First, there was fabric:
I loved it instantly, it is stretch cotton and was quite pricey to my standards, nearly 18 euros per metre, but the local fabric store Abakhan (their online-shop is nothing special and most of their goods are not even presented there), recently gave 20% off of everything for two days, and I took the chance.
When I got home, I googled “cherry fabric” etc, and came across this:
It is Dolce & Gabbana spring/summer 2011, if I am correct. Of course, their line includes several dresses, cardigans, shoes and even underwear, which I would all like to have. But not at the price they ask.
Their cherry print is also really beautiful, but at the same time I think the one I found is more simple and a little less sweet.
Then, I tried on this cute dress by Kling at a shopping mall:
The one I tried on, was the pale blue, and I liked it a lot, but unfortunately they had run out of my size in that colour and I didn´t need another black and white polka dot dress, since I have three!
The cut-out heart detail of the dress really caught my attention, but i didn´t like the way it was done – the bodice front was made of two pieces, sewn together in the center, leaving a heart-shaped opening. As you can see on the black dress, the dots are disrupted and it annoyed me.
So, I had an idea of a cut out heart shape and the fantastic cherry print fabric in my hands. It took me a few days to make up my mind, because I was afraid that these two together will be more sweetness I can take. But then I decided, that I am not going to make two dresses,because I have a lot and I would actually “save” on wardrobe space. Haha, this is a joke of course, otherwise I would be making really weird things, trying to stuff all the ideas into as few dresses as possible.
This is the pattern I chose:
Mainly, because the bodice front piece allows me to make the cut out heart MY way. I made view A, because this way I could get by with less fabric and also because in my opinion, the fabric was too thick for a big skirt and perfect for a tighter type of dress at the same time.
This pattern really tested my patience. First of all, I purchased a printable version, because I wanted to start as soon as possible and not wait weeks until it arrives. I did print and measure the test square and everything was fine. Apart from the fact that the pattern took 81 sheets of paper!!! My father asked me, if I am planning to use it as a wallpaper! It covered a lot of the floor space in our big living room, as I was taping it together.
Anyway, the biggest trouble was that although I had measured myself and the test square on the pattern, the size 12 that I cut, was HUGE! But I was blind in my trust and this trust gave me a lot of painful hours of picking out the stitches from nearly each seam. Imagine that on the hips, I took in 3 cm on both sides, wich makes 6 in general! By the time I got to the skirt I had realized that the whole thing is huge, so at least I saved myself from undoing these seams as well.
Another problem that I seem to have with the Big4 patterns is that their bodices are always very long. The problem seems to be somewhere in the upper chest, because it is quite common with these patterns, that I have to take in the shoulder seams A LOT, and by doing so, sort of lift up the whole garment, after which it fits me nicely.
Otherwise I wouldn´t say that it is a difficult pattern and the instructions are fine. I did a search online to see what others have said about this pattern, but noone mentions this kind of problems.
So, MY way of making the cut out heart was by cutting the bodice front panel also of lining, then placing the lining with its wrong side on the right side of the fabric piece, sewing a heart in the middle, cutting the inside out, clipping the little remaining “seam allowance” in the heart and then turning the lining piece to the wrong side of the fabric, pressing very carefully to make it look sharp.
I used a “pattern piece” I made on my own for the heart. I think everyone knows it, but still, the easiest way to draw a symmetrical heart is to fold a sheet of paper in two and draw just a half of the heart on the fold. Now when you cut it out and open it up, the heart is perfectly symmetrical.
Here is the outcome of all the above:
A closer look at the heart:
Because of the pattern giving me such a hard time, I wasn´t able to make the bodice fit perfectly, but I don´t mind. I think the dress was worth the trouble!
The shoes are Bronx leather patent heels that I ordered from javari.co.uk. The good thing with this shop is that they send the goods without any charge on shipping all over EU!
The shoes are surprisingly comfortable. I wore them together with the dress to a birthday party last Friday and we ended up bar-hopping in Tartu on foot. When I finally got home at 4 AM, my feet were not tired at all!