Monday, July 16, 2007

Cha Cha Redux

And now back to our "regularly scheduled programme..."

Working with large scale prints is fun! My only fear with this one was to remember not to put one of those big blue flowers right over each one of my breasts.

This is the Hot Patterns Cha Cha Dress, in a polyester knit from Metro Textile (Kashi), of NYC. I was in NYC for work a few weeks ago (see earlier post on "Three Destination Wardrobe Challenge") and managed to slip in a trip on the side to Metro. I got this and several other great poly knits. I bought this knit specifically with this dress in mind. I have a black print version of this dress which has proven itself a winner.

Although knit fabric is not specified for use on the 'list' of recommended fabrics of the pattern envelope, I knew that this polyester knit would be good in this dress, as it's flowing, the knit has good recovery and doesn't sag vertically while wearing.

In construction, I used a stretch stitch on my regular sewing machine for all vertical seams (the seam allowance is less bulky than a serged seam), but used the serger to attach the ruffles at the hem of the dress and at the sleeves. The reason I chose to use the serger at these places was that the seam at these areas is sometimes 'public', as in when I flip my sleeve, so I wanted a nice trim look which the serger gave me. For the hems of the ruffles, I experimented with several finishes, including a rolled hem with the serger, but I ended up using my coverstitch machine to finish the hems of the ruffles, because that gave some weight to the hem. (The rolled hem flipped up the wrong side of the fabric, even if sewed on a 1:1 ratio.) I also used the coverstitch machine to stitch down the neckline casing before inserting the ribbon. I used a polyester ribbon, in brown. I had to go to JoAnn yesterday on a special trip to get the ribbon. I really wanted an aqua ribbon, but could not find a ribbon to match either shade of aqua in my dress, so I settled on 'mudpie brown' color for the ribbon.

Earlier last week, I had bought an aqua ribbon on 'spec' (there is a small sewing store near where I get my hair cut, so I stopped in there quickly), but didn't have my fabric sample with me, and therefore bought the wrong shade (too green) of aqua. So I have 1 1/2 yards of 'extra' greenish aqua ribbon that matches nothing. That kind of bothers me, but I can't really justify why it bothers me. I certainly collect enough other sewing supplies! So I will add the aqua ribbon to the ribbon collection, and maybe someday I'll find a use for it!

This dress is great. But warning for those of you who like me, like to cook. The sleeves are flowing - beautiful, but definitely designed for more sedate or decorative pursuits such as office work or eating dinner - not cooking it!


Tany said...

What a gorgeous dress! Love the large scale print! Beautiful!

Shannon said...

That dress is adorable. Antoher great garment - keep 'em comin'!

Lisette M said...

Just love your latest version. It is fun working with large prints and you did it just right. Thank you for linking my blog to yours, I am flattered!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Barbara - what a great use of that fabric! Trust me everyone that is one amazing piece of fabric and the reason that I don't own a piece of it is because I was worried that I would end up with one of those flowers on my backside - not a pretty picture!

The Cha Cha Redux is a winner! And great use of the fabric, Barbara!

Isabelle said...

Oh, but you look lovely!! I rarely work with large print but you have certainly given me the urge to do so. Beautiful dress!

Julie said...

That dress looks really nice on you. I'm wondering though, are those polyester knits hot?

As for the aqua ribbon...well you know what that'll just have to go out and buy some fabric to go with it!