Sunday, May 2, 2010

Polling the Audience

Ok guys, I need your help.

Google Analytics tells me that I there are a few of you out there.  (Some of you even live in exotic places like London and Adelaide, which I think is just too cool, but I digress.) I'm desperate for your advice!

First of all, there's the matter of the brunch dress, which has literally been keeping me up at night.  When I went back to Haberman's looking for the perfect lining, I got talked into buying some divine pima cotton lawn that cost more than my fashion fabric, but feels incredible, and it was really, in my heart-of-hearts, what I wanted.  So now, the $64,00 question is: to line, or to underline?  The paisley fabric is opaque enough that I could either.  But neither method seems perfect.  Here are the pro's and con's as I see them.

  • Pro: I can sew and under-stitch the fabric to the lining at the neckline and armholes, which I think yields a really slick, polished finish.
  • Pro: I can do Kathleen Fasanella's slick zipper installation...almost
  • Pro: I'm a sucker for the polished effect of a fully-lined dress
  • Con: The surplice bodice poses logistical problems with attaching the waistband.  Since the dress fabric and the lining overlap at the CF and CB, I can't simply sew the waistband seam separately for each layer of fabric (ie. fashion fabric to fashion fabric and lining to lining).  But if I sandwich all 4 layers right-sides-together and sew a single seam, that doesn't leave the lining free for the zipper application.  That said, the Slapdash Sewist has faced a similar problem, if I understand her correctly, and she managed to make it work.
  • Pro: Underlining will stabilize my lightweight fashion fabric.  It might also be less bulky, and I'm told the finished dress will wash better.
  • Pro: It's arguably easier to sew.  I can finish all the raw edges with my serger and still get a nice, tidy look inside.
  • Con: I would probably do a rolled hem on the neckline, and I'm not sure how I feel about having a row of stitching visible there.  
  • Con: I have no idea how I would finish the armholes with the side zip.  Can you use a bias binding in this situation?  Again, that would leave me with a row of visible stitching that I'm not wild about.
So readers, I'm stumped!  I'll keep working on the drafting in the meantime, but please weigh in with your expert advice.

My next quandary is a more familiar one.  So tell me: should I buy this fabric?

It's a light-weight rayon-lycra knit from EmmaOneSock, and I'm thinking about using it for this dress from Patrones no. 284.

This dress is without a doubt one of my favorite patterns in this magazine, and I've been hunting for the perfect fabric for it for months.  I think it needs to be a print rather than a solid, and a geometric print would be best.  But it also needs to be something that will work with all the pleats and the tie collar without looking too busy.  Do you think this fabric would work?  It's vaguely similar to what the Slapdash Sewist used, and I love her version.

Just to complicate matters, do you like the abstract lines more or less than this windowpane print from Fashionista Fabrics?  It's less austere than the abstract lines, but also busier.  So I don't know what to do.

I've been close to taking the plunge and buying fabric for this dress a number of times, but I keep losing my nerve at the last second. 

So, dear readers, I place myself entirely in your hands.  Clearly, I need all the help I can get!

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