Monday, May 13, 2013

May Stashbusting: The Mint and Silver Dragee Tiramisu


Five months between pattern purchase and finished garment is not really that long a time. I've got some patterns in my stash that have been lingering unmade for years, but considering how excited I was for Cake Patterns' first release, well, this dress is somewhat overdue.

I really wanted to take pictures wearing the Tira while eating actual tiramisu, but that didn't work out. Instead, you'll have to settle for this gorgeous house in Kensington in San Diego at sunset. 

Since mint is a color that is also a food/flavor (and apparently there's at least one food blogger that's made a mint tiramisu), I ran with the concept and dubbed the gray sparkly stripes the silver dragees.

OH HEY GUESS WHAT IT'S A MAXI TIRA!
Isn't it gorgeously long and flowy?
The skirt just hits my instep in front, and skims the ground in the back.

I started sewing this dress with some of my earlier excitement tempered by the reviews from other sewing bloggers -- it seems that in the smaller sizes, there are more issues with getting a good fit in the bodice, and having to take in the side seams significantly seems common, too. Of course, the day after I finished the dress, Steph posted a list of corrections for the smaller sizes that will be in the second edition. I love that she actually took the time to read all the reviews and make those changes! However, they came too late for me...but I did end up making some of those changes myself, so I know I'm on the right track.

Even with all the changes, still no gaping! 

Based on my measurements and some of the finished garments I saw floating around the blogiverse, I cut a 30 for the high bust, an A cup, and a 25 waist. While my waist isn't actually 25 inches, the instructions helpfully suggest going down a size for a tighter fit, which is what I wanted. I was also really pleased to have stripe guidelines on the pattern pieces; in the past, when I've made garments with chevrons, I had to be extra careful and think long and hard about which way the stripes were going to end up before cutting (and even so, I may have cut a few pieces backwards), so it was nice to have that thinking done for me already!

I am so proud of these chevrons!

Changes I made: Besides the obvious change of making a maxi (my skirt ended up being 38" long, instead of the prescribed 24"), I also ended up
  • omitting the bust gathers, 
  • adjusting the center notch placement so that it didn't overlap quite so much in the middle,
  • bringing the side seams in by another inch on each side, but then my jersey was very stretchy and quite thin. 
  • When I tried on my bodice without the skirt, there was some weird wrinkling/dragging at the shoulders, and even when I pulled the midriff down to mimic the weight of the skirt (make sure you do that!), there was still a weird bubbly dip. I realized that it was because of the slight convexity of the shoulder seam; my shoulders must be really wide since they didn't hit anywhere near the supposed shoulder location of the pattern! I just made the shoulder seam a straight line and that took care of most of the problem. 
  • Because of the weight of the skirt, the zigzag stitching started pulling apart a bit at the center front and back and the side seams, so I actually went back and added an inch of regular straight stitch in those four locations. This doesn't seam to have affected the overall stretchiness of the waist much, as I can still pull it over my head just fine. 
  • At the recommendation of many of the reviews, I added the sleeve band after sewing the side seams, as I think it looks neater that way. 
  • I also didn't bother hemming the skirt, since, well, floor length circle skirt hem in jersey = slightly worse than sewing over beads and breaking needles.
  • Even though Cake Patterns prides itself on always having pockets, I left mine out since the jersey is quite thin and the skirt is already quite heavy. 

It's hard to say what my favorite thing is about this dress -- I love the colors, the wide stripes, the chevrons, the silhouette, the twirliness of the circle skirt...this might be one of my favorite makes ever!

Mr. Cation: you look like a flamenco dancer! Me: Is that a good thing? Mr. Cation: I dunno, that's just what you look like.
Weeee!!!
Twirly pic spam!
Check out my impeccable stripe matching at the skirt side seams too! The bodice, not so much.

Summary:
Fabric: 4 yards of 60" jersey knit in mint/silver stripes. The silver stripes were annoying because they're actually woven through with tiny metallic tinsel threads which kept catching on my walking foot's upper feed dogs. I actually ended up abandoning the walking foot when it made stripe matching worse than my regular foot.
Notions: None! I'm toying with the idea of going back and adding elastic to the waist, but I don't have any of the correct size right now.
Hours: Four hours, with one devoted to cutting...spreading out that much fabric in our apartment had to happen in installments. Fitting the bodice and fiddling with the walking foot also took some time, but now that I have those issues figured out, future (non-maxi) makes should go much faster.
Will you make it again? Yes! Like I said, I'm a fan of the chevrons, the surplice bodice, and the cap sleeves. I even traced my size onto tissue paper so as to keep the pattern intact in case I want to make it for anyone else; I'm that enamored of how good it looks on a multitude of shapes and sizes. When I make this again, I do want to raise the underarm seam a smidge, though, since it pulls just a bit when I raise my arms.
Total cost: $4...gosh, I love Michael Levine Loft.
Final thoughts: In case you couldn't tell, I adore this dress. I've said before that the reason why I love maxi skirts is that they're the closest you can come to playing dress-up while still looking like a normal person, and the swooshiness of this dress is no exception! I love how the top is so sleek while the hem is so full, and the colors are just enough to be special without being over the top. The fabric is light enough that it almost hovers in the air around me as I walk, instead of getting tangled. Okay, enough gushing; I could go on for a while if I let myself. Thanks, Steph, for making such a fantastic pattern!

Okay, just one more whirling dervish picture to properly show my joy at this dress.  

I've still got enough fabric leftover to make a top or a skirt -- but do I really need another dolman sleeve top? Probably not...but thankfully, EmSewCrazy and I have collected a bunch of project ideas for knits on our May Stashbusting board...check it out if you haven't already! And if you're scared of sewing with knits, consider this month's challenge a good reason to tackle them. Here are some good tutorials for starting on stretch fabric sewing. In the words of Thor, have at thee, stretch fabrics!

81 comments:

  1. Oh wow Cindy, that's AMAZING!! What an inspired idea making it maxi length, it totally changes the whole look of the dress. Love the stripes and the chevron effect, you look wonderful in it! x

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    1. Thanks Jane! I only made it a maxi because I had so much fabric and I wanted to use it up, but I agree that it really changes the whole look of the Tira!

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  2. You look great in that dress! I love that it is a maxi and your chevrons are perfect!

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    1. Thank you! I just love maxis in general, so I keep making them...

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  3. BEAUTIFULL!!!!! Love the swishy pics! The maxi is SO PRETTY on you!! I really need to tackle my summer tira this month... maybe this week. Your dress is so inspiring!

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    1. Your Tira with its long sleeves was a great hack too! I still want to use that style of sleeve on something, but it's not really long-sleeve weather right now...

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  4. It looks amazing and perfect! I love it!

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  5. I think the dress is gorgeous! Unbelievable beautiful! And I love Flamenco dancers and dresses... You should look up 'Feria de Abril' in Google Images - some of those dresses cost a small fortune...
    I also love this spelling mistake in your post: 'This doesn't seam to' - the heart of a true seamstress overflowing...

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    1. Oh wow, now those are definitely fantastic dresses! I can see why they cost a small fortune.

      And I totally didn't even notice that typo! I'm leaving it in though, since you're right, it's a very seamstress mistake!

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  6. So pretty! So jealous of your fabulously lined up chevrons!

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    1. Hahaha I was cursing my decision to make a maxi while sewing, since it meant more chevrons to have to line up!

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  7. Lovely! It looks fabulous as a maxi. And, you did such a good job with the fit. I will also hopefully be able to get to making my Tiramisu this summer, so I thank you for the tips. I hadn't noticed the updates to the pattern.

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    1. I can only imagine what kind of fabulous your Tira will be, knowing your attention to detail in sewing...but yes, the fit tips that Steph provided should help a lot.

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  8. Wow, that looks amazing! Why haven't I bought that pattern yet?

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    1. Hmmm, I don't know! Maybe you should! ;)

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  9. Looks beautiful! I just ordered this pattern last week and can't wait to play with it!

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    1. Oooh, I'm curious as to how that would work out for maternity wear!

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  10. Goodness, that front yard is flippin' sweet! Sets off you lovely dress nicely, too.

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    1. The best thing is that all the houses in that neighborhood are equally quirky and awesome! I had a hard time choosing one.

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  11. Gorgeous! And another reminder that I really need a maxi dress in my life...

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    1. My closet has a whole bunch of maxi skirts and dresses, and every time I wear one I think gosh, I need to wear maxis more!

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  12. ooh love it! never thought to do this as a maxi, but it works so well with that wide stripe. great job!

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    1. Be warned, it uses lots of fabric with the chevrons and a maxi length! Even with five yards of fabric, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to fit it in. It's a good thing I'm not any taller!

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  13. Ooo! This is gorgeous! I love the colours, the chevrons and how they match up.

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    1. Thank you! I knew I had to do a good job matching the chevrons or else it would become really obvious by the bottom of the skirt...

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  14. i love the maxi length! great idea!

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  15. It looks gorgeous and so comfy! LOVE the colors.

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    1. It's seriously like wearing pajamas, it's that comfy, only it looks more put together! :)

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  16. Beautiful! I love the colors and big stripes

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    1. It's just too bad that finding a nice wide stripe has to be so difficult!

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  17. Cation this is gorgeous! So chic! I love the length and the colors and your fit is just perfect perfect. I love this dress so much!!!!

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    1. Thanks! I really wanted to do justice to your pattern, so I fussed a lot with the fit of the bodice. Great pattern!

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  18. It looks fantastic as a maxi! Now I want to make this dress even more, and will continue to sigh dramatically over the lack of any jersey in my stash with sufficient yardage.

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    1. Awww, if only I could take you shopping in the fabric district here!

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  19. This is MAXI-mum awesomeness right here (see what I did with the pun there?!) I love your chevrons here! Beyond impressed they match at the front and at the sides. You are a sewing wizard!

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    1. Hahahahaaha oh I love it Amanda. You are the best.

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  20. Swoon! I love maxi's and the Tira works perfectly for one!

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  21. I have always been rather meh on the Tiramisu, but I love this maxi length version! Brilliant!

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    1. It's a pretty basic design, but I think done right the Tira is a fantastic pattern for modding!

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  22. OMG LOVE THIS!!! I've been holding off getting a tiramisu pattern due to the smaller size issues, but knowing there will be a 2nd edition, plus this AMAZING dress means I will definitely have to give it a try! :)

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    1. Yeah, I was worried about the smaller sizes too, but it's not too bad to fit even without the directions. I really appreciate that Steph actually took the time to change the second edition, though!

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  23. I love the chevrons! Your fabric really makes it special and different from all the other versions I've seen.

    ~ Brooke

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    1. Thanks! I really wanted to make a striped Tira like the pattern envelope, but I also wanted it to be unique...I think I was successful :)

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  24. oh, GORGEOUS!!!!! Now I want a Tira maxi! love it in every possible way!

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  25. Gorgeous. You, the dress and the yard behind.

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  26. Your amazingness and fabulous creations are so fabulously inspiring - Now I WANT a mint & silver chevronned maxi tiramisu - but, sigh, how to even come close to reflecting the original ;) - seriously lovely work.

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    1. If I see anymore of that mint and silver stripe, I'll snatch some up for you :)

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  27. I was admiring the chevrons and although you've done several chevroned pieces before, it FINALLY made sense why the Chevron gas company has the logo they do. Your dress causes epiphanies!

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    1. ZOMG I didn't even realize! And I'm the one who's actually made the chevroned pieces. Wow.

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  28. Oooh!! I love this maxi version! I also haven't made mine yet, you may have just inspired me... :)
    I remember reading discussions about the different options for lengthening the Tira- how did you do it?

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    1. Heh, I went with the least brainpower required strategy -- just keep lengthening the line until it's 38" (that's the distance from my waist to my instep). It didn't even occur to me that there were any other ways, but now that you mention it I remember Steph giving directions with the sewalong.

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  29. That's a beautiful dress. Well done. I love the chevrons and the colour.

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  30. Absolutely gorgeous!!! I love the fabric!

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    1. When I saw the fabric, I knew it had to become something special...I think this fit the bill :)

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  31. This dress is beautiful! And the chevrons do look great. It looks super comfy...and definitely a different take on Tiramisu than I have seen so far.

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    1. Oh, it is definitely comfy! I wore it all day and felt beautiful and like I was wearing pajamas at the same time!

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  32. Tiramisu is beautiful as a maxi dress! The colors and fit are perfect too. Great dress!

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    1. I'm actually kind of surprised that nobody else has made it into a maxi yet! It seemed like an obvious next step, but then I guess that requires a lot of fabric.

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  33. Love this as a maxi! And OMG the chevron matching is PERFECT!

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    1. Shhh, I'll tell you a secret...the front top chevron is off by about a millimeter...

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  34. This is beautiful! And those flawlessly matched lines are the icing on the cake

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    1. Thanks! see my above comment though about the flawless part ;)

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  35. That is just FANTASTIC... the giant chevrons are amazing. It's so perfect on you! I just made a top version and I'm going to make the dress version soon too...

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    1. Thanks for the fantastic illustrations to go along with Steph's pattern! Can't wait to see your version!

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  36. This is amazing! You look so tall in a maxi! Beautiful work!

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  37. Wow - great dress. You look justifiably proud. Looks great on you.

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  38. Hands down best Tiramisu I've seen. Brilliant to turn it into a maxi. Your sewing is always creative and so well done. Love your blog!

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  39. Don't worry, my Tiraprocrastination is worse than yours - I preordered the pattern and I still haven't made it up! I have been struggling with what size to make, since I'm not built for how the sizes are broken down, but thanks to your tips I think I know what to do now! The small bust and broad shoulder adjustments you made are brilliant, thanks! I plan to tackle this when I get home from LA...
    Speaking of which, I got a good haul at the Loft yesterday but nothing this fabulous! Clearly I need to go with you.
    Anyhoo, your dress is awesome. And I much prefer mint chip to regular tiramisu!

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  40. Alas, I won't get my Second Edition Tira in time for the challenge... My sister wants a maxi Tira, too, so I'm really pleased to see one, and will proceeed to show yours to her, because I'm sure she'll love it as much as I do. ;-) She fell in love with the design almost the same moment I did.
    I love your long skirt - it really looks sooo twirly, and there is something to that flamenco dancer comment... because it reminds me of the way my sister's Indian skirts move, and kathak - the Indian dance she does - is distantly related to flamenco. :D

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  41. That is so awesome! I love it! You did an impeccable job with the stripe matching. It looks like such a fun dress to wear.

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  42. Making this as a maxi was pure genius and is the first time I've found myself wanting to make one. I love it! It looks spectacular on you.

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  43. That dress is AMAZING. I've been loving skirts I've seen like this all over, wishing I could find one somewhere with a good fit and good price. I'd never try to make it myself-- this dress turned out perfect!

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  44. Oh, wow, I missed this when you posted it, it's absolutely breathtaking! I love the fabric, the twirl and the length of it. Who knew the Tiramisu would look so good as a maxi dress?? Nice job.

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