Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taj Mahal Travel SWAP - McCall's 5617 Dress

Another dress for the Taj Mahal Travel SWAP:

Pattern Description
This was summer 2009's trendy dress, perhaps because it's super fast for manufacturing to construct? Because if it's super fast for me, it's gotta be eye-blink fast for anybody else. I sew at snail's pace. View B could be super fast for hobby sewists too. For woven or knits. Two lengths, one including a ruffled hem.

Pattern Sizing
Most sizes; my envelope is 12-18.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelop once you were done sewing with it?
Yes. I sewed view A and also cut it longer, because I am not a teenager and no longer know how to sit, exit a vehicle, and bend over in a dress so short. Then again maybe teenagers don't either.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very easy. No hiccups.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like how you could whip up a trendy dress very fast in opaque fabric using view B. My dress took awhile to construct because the batiste fabric is very light so I sewed a voile lining, and the ruffle for view B takes quite awhile to sew.

I like the slight A-line shape. I had also considered McCall's 5424 which could be converted to A-line but I was concerned that pattern would fit tighter in the hips, based on the photos and drawings. I was short on time for sewing and I needed it to fit right the first time. New Look 6700 was also a contender, but I liked the option of the ruffle hem in McCall's 5617.

Dislike -- Once I finished the dress and tried it on, I was wearing The Great Big Beige Tent. The extra fabric seemed to be in the middle, and it was not possible to take in the side seams at the bottom after the ruffle hem had been added, so I added darts in the front and back to nip it in. I topstitched the darts to make them into a design element. This pulled the dress closer to the body and maintained the loose fit it is designed to have. I also had to take in the side seams under the arms, and taper the seam out toward the ruffle hem, which I had already completed.

Fabric Used
Stretch Jacquard Stripe Shirting - Ivory/Ecru from Gorgeous Fabrics. The fabric is cool for the 105 degree plus (!) weather where I would be wearing this dress. The stripes are actually shiny gold, so I used the reverse side for the right side, where the stripes look ecru. Becuase I'm not a shiny gold kind of person for casual wear. It is lined with Bemberg voile lightweight lining in white from Gorgeous Fabrics. I am LOVING cotton voile and batistes. In double layers they feel so substantial but still very cool to wear, and very good against the skin. I worried that this fabric looks a bit like a dhoti fabric in India where I would wear the dress, especially with the gold stripes, so that was a deciding factor to use McCall's 5617 with the ruffle at the hem, which makes this obviously a woman's dress.

This dress goes well with some Grecian gold flat sandals I already owned.

This pattern would look great in a flowy border pattern silk, and that might hang closer to the body.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I added a lining that stops above the ruffle hem. I considered laying out the ruffle on the diagonal but decided to keep a vertical flow of lines. Here's an inside view of how I finished the lining, and close-up inside view of the hem.

My labels. Wabi Sabi is perfect description for my sewing, overall.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I already sewed it again. View B out of a striped cotton seersucker from G Street remnant table. This version also for India's super hot weather. I sewed it above knee length and on vacation wore it over Capri pants, but intend to wear it over cropped leggings at home. Added topstitched darts to the back of this version.

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