Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Monochrome La Sylphide Dress

Diary of a Chainstitcher Monochrome Papercut Patterns La Sylphide Dress Sewing Pattern made with Mood Fabrics Rayon Crepe

Completed make number two of 2014 was actually intended to be the final make of 2013...but what with all those Christmas presents and making the most of every scrap of festive free time to see family I just didn't get it done. I probably could have just about done it but this fabric needed proper care and attention, as did all the lovely little details of this pattern so I got to the point of partially assembled bodice and partially assembled skirt then decided to put the sewing machine away until the new year. I'd been scheming up this project for a long long while and I didn't want it to be shoddily constructed just because I rushed it to wear on Christmas Day.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Monochrome Papercut Patterns La Sylphide Dress Sewing Pattern made with Mood Fabrics Rayon Crepe

It's the La Sylphide Dress from Papercut Patterns, which I made the blouse version of early last year. Looking at the picture on the pattern envelope I wasn't sure how wearable for me this would be in dress form; it looked very VERY short. However seeing a few gorgeous versions about the internet changed my mind as always (particularly this one from Cirque du Bebe) and I'm pleased I gave it a shot as (partly because I'm such as short-ass) I love the length straight out of the envelope! This may however have something slightly to do with the fact that I think my fabric stretched out a bit during my slightly long winded sewing process, the waist is a little low and also a little wide in this version whereas for my blouse it was quite snug. I don't mind as the lovely slinky drape of this crepe makes it perfect to wear loose fitting and gives it a slightly twenties feel.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Monochrome Papercut Patterns La Sylphide Dress Sewing Pattern made with Mood Fabrics Rayon Crepe

And what is the fabric you may ask? Well it's a little treasure I've had carefully stashed away since my trip to New York last April! It's a Thakoon rayon crepe from Mood. One side of it has the matt appearance of a wool crepe and as it's actually rayon the other has a silky sheen. I chose to use it with the crepe side as right side so the slippery soft side would be against the skin. This was an excellent decision, even if I do say so myself, as it makes it de-licious to wear.

Mad Men Joan Holloway Christina Hendricks ruffle collar

Despite the fact that this fabric has been stashed for so long it has actually always, from the moment of purchase, been intended for this project. The inspiration for this dress cropped up when I was idea hunting for Julia Bobbin's last Mad Men Challenge. I absolutely loved the neckline of Joanie's dress pictured above and for some reason all I could see it on for me was a La Sylphide dress! This plan festered in my head for months and months. When I finally found the confidence to draft that collar for myself I realised I didn't have enough of the crepe anyway...back to the drawing board! I still loved the idea of a contrast, monochrome collar and eventually realised that of course I could still do that anyway using the original pattern. I simply folded the neckline pattern piece in two and added a 1cm seam allowance along the folded edge.  I cut one pair from the white, one pair from the black and sewed each white piece to the corresponding black piece before continuing as per the instructions! Simple! The white fabric is a synthetic crepe I had in my stash. It has a similar weight and drape to the crepe so it worked out well.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Monochrome Papercut Patterns La Sylphide Dress Sewing Pattern made with Mood Fabrics Rayon Crepe

The crepe pressed beautifully with a coolish iron, so although the slippery-ness could have caused problems with aspects like folding under and topstitching the outside edge of the neckline, it all turned out a treat! Allowing myself more time to complete this project meant I actually thought through things like visible stitching through two colours of fabric. For the topstitching you can see above I used black thread in the needle and white in the bobbin so when the collar falls open you can't see messy black stitching on white.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Monochrome Papercut Patterns La Sylphide Dress Sewing Pattern made with Mood Fabrics Rayon Crepe

The pattern itself is a gorgeous unique design which I think looks great with opaque tights in winter, although I can't wait to make one in a flippy colourful print for summer! It's quite a challenging sew which I like, though in a cotton I imagine certain aspects would be more straightforward and so good for developing your skills. I love the three quarter length sleeves (stylish yet practical) although I'd be tempted to go sleeveless for summer. For winter wear this fabric weight is ideal, I wouldn't want any heavier. As it is the body of the fabric gives a bit of a lift to the skirt as I move and I love the way it makes the neck tie stand up around the back of the neck, where it might have flopped into a more scarf like effect if I had chosen a lighter weight.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Monochrome Papercut Patterns La Sylphide Dress Sewing Pattern made with Mood Fabrics Rayon Crepe

The buttons I picked up in Simply Fabrics in Brixton with this project in mind. I tried out some different buttons when it got to that point in construction but I just couldn't get out of my head how much I liked the matching domed buttons on Papercut's envelope version. So black domed shank buttons it was for me! Plus I've totally conquered my fear of buttonholes, I got straight on with these with no hesitation and they were one of the quickest parts of the make!

Diary of a Chainstitcher rolled hem

I used my rolled hem foot as suggested by Lauren in the sew-along over at the Papercut Collective. This is the best rolled hem I have done so far - with the exception of where you need to stitch over the side seams. How on earth are you supposed to squeeze those extra bits of seam allowance through the loop of the foot smoothly?! Any tips would be very much appreciated... I was so frustrated because the rest of the hem turned out pretty much perfect first time! I've tried grading the allowances, attempting to roll that little section by hand...

