Skin Art

 I purchased this fabric from Tessuti about a year ago. It’s a gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana 100% silk satin from Italy. It was a very expensive fabric but there was a bit of a special on at the time so I bought a couple of meters to stash away.
I hung on to it for a while because I was never completely sure what I was going to do with it.
I was perusing the Pattern Review website and a pattern came to my attention, NEWLOOK 6123.
In particular this version by Mimi G. I’ve never sewn a NEWLOOK pattern before so I thought this would be an interesting experiment.

I barely had enough fabric and Tessuti have sold out of this fabric so I had to settle on Version D which I liked the look of anyway. I had just enough fabric.
It was the worst fabric I have ever had to cut. It was so slippery but I persevered.
I decided I’d better put to use the techniques I had learned in Couture to get accurate positioning of darts, seams etc which I think paid off in the end as the fit is almost perfect.
I decided to fully line it after reading a few of the reviews on Pattern Review. This fabric was far too expensive and gorgeous to not line.

I was going to put an exposed zipper at the back but decided against it after I realised there was way too much fabric at the back and it was making it stick out too much. I had to alter the back neck line by bringing it down a few inches to allow for this extra fabric. An invisible zipper was a much better choice.

I also learned how to sew a vent with lining. That was a bit of a challenge but I found a great tutorial here.
The one thing I hate about this pattern is the zipper at the back. I can barely reach it to do it up or undo it. I had to get my 5 year old to unzip me one day and he decided it was way too hard. Aggh! I felt trapped.
Next time, I will do a side zipper. Much more lady like!

Overall, I’m really really happy with this dress. It feels beautiful to wear and fits like a glove without being too uncomfortable.

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18 replies on “Skin Art

  • Brenda

    I’m fixing to make this dress so I got on Pattern Review to check for any issues the pattern might have. Your version is beautiful and the fit is great. My question is, how did you get such a nice upper body fit? I’m built very similar to you and I find it very difficult to get a close body fit, especially since all the patterns are drafted to a “B” cup and I’m not anywhere near that size. I’m taking the craftsy class Sew The Perfect Fit and getting some great ideas but I sure do wish there was an easier way to redraft the B cup patterns into a much smaller bust pattern.

    • nine stitches

      Hi Brenda, I’m glad there is someone else out there with the “small bust” problem I face too!
      I have a dress form which I am constantly fit anything to that I happen to be sewing. Even before I start sewing, I drape the cut pieces on my form to get an idea of how it is going to look and where it might need adjusting. From there, I just start pinning and marking until it looks good. I will then try it on myself to check.
      Most of the time, I have to adjust quite a bit. I usually don’t touch the darts too much, I find messing around with darts just causes more grief. I sew the smallest size for the dart. I take a bit off the upper chest at the armhole and also take in at the side seams. I also take a fair bit from the centre back seam as I always seem to have too much fabric there.
      Do you have a dress form? If not, I would invest. I got mine from ebay for $50 and its fantastic. It used to belong to a sewing teacher so it has had plenty of use. I hope this helps and I would love to see your dress when you have finished.

    • nine stitches

      Thankyou and I totally agree, dress on the pattern envelope doesn’t look like it fits well either. I tend to look at the diagram on the back to see what sort of lines they have used.

  • Marjorie

    I have to agree with all the other comments. This dress is lovely and well deserves an invisible zipper. The dress will out last the exposed zip fad as it is so classical and lovely and you will want to wear this for ever.

    • nine stitches

      Thanks Marjorie. I am so happy I went with the invisible zipper although I wish I had moved it to the side. I find it really hard to get in and out of back zippers (not flexible enough in the shoulders!).


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