A silver & linen dress – decisions and basting

Thank you all SO much for all the feedback on my pattern shortlist earlier this week. It’s so incredibly helpful to hear from others which have worked and which haven’t, and to get me thinking on what I most like to wear (and what I don’t!).

Since I tend to email commenters personally but not put my responses in the comments themselves, I thought it might be helpful to answer a few general questions from the comments. I’m not really seeing this as an overly dressy/posh/fussy dress – for me, the linen dress on its own would be something I’d wear to the office, out to lunch with friends, or out in town, and the motif I bought in Paris is just a sort of permanent necklace. I always overdress anyway, and I’m not envisioning this as anything “left for best” in the slightest! Believe me, there’s very little I keep aside and out of my daily rotation!

Nancy K suggested a tunic might be more wearable than a dress, but I had to admit to her that I really, really don’t feel comfortable wearing tunics. There’s just something about the awkward “too long for a top but too short for a dress” length plus too many layers that just makes me feel self conscious. Whereas I wear dresses and skirts almost continuously in summer (compounded by the fact that I don’t wear shorts)!

Finally, I decided against a bunch of lovely sheath dress patterns purely for linen/wrinkle reasons, and my thinking that these would probably have more horizontal wrinkles from sitting than full-skirted numbers. I’m debating whether I’ll underline this dress or not for that same reason, but I suppose it all depends on if I can find suitable cotton or silk lightweight fabric for a good price while we’re in France.

Enough with the commentary – I finally decided on dress #102 from the KnipMode 03/2010 supplement (one I didn’t even scan in my initial review! gasp!).

It was ultimately down to this and the similar KnipMode May 2010 style, but I ended up with this one for purely darts vs princess reasons and that I thought darts would be less likely to interfere with the motif.

But thank you again for all the feedback on the shortlisted patterns – there were quite a few patterns I really want to make now that I’d forgotten about (just not for this particular project)!

I traced the pattern on Monday night, and then last night I cut out just the front bodice piece from my linen fabric. I cut this with super wide seam allowances, and I didn’t cut into the neckline, since I’ll be changing it to match the motif. Then I overlocked all the edges to prevent fraying while I worked on it, thread traced all the seam lines and the centre front, and then carefully placed the motif on the fabric, being sure to align the actual motif and not the totally skew-iff surrounding netting!

Once I was happy with the placement, I basted the motif in place with hand stitches:

(Apologies for the shoddy iPhone photos!

It’s all ready for next week’s(!!) road trip now! I just need to remember to pack this, an embroidery hoop, my usual tin of hand sewing stuff, and the silver lurex thread I just bought (Sewessential.co.uk have extraordinarily fast shipping when you only order thread! I ordered Monday afternoon and it arrived in Tuesday’s post!). I think I’ll save the trimming of the excess netting until I’m not in a moving car, though!

Next up is to cut out all the pieces of pink jersey and grey stretch lace for the summer version of my Burda September cover dress so I can hand baste those together in the car, too!

In other news –
One of my favourite style/sewing/travel blogs, Neu4bauer, has digitised a vintage German magazine pattern from her stash and offered it up as a free pdf download! It’s only in the original size (B40/W32/H42), but it’s such a cool design that I’m really tempted to grade it down a few inches for myself!

(I also just found a grey leather skirt by French label APC that’s very similar to mine. Price? €320! And I have a website that you can actually link to…)

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