The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Burdastyle September, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve been wowed by a new issue of Burdastyle, but September did it for me.

I’ve been going through a Katrantzou obsession lately and honestly can’t get enough of the plethora of prints that a person can put together, when Burda is featuring a designer doing lots of the same thing:  Matthew Williamson.

From the September issue

I even love the dress pattern featured:

There’s lots that’s good here.  Remember he is color blocking with prints, if that helps.  But also this pattern has some great fitting points.  Great waist to bust darts, a FBA (it’s rotated down so it may be hard to find, but it’s there), and waist to hip darts, with same sort of darts in back (waist to shoulder blade & waist to hip).  This means all the fitting points are taken care of.  So there’s not much altering of design that has to happen here to make this a killer fabulous dress…..

And so what would make this killer fabulous – some print fabric….just messing around on the net….

Here’s some ideas from Gorgeous Fabrics:

The fabrics are on the outside with the dresses on the inside.  This is color blocking with prints.  And keep it simple and this isn’t all that hard.  The dress on the left is mostly red (predominant), and some grays in there, so that color scheme is pretty simple which is one way to go – keep colors to a minimum.

The one on the right is more colorful, but what brings all this together is that the colors are on the warm side of the color wheel, but also very strong.  Both prints are strong but do not clash, and I put the side panels on the angle so that our waist looks even smaller.  Granted this takes a little practice, but start now, and you can get the hang of this.

Here’s another from Vogue Fabrics (I’m not understanding their new site very well – but love their semi-monthly samples).

On this one, I wanted to keep the really fun prints on top.  And although the side panels add a new color (teal) into the cobalt-ness of the other colors, it doesn’t take away from the dress.

These dresses can be pretty strong, and you have to be comfortable with doing this, but the way to get comfortable is practice.  Next time you’re at a fabric store, try this, even if you have no intention of putting the fabrics together, try it.

Some other helpful guides:  Keep the fabric weight and content as close as you can.  You’re varying the print, don’t need to vary weight or texture – that’s too much.  That means keep the sheen/deadness the same, keep the content as close as possible, keep the weight the same.  Knits are going to be adding another whole new dimension to this (you have to keep all the other stuff the same, content, weight and add to that stretch-ness (20%, 30%, 40% – those don’t/won’t mix well) is just another variable that makes this extra hard.)  If you find a common mill with several different prints, that’s a great help toward keeping it all the same.

Ok – onward with two other dresses that I just loved in the September issue: #121

This for obvious reason is really great looking.  If you’ve got little or no figure, this is a fabulous pattern.  Also there are darts (and if there aren’t darts, I haven’t made this up…..yet, then add them) in those seams which makes the fit just yummy.

Standard color blocking (projecting color on the inside and receding color on the outside/side) makes this pattern really fun and rewarding to make up.

Then there’s #109 (This pattern calls for wool jersey, and you might need to make some allowances for the stretch in the pattern, it doesn’t look like a stretch, but could be – just a caveat there.)  But even if it is a stretch, it’s worth a look cause it’s got some great bones.

Looks sort of dumpy, but this has a lot of possibilities.  Back dart (shoulder blade-waist-hip) needs to be added, but the front has some really fun things here.

So what happens if we extend that side dart up through the bustline into the shoulder seam – this would start fitting the bust area, and make this a really fabulous dress….

So how do you know where to add that extra dart?…do a FBA and rotate it into the sleeve (I showed you how to do this in the August newsletter).  Once you rotate that dart, then you connect it to the side dart, and you have a whole new piece with which to fit.

But you can do other things too now, like color blocking:

And even some pattern blocking:

On this one I shortened the sleeves to that great 3/4 sleeve length, and don’t forget to add the back dart through the waist and hip, and this is a great classic dress (even in these print blocks).

OK – hope this gives you some great ideas for these dresses – I think they are just filled with possibilities….let me know what you do with these and have fun with this!




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