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Dizzy Boogie

October 4, 2011

That’s what I’m feeling right now, dizzy with excitement, gonna boogie on over to Salt Lake City in just a few days to geek out with fellow seamsters and bloggers. But there is business to attend to beforehand. Work hard, play hard. Sometimes both at the same time… oh Ry, my rye Manhattan is getting dryer by the sip dear, and by dry I mean empty…

At long last, and just in the nick of time, I have completed my Rooibos. I’m pretty jazzed about it, and can’t wait for the dress to make its first official appearance outside these walls on Saturday. Let’s hope she packs well, and that the hotel iron isn’t gummed up. (How many of you travel with garment bags? That light bulb just went off… I should get make one.)

You may have read of my fit issues with this dress. Nothing major, but I was a tad surprised at how the first muslin turned out. From the sewalong posts, I pretty much expected that I’d have to do a large hip adjustment. And that looked like it was going to be difficult, as there are a million pieces to the skirt, and they aren’t all stacked (that is, the size gradations vary from left side to right side on each piece). Imagine my surprise, then, when the straight up size 6 muslin was not only loose in the waist, but in the hips. I thought this was going to be a snug little number. The photos are styled on Colette’s site to imply as much, but in viewing the flickr & Coletterie set, I realized that most everyone’s version is flared a bit more in the skirt. But when I have my mind set on something, well… it’s set.

So, I added additional bust and back darts, went down to a 4 in the waist band (that sits above the waist, mind you) and skirt (the natural waist is actually in the skirt). Still not quite how I imagined. I did the unthinkable. I cut and sewed a THIRD muslin. Okay, so I didn’t make a new bodice section. And by now, I’d realized I could leave out the pockets. But still. That is unprecedented over here. As is a skirt section being a smaller pattern size than the bodice. (Should have I gone down overall, then done a full bust adjustment?)

6/4 combo, still adding the pockets at this point
6/4 combo

The third muslin still isn’t all pencil in the bottom. At this point I figured it really wasn’t supposed to be (consults technical drawing & online documentation for the tenth time), and I once again had to get over the fact that I am not a stick. Maybe I’m Heidi Klum at heart. Visions of tight and shiny have me all googly-eyed. I then conferred with my brand spanking new Fit for Real People, and realized what a sway back adjustment would entail. Horizontal adjustments? No wonder my taking in side, center back, princess seams all this time has garnered mixed results. Yet I simply couldn’t bring myself to make my first real sb adjustment on a pattern that involved three pieces back there. And what if that isn’t my issue after all? I haven’t read the entire book yet, but I could have a sway back, big butt, rounded upper back, any combo of those. Dizzy.

Boogie, let’s get on with this.

I decided I was a-okay with the 6/2 combo, and went for it.

I started off by getting the continuous bias tape & cording out of the way. Made a miscalculation, and had to make a few more inches. But I do dislike having to stop in the middle of garment sewing to deal with necessities of this sort. Preparation, ducks in order, horse then cart. Chartreuse won out, and even R came around toward the end. He’d been the only one vying for one of the bluer options. Silly thing.

The upper skirt and lower skirt were carefully laid out to match up the pinstripes. As you can see, I marked the stitch lines to note how these pieces would ultimately lay, then ignored the grainline markings by marking a common stripe. Maybe my grainline marking was off on one piece during tracing, because I would think that wouldn’t have made a difference. Hmmm…

from top to bottom: facing, fashion fabric, lining. dark last-minute iphone snap. you get my drift?

Once everything but the zip was stitched up, I realized I’d need a lining. I swear, I am in denial at times. What, that wool? That won’t itch my skin. Why bother draping across my legs, my delicate belly. I’m tough as nails. Weaned in a burlap sack.

That was not the case. So I snagged some last-minute black China silk at Grey’s, pre-shrunk it this Wednesday past during sewing club, and then chatted for two hours while it dried. I had just enough for my self drafted lining, which is 100% not the correct way to line something. However, my facing was already sewn in and looking sharp. Therefore, I winged it, adding a lining in four parts: band front & back, skirt front & back. It suits my purposes, though I do realize that if Kenneth King or Claire Schaeffer were to ever look under my dress, they would be less than impressed.

The final touch was a fabric covered button. I had considered using this vintage belt kit I found at a yard sale and/or one of these buttons from my mom’s stash. Ultimately, the fabric button was the understated notion I needed.

And that’s it. Record’s over. I’m going to go meander over to the couch and see if part 3 of Prohibition is on.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2011 10:47 pm

    Love it! I think you look beautiful. Congrats on the good fit.

