Stylish Dress Book - Dress Y

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My cat, Batman, deems this dress worthy of his gaze

Wearing my crazy cat lady dress to work recently must have signaled my newfound interest in sewing my own clothes, because a couple of weeks ago, Patty loaned me her copy of Yoshiko Tsukiori's Stylish Dress Book: Wear with Freedom. I've been enamoured with the breezey, casual Mori Girl look for a couple of years, and the tops and dresses in this book seemed perfect for that kind of look. Not to mention that loose-fitting clothing in the blazing Houston summers makes the heat a bit more bearable. 

I love almost all 26 of the pieces in this book, but dress Y and T were the ones that really captured my fancy. I opted to go for dress Y first since the contrasting collar looked simpler. The book includes patterns for sizes 6 to 16. I decided to go for a size 10 based on the bust measurement (waist measurements don't look like they factor in much to these loose-fitting garments) and figured I'd just take in any big areas. No muslin because I'm impatient! #yolo.

As soon as I unfolded the enclosed pattern pieces to start tracing, I froze up like a possum in fear. Lines overlapped lines in a mind-cramping mess! It turns out that all 26 patterns had to be crammed onto 3 double-sided sheets of paper, resulting in a wormhole of pattern pieces. Additionally, the pattern pieces for each dress are spread over multiple sheets instead of keeping them together. Trying to locate the correct pattern piece, extract/trace it with surgical precision, and add seam allowances after (they aren't included in the patterns) felt like playing some sick, twisted Highlights magazine game I never agreed to. 

Luckily, extracting the pattern was the hardest part of the process. The directions were simple and any confusion I had was remedied by the diagrams. Not having to worry about zippers, buttons, darts, or pleats simplifies things. I finished this dress in less than three hours!

For the main fabric, I used Pat Bravo's Millefiori print from her Bespoken collection. I used her Sequins print in amethyst from the same collection for the collar and trim. Both were on sale for $7.50/yd at Hawthorne Threads. If I had a do over, I would have gotten the Sequins print in turquoise because the two didn't contrast as much as I'd hoped. 

As anticipated, the fit was loose yet comfy. Being petite, I opted to take in the side seams an inch on either side at the waist to avoid looking like I was drowning. It's still a loose fit, just less tent-like. For future dresses, I think I will stick with size 10 and just take in seams as needed since it fit well everywhere else. 

I wore it to work on Tuesday and my coworkers thought it was really cute! It's also really comfortable to wear. I'm quite pleased with it, and I can't wait to make another dress from this book!

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