Thursday, 15 March 2018

FROCKTAILS Dress - BurdaStyle + Style Arc MASH UP


Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

IT'S MELBOURNE FROCKTAILS TIME!

Ok, so yeah. It was actually four months ago in November but I've been busy (lazy, so lazy).

FROCKTAILS, for those of you that don't know, is a wonderful evening where people who sew, dress up in their finest me-made's and sip on cocktails.

It's an evening of excellent conversation, meeting like-minded people and feeling up the clothing of complete strangers.

This post is about the dress I made for the occasion. Read on for details!

THE PATTERN

This dress was the marriage of two patterns that I had fallen in love with.
Strapless Corset Dress - Burda Style
Zoe Pencil Skirt - Style Arc

I made the bodice using BurdaStyle Magazine 03/2010 #107 I cut a size 40 in the bodice but then altered it down to a smaller size - see 'changes' below.

The skirt was the 'Zoe Pencil Skirt' by Style Arc in a size 10

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

MATERIALS

Fabric - Wool crepe from Clegs
Foundation - Silk organza
Lining - Stretch polyester satin from Lincraft
Trim - Gold chain from Jimmy Buttons
Boning - I ended up using plastic boning from lincraft because a) the steel boning I had at home was the wrong size and didn't want to cut it and b) the steel was too visible under the fabric. 

DETAILS

The BODICE of the BurdaStyle pattern is such a pleasing shape. It mimics a corset but with out the challenge of having to fit bra cups.
The scoop neckline is flattering on both a fuller and a smaller bust.

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

I was instantly drawn to the design lines on this PENCIL SKIRT. The side seams curve towards the front, emphasising the classic silohette. I love the elimination of the waist darts and inclusion of the long back darts (or butt darts as they were so eloquently named at Frocktails!) that start from the hem and angle all the way up to your bottom.

The skirt also has a subtle high-low hem, which looks lovely and also allows for move leg movement.

And uh, yeah. Sorry (mum) about the ironing job (or lack there of).

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc


CHANGES

At the moment I am really enjoying and appreciating the benefits of making a few muslins before I start making my outfit. I feel that taking the extra time to really perfect the fit has improved my sewing and made me enjoy my finished products more.

I cut the BODICE in a size 40 and then made the following fit alterations:

  • I took in the back princess seams by a total of two cm's from top to bottom
  • Reduced the side seams by almost 6cm from under the arm to near the waist
  • I also lengthened the neckline scoop 1/2 a cm

I ended up with a great fit, but in hindsight it would probably have been easier to have just made a smaller size with a full bust adjustment.


I UNDERLINED the bodice because of the transparency of the wool crepe and made the foundation using silk organza.
I sewed the crepe + underlining + foundation all together as one piece.

Instead of placing the boning along the seam line, I positioned them between each princess seam. This meant that the boning is held flat against the body rather than bowing away along the seam line. The closer to the body the more effective the boning.

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Wool crepe + Underlining + Organza foundation with boning channels.
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Three layers of horsehair braid hand stitched along bust seam line.

I basted three pieces of HORSEHAIR BRAID together and hand stitched them along the bust seam line. This was a great trick that I saw on an old Susan Khalijie blog post and it completely improved the shape of the bodice because:
  • It gave extra (but soft) support to stop it falling down
  • Helped push out the seam line on the bust and stopped it from buckling or caving in. This is a game changer for strapless tops!
I then hand tacked the waist seam allowance up toward the bodice to cushion and hold the boning in place.

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

I cut the SKIRT in a size 10 and

  • I reduced the waist to a size 8
  • Removed 2cm excess from each side seam from the waist down to the hip
  • Made a 1cm dart from the hip to the centre front and again to the centre back to eliminate drag lines (see picture below).
Removing the dart above the fullest part of my bottom meant eliminating the drag lines that I usually get on the back of my skirts. My backside is more like an upside down love heart shape, rather than two beach balls, so there always tends to be excess fabric above the hips. If your waist to hip ratio is a big bigger, I highly recommend this fit change.


I moved the ZIPPER from the side seam of the skirt to the centre back so that it could be joined with the bodice.

I sewed the skirt and skirt lining together at the waist so that the bodice lining wasn't weighed down by the skirt lining. The bodice lining was then hand stitched into place at the waist line seam.

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

EXTRA

For a bit of extra drama I hand-stitched a gold chain trim along the neckline of the bodice. This was then closed with a lobster clasp at the centre back.

I then stitched a draped chain below the neck line on the bodice front.

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Attaching the lining to the bodice.
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

WATCH OUT FOR

The length of the bodice is QUITE SHORT! I usually have to shorten the bodice and I most certainly did not need to with this pattern. In fact I could have lengthened it slightly. If you make this pattern, make sure you test for length first!

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

CONCLUSION

I'm so pleased I took the time to get this fit right. It took about three muslins for the skirt and two for the bodice but it made me enjoy my end look so much more! I also feel like I've learnt a bit doing this dress and that always makes me feel good.

I had a great night at Frocktails and I can't wait to do it again next year!

Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc
Julia Bobbin Frocktails Dress - Burdastyle + Style Arc

15 comments:

  1. Your dress is amazing....and the photos! Thanks for sharing the tips about improving the shape of the cups with horsehair braid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you AriB! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and found it useful :)

      Delete
  2. Oh my goodness I had totally forgotten that you were a fellow Aussie! You need to post more, stat ;) I'm totally running out of other fun Aussie bloggers to follow.

    I'm loving your dress though, there's something kind of Grecian about it that's really appealing, especially with your beautiful complexion and oh damn that makeup! And really expertly sewn too, I love how meticulous you are. Have you looked into swayback adjustments? I'm so annoyed I have to do it on every dress once I figured out what it was.. :( But it helped me with the fitting process immensely because it sort of fixed other issues that I thought were issues but turned out to be swayback side-effects, gah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Yes, you only need to hear me say 'water' to know where I was born.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments, and you know what? No, I haven't looked into swayback adjustments. Which seems so ridiculous as I type this, because I totally have a sway back. I seriously need to look into this; it'll probably be a bit of a light bulb moment!

      Thanks for the inspiration!

      Delete
    2. Hey no worries at all! :D Learning of the swayback adjustment was a huge lightbulb moment for me too. I was always like "Yeah this dress fits me great"--now that I know what a swayback adjustment is, I'm like "OMG THIS DRESS DIDN'T FIT ME AT ALL" and it makes me sad I didn't learn about it sooner. It will be a game-changer, I swear!

      Delete
  3. You are so snazzy!
    (and a very good reason why there's needs to always be Frocktails every year)
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you snazzier lady! Yes, here's to Frocktails living a long, healthy life!

      Delete
  4. Julia this is so fabulously amazing! Love all your fitting notes. Definitely saving that one about the horsehair braid on the bra cup seam to try later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Abbey! Glad you could find it useful :)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Thank you Andie! I was pleased with how it turned out :)

      Delete
  6. You look amazing. I love how you showed your alterations on the line drawlings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback! It's nice to see a visual of what the changes are :)

      Delete