Diary of a Chainstitcher french seams

As I started this dress before Christmas and therefore before my lovely Mum had surprised me with my overlocker, I used my favourite french seams throughout. This is super easy to do with this pattern as the sleeves are set in flat before the side seam and underarm seam are sewn up in one.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Monochrome Papercut Patterns La Sylphide Dress Sewing Pattern made with Mood Fabrics Rayon Crepe

I can see me getting a lot of wear out of this make as it's easy to dress up or down, so I'm glad I took the time to make it well. And as for Joan's draped collar...it's not forgotten yet!

44 comments:

  1. its so cute to wear during our gloomy weather. very elegant

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    1. Thank's Rach! I'm always more tempted by summer looks so it was nice to be excited buy a winter look for a change!

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  2. It's so classy. What a great idea to go monochrome - worked a treat!

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    1. Thank you! I love a bit of black and white!

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  3. I love this! Very Chanel :) You keep making the most amazing things. I was unsure about this pattern for the same reason as you (too short) but it looks so cute on you I want to make a version now.

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    1. You definitely should, it's got some lovely features. You might need to lengthen it as I'm a bit shorter than you with your lovely long legs! But it should be straightforward

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  4. this is so lovely. i really like the contrast inside the collar! your topstitching is beautiful!

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    1. I love topstitching! I'm really glad i didn't go with plain black, it needed a bit of a lift

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  5. I had just one thing to say when I saw your dress in my reader: woaw! Beautiful dress, inside and out, I hope it lasts you a long time, you look very stylish in it.

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    1. What a lovely comment! Thanks so much Sabine. I hope it lasts me a long time too!

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  6. This is such an elegant dress! The pop of white in the tie at the neck was a perfect choice!

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    1. Thanks Jessica! I think the black needed something else to help show off the lovely details of this pattern

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  7. So gorgeous! I especially love the contrast collar.

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    1. Thank you! I'm really pleased with how it turned out, I had no idea if it would work or not!

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  8. Gorgeous!! I have this pattern high on my 'about to sew list' and Love the monochrome!! - I think I might steal your contrast tie idea too! Thanks for posting your height and the pattern length as well - I'll definitely be lengthening mine ;) - and I can't wait to see your take on Joan's collar!

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    1. O I can't wait to see yours, I think this has the potential to be a very versatile pattern so I hope lots more people sew it up. If being 'a short ass' isn't detailed enough for you, I'm 5ft3!

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  9. Gorgeous! Love the collar with the contrasty bits and the drape of the skirt is perfect. :-) Sorry, no tips on the rolled hem, but if you find out, let me know! ;-)

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    1. Will do! I've been scouring the internet for rolled hem tutorials and no luck with tips yet!

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  10. Ooh, this is so cute! It's extra chic in black and white!

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  11. Great dress! I love the look of this pattern but I've also been put off by how short it looks (and I'm tall-ish), but maybe I'll have to give it a go sometime and try lengthening the skirt. I love your black and white neckline - it works really well!

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    1. I think the skirt would be fairly simple to lengthen, Lauren explained how to in the recent sew-along infact! http://www.thepapercutcollective.com/2013/11/la-sylphide-sewalong-pattern-adjustments.html

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  12. This is really classy and elegant, and I love the detail of the two tone necktie! Great idea! I've never done a rolled hem, so can't help there, sorry!

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    1. They take a bit of getting used to if you ever try! Thanks for the lovely comment!

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  13. So cute! Looks really professional, too.

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    1. Wow that's a great compliment! There's bits that definitely don't trust me, black hides a multitude of sins!

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  14. Oh wow! This is such a gorgeous dress and the fabric sounds divine! Definitely worth taking your time over!

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    1. It is some really gorgeous fabric, so many great qualities rolled into one!

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    1. Thank you! It feels pretty good too!

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  16. I love this! Definitely on my late 2014 when I'm feeling confident enough make list! I'll have to invest in a rolled hem foot and order all the Papercut patterns I love at once (Loving the two I have so far as well)

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    1. Sounds like a worthwhile investment to me! I think you should take the plunge right now, with a less slippy fabric it's not that complicated, I managed it this time last year!

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  17. Beautiful dress! Your rolled hem looks perfect! Need to read the tutorial, cause I've been fighting with my rolled hem foot since I got it..

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    1. Yeah it is a real fiddle, I've just about got confident feeding through a nice flat bit but those seams are impossible! Good luck with yours!

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  18. Lovely! I thought at first you must have used something like a double knit with different coloured sides, the stitching is so well hidden. I have the same problem with the rolled hem foot but it does help to trim down the seam allowance down to almost nothing on the seams you cross. If anyone knows a better way I too would like to hear!

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    1. Oo a double knit with different coloured sides sounds amazing for so may things! I need to find me some of that. I trimmed down my seams a bit like you suggest, but them being french seams really didn't help!

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  19. What a cute dress! I love the contrast collar and the drape of the rayon. I've never done a rolled hem so don't have any brilliant advice for you, but if you figure it out, let us know!

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    1. Thank you! I really love the drape of rayon, especially for summer! I've been looking into rolled hem tips so have done a little round up post!

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  20. Beautiful dress! Love the black and white tie detail!

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    1. Thank you! It needed a bit of a lift rather than being all black

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  21. Beautiful! What a fabulous dress!

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  22. I love this dress, it looks fantastic! I bought the la sylphide pattern in their black friday sale, at least partly inspired by your blouse version, this is making me want to get on and sew it even more!

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    1. Get on it! I'd love to see some more versions popping up! That Black Friday sale was very tempting...

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!