Friday, May 10, 2019

Metallic neutral sheath dress, jacket and skirt

 This garment ensemble is long overdue to be blogged. It all started last spring during Design 2 intensive with Sarah Veblen. One of my exercises was to work on and develop what neutral means to me in fashion, design and sewing. It was a great time for me to explore this since I was also in great need of new work clothes.

The designs were all developed by me with some design considerations given to me by Sarah.

The Sheath Dress 
The sheath dress was one that I had been wanting to create for a long time and I had so much fun working on a master pattern that has since morphed into so many designs! For instance, I took my base master sheath dress pattern and modified it to create this metallic neutral.

I started with sketching some ideas for a dress and then added a jacket and then thought that a skirt addition would make a mini capsule perfect for work trips.

I modified the pattern by:
  • Raising the front neckline
  • Lowering the back neckline
  • Adding extended shoulder for a sort of cut on cap sleeve
  • Side fronts and side backs cut on the bias
  • The front piece was split horizontally with a curved line to take advantage of the lines and nap of the silk dupioni
  • Addition of a tab and small button to the back vent. The button matches the jacket buttons. Just a different scale.
  • Addition of a welt zipper pocket in the right side front piece

The dress fabric is a lightweight metallic striped silk dupioni, underlined with silk organza and line with ambiance lining. I purchased the silk from Fabrications shop at the ASG national meeting when it was in Indianapolis a couple years ago.

The Jacket
With the dress completed, I moved onto the jacket. The fabric for the jacket was a gift from my great friend, Wendy Grossman who blogs over at The Couture Counsellor. I knew that I wanted the jacket front shape to echo the curve of the bodice on the dress front. But in a very delicate way. In my mock up i tried a couple different placements for the curved front and I had to be careful to place it in such a way that I did not accentuate my full tummy.

With the jacket front shape adjusted, the rest of the construction was fairly simple. Except that I had to match the basket weave as perfectly as possible! I also wanted to pull in the elements of the dress in a way that the set really went with each other and not just a jacket that looked good with the dress. So, in addition to the front waist curve, I also used the dress silk dupioni fabric to create pleated details on the jacket.

I added:
  • pleated cuff treatment
  • pleated pocket treatment 
  • pleated collar/neck treatment (my favorite part) 

The main jacket pattern is made from my master princess seam jacket pattern and 3 piece sleeves with the under sleeve cut on the bias. I simply love using a 3 piece sleeve! It shapes and fits so nicely to my arms and it takes much less yardage overall when using a 3 -piece sleeve because the sleeve is in 3 pieces you can puzzle fit it into smaller areas.

For the lining used a silk remnant for the body portion, making sure to include a back pleat for ease and comfortable movement. The sleeves are lined with black ambiance lining. 

The Skirt
With the leftover basket weave fabric and ambiance lining, I made a matching skirt. Thinking that this would be a perfect skirt suit. However, I dont often wear it that way because I don't like the way the front yoke of the skirt looks when paired up with the jacket. This is a bit nit picky on my part. Instead of using darts on the skirt I choose to add in a yoke and cut it on the bias. My thought for doing it this way was that then I would not have to match the basket weave vertically between the jacket and the skirt. All I succeeded in doing was breaking up the line so that the eye is drawn right to the yoke. Not where I want peoples eyes staring at!! LOL!! From the back it looks amazing because the back yoke is covered by the jacket. 

The skirt pattern was developed from my basic a-line master skirt pattern. I transferred the darts into a yoke on the front and back.I also added in a 'secret' pocket on the inside facing. Works perfect for when I am working trade-shows and need to have a credit card/cash etc in a safe place.

A very good design learning opportunity for me. Luckily I have plenty of other tops and another jacket that goes very well with the skirt so it is not an orphan sitting in my closet! Plus I do also wear it as a skirt suit for work. It's not that bad....

 I mentioned above that I have another jacket in my closet that I made quite a few years ago that also works quite well with the sheath dress and the skirt. It is from a metallic denim/twill with a very wide stripe that worked perfectly for this garment. The pattern is one of Cynthia Guffey's - J5054. Her website is back up and running, but not sure for how long... so if you like, go buy it!

Happy Sewing!!!

Here is the princess showing off 2 new shirts and dancing in her new PJ's!! She loves coming over and picking out fabric for me to sew her new clothes :)

1 comment:

  1. I can see that Cynthia Guffrey jacket with the skirt too. Everything in this capsule wardrobe is just beautiful.


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