you the edge raw?

    • oonaballoona
      October 4, 2012

      thank you! i left the sleeve edges raw, i didn’t want to add any bulk of folded fluffy bits 🙂

  • Robyn McIntyre
    October 3, 2012

    I’m definitely Speed Racer. I get these ideas or see some fabric and I want to get it all done in one sitting! This is why I’ve backed off sewing for years; no patience with the slow way. But like you, I’m trying to mend my ways a little. It’s a relief to know I’m not the only one, LOL.

    The dress looks lovely on you. Great job. Now go out and buy some pattern weights.

    • oonaballoona
      October 4, 2012

      yes ma’am!! i’m actually thinking of buying bacon presses…

  • Erica B
    October 3, 2012

    Gorgeous Oona!

    • oonaballoona
      October 4, 2012

      thank you erica, i’m in love with your pink & red! i opened up my closet yesterday, wanting your pink blouse to be there.

  • Levone
    October 3, 2012

    Beautiful dress and love it with the belt!

  • Susan
    October 3, 2012

    Love your dress and commentary. With ideas for 8 kids that I want to sew for plus two girlfriends and neices and nephews I am a speed racer. However, I am definitely taking the scenic route when I sew for me, I am still in the planning the trip for my personal projects. Gotta get out and start driving.

  • Amanda S.
    October 3, 2012

    Pretty dress on you, Oona! Great styling, too.

  • Candice R
    October 4, 2012

    Beautiful fabric! You did a lovely job! I, too, have to constantly be putting the breaks on my personal sewing! I don’t have a lot of time to sew for myself, and when I do I feel like I have to get it done quickly or not at all. But as you said – when I take the time to slow down, I always end up happier with the finished garment!

  • Sharon
    October 5, 2012

    Oona, beautiful dress! I totally feel your pain I wanting to get things done fast. However, this is a great motivator to slow down and take time to get it right. Fab!

  • Nicole
    October 5, 2012

    I have 2 little boys, so I have to be a fast sewer! I wish I had the time to slow it down. Your dress is stunning and a perfect fit!

  • heiklei
    October 5, 2012

    Fantastic job, that dress is stunning on you! I have never gone the muslin route either, I’m too impatient and just want to run with an idea. I rarely have my hands on fabrics that I would be heartbroken to ruin though…

    I like your finishing on the sleeves, it goes well with the fabric pattern. 🙂

  • Janine Whisler
    October 10, 2012

    I would say I am a sightseer at heart living on the speed racer highway of dressmaking. Your dress is to die for, and I am surprised those 4 moving men didn’t stop their work and admire the scenery.

    Your writing style is so fun, I am glad I found you!!!

  • lsaspacey
    October 16, 2012

    Gorgeous, gorgeous dress and sexy as hell, what with the cleave, upper arm, and leg action!

    F.Y.I. Hardware store metal washers (the heaviest you can find at $.40 each) for pattern weights, the best purchase I’ve made in years. Just wash them first before using.

  • Karen
    October 20, 2012

    Oh, honey. I feel you. I’ve been sewing for 15+ years and I still struggle with the “do it fast, want it now” impulse versus “do it slow and well.” The only solution I’ve found it to alternate projects: make something I know I can complete in an hour, then next time, go slow and steady on something special. You are not alone.