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.|
|Twirly pic spam!|
|Check out my impeccable stripe matching at the skirt side seams too! The bodice, not so much.|
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!