I made another dress for myself. The pattern is from this Japanese sewing book that I got from Kinokuniya called "Dressmaking at home" by Machiko Kayaki. The book is in Japanese but I think if you have sewn from Japanese pattern book before, this is not a very difficult book to understand. The book come in pattern for 3 sizes "9, 11 and 13". For each pattern, they will give you the bust, waist and length of the finished garments in 3 sizes since these measurements will differ based on the design.
I have many favorites and one