  2. October 5, 2011 3:05 am

    I love your Rooibos! I bought the fabric for mine in the summer and still haven’t started making it – maybe it will be ready in time for next summer.

    Thanks for the tips on fitting etc – I will bear them in mind when I eventually get round to making it!

    • October 13, 2011 1:09 pm

      I do that all the time… good intentions, right! Thank you, and I can’t wait to see your version :)

  3. October 5, 2011 4:51 am

    Hello, I read your blog almost from the beginning. And well, I am very impressed by what you sew, by your pictures. I agreed with your thoughts about looking too often seamstresses blog…

  4. October 5, 2011 6:40 am

    Gorgeous! One of the best Rooibos dresses I’ve seen.

  5. October 5, 2011 9:00 am

    This is soo cute! I’ve not given this pattern much thought before you started it, now I want it- in suiting with fun piping and I’m drowning in envy!

  6. lynn permalink
    October 5, 2011 10:27 am

    I like your version! I also was thrown by how different the pattern (shape of the skirt) turned out to be from the photos on the Colette website. The model has to be clipped in the back. Even the drawings on the pattern cover look like a wiggle dress, but the pattern is definitely A-line.

    Nice fabric combos – love the placement of the fabric on the little collar too!

  7. October 5, 2011 11:31 am

    Your dress looks great!

    I was going to do the sewalong, but I am so far behind :(

  8. October 5, 2011 1:37 pm

    oh my god, girl! gorgeous! can’t wait to see it in person :)

  9. October 5, 2011 2:03 pm

    omg. I love this so, so much! The work you put into it paid off like whoa. This is my absolute favorite Rooibos I’ve seen!

    • October 13, 2011 1:10 pm

      blush :) I can totally see this dress on you, topped off with a brilliant scarf, of course!

  10. October 5, 2011 3:19 pm

    Any chance you could bring this to sewing club tonite? You ARE coming to sewing club tonite, non??

  11. October 5, 2011 4:19 pm


  12. October 5, 2011 9:35 pm

    Your rooibos is beautiful! I love the contrasting fabric and the piping is perfect. You and this dress are going to have a fantastic time in SLC!

  13. October 5, 2011 11:36 pm

    Gorgeous! Definitely worth all the effort. I bet they’re going to love it in SLC. Enjoy your weekend!

  14. October 6, 2011 9:47 am

    It fits beautifully! Well worth the effort.

    I’m going to the Sewing Summit, too! I’m really excited to take classes and meet everyone.

  15. October 6, 2011 11:36 am

    Wow! Thank you all so much for the kind words :D After I figure out the fit adjustments my body really needs, I might make this again, and try to do it more like the photos on the Colette website (@lynn – gotta be pinned in those photos, right?) Maybe a lightweight version for spring/summer.

    Can’t wait to share reports from Utah! See you there, Stephanie & Suriah!


  16. October 6, 2011 12:18 pm

    Love your Roobios, this is one of the best versions of this pattern I’ve seen!

  17. October 7, 2011 11:15 pm

    Such a beautiful mix of fabrics!! Love your style!

  18. October 8, 2011 1:24 pm

    DAMN!!! You look a-mazing. You totally earned that drink. Get yourself another quick smart. This is totally the nicest version of this dress I’ve ever seen xxx

  19. October 9, 2011 5:15 am

    What a gorgeous Rooibos, your facing fabric and piping are sooo pretty and I love the fit!

  20. October 11, 2011 2:59 pm

    WUT. I just now read about the Sewing Summit…which was apparently like 2 days ago. *sadness* I’ll definitely look forward to next year.

    But that’s actually besides the point. I saw your dress featured on BurdaStyle, and I just had to take it upon myself to stalk your profile and visit your blog to comment on just how beautiful I thought it turned out.


    I digs your blog, your humor, that you sew fashionable things + I have a true soft spot in my heart for all things ATX. It’s decided – I’m a follower :)


    • October 12, 2011 10:01 am

      Omigoodness! Now I’m stalking you!!! Former Houstonian, flight attendant, architect, sewer extraordinaire?! Up until my senior year of hs, I was dead set on going to architecture school. I think of garment construction as a sort of off-shoot. And at one point in my post-photo degree floundering, I thought I’d go off and be a flight attendant. Fickle, bizarre :) You have to go to the Summit next year!!! You have great style!

  21. October 11, 2011 3:01 pm

    P.S.– AND you dig This American Life Too !?



  1. Sewing Summit Recap!

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