June 8, 2014

Tira-max-su

IMG_1388Last summer, Cindy at Cation Designs posted a maxi-dress made from the popular Cake Patterns Tiramisu dress. I’ve been wanting to try this hack since, and finally got around to finishing it on Thursday! I figured that I have made this dress once before, and it’s knit, so it should come together fast, right?

Note to self: If you’re going to go to the trouble of keeping a notebook where you write down changes you’ve made to patterns so you can go back and alter the pattern later, don’t lose the bloody notebook. (I guess it’s time to clean my sewing room again, sigh!)

The first time around, I had a bit of trouble getting the bust to fit right. But in typical fashion, I didn’t actually bother to make changes to the pattern before moving on to the next project. I’m impatient like that. So of course, when I sewed up the neckline this time, it was saggy and sad-looking. Which means I had to resort to unpicking several inches of serging in the middle, overlapping it more, and serging it again.

IMG_1337It’s still not perfect, but at least the weight of the skirt pulls it down enough that it sits mostly flat now! At least, as long as I'm not trying to do the typical Tiramisu pose of bending over to show how much it's not gapping. (Please ignore the scary Gollum face. And my posture. Rounded back much?) It’s not too big in the chest, just the neckline, so I need to do some research to figure out what adjustment to make for next time. Maybe if I just take a wedge out of the neck or something?

The fabric was a Christmas gift from my mom this past year–the really great thing about having a mother who also sews is that I can tell her my ideas for things I want to make, and she finds great fabric prints for me! And only living in the stash for 6 months is pretty amazing, by my standards. The other really nice thing about this particular print, aside from the fact that so many colors I love are in it, is that it was so abstract, I didn’t have to worry about matching at all. That helped a lot with the speed of sewing things together.


Aside from my fitting quick fix, here’s the changes I made:
  • Lengthened the skirt to about 37″ (95.25cm)
  • Made the skirt panels narrower from about the hips down, for the super-practical reason that they were too wide at the bottom for my lengthwise-folded fabric otherwise!
  • Added clear elastic to both the shoulder seams and the lower midriff band seam to help support the weight

Click to go to voting page
I took a couple of pictures on Friday night so I could get my post up on The Monthly Stitch in time for the Indie Pattern Month dress competition. Voting is open now, so if you're so inclined, I'd appreciate any votes that I can get!  

Aside from that, I debuted the dress yesterday, when Doug and I went down to Washington, D.C. for the day. The nice thing about living on the East coast is that it's really easy to get places, and this particular day trip is only about a 2-hour drive one way for us. We were celebrating our one-year anniversary, which is actually today! And, competition aside, I really wanted to get this dress done in time for the trip, because I wanted something that would be breezy and comfortable enough for walking around the city in 80+ degree temperatures (we went to the National Zoo and the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum), but dressy enough for the evening's finale at a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra. It worked out really well for both purposes, I think!

IMG_1355
Also, watching a panda eat bamboo is pretty adorable. Am I right?



12 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary!!!! Your dress looks great! I find it helps to stretch the bejesus out of the neckband when attaching it... helps everything snap into place and not sag! Maybe that would help you too? I do find wrap bodices a bit strange to alter... there are so many places you could take out extra fabric! I can't even remember what alterations I've made to my tiramisus, but I think it was taking a cm off the bottom of the bodice... Regardless, glad you made yours work! : )

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    1. Thanks! I'll have to try that, along with maybe just straight-up shortening the neckban piece next time. I'm sure this won't be my last Tira. :)

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  2. Great fabric and lovely dress! Happy anniversary!

    Looks like you did a good job on the neckline to me! But if you want to make it feel tighter just for security purposes, I usually alter at the shoulder (especially on RTW) because it's almost always the easiest place to alter after the garment is completed. Take a little wedge out of each shoulder seam on just the bodice front and taper it back into the seam. You should have minimal stitch ripping to do that way. =)

    ~ Brooke

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I did sew some clear elastic into the shoulder seams, any idea how that would affect things?

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  3. PANDA!!!!! OK, I'm loving you in the maxi length! It's really elegant!

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    1. The pandas were definitely a highlight of the trip--they were just so adorable! And thanks!

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  4. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous fabric. I think a knit maxi is the essential summer go to dress as you can make it casual or dress it up. I know exactly what you mean about alterations though … I too have lost notes and changes and really regretted it. A lovely dress on you.

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    1. Thank you! I suspect I'll be wearing this quite a bit over the next couple of months.

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  5. Happy anniversary! I love you Tiramaxi, what a great fabric!
    I seem to remember I also had problems with the neckline, and since the waistband was also too low for me, I just took it in at the shoulder seams. If you want to keep the waistband at the same place, though, that's probably not the right alteration for you... ;)

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    1. Yeah, that would bring it too high over my chest. I'll just have to keep playing with it, because I do like the pattern!

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  6. I know this is late on but just had to say that dress is beautiful, you have a great figure to model it too, but it just sits so wonderfully on you. Well done, sure that you see things the rest of us wouldn't. From the photos it looks absolutely great. Great mum too, what a fantastic idea for gifts!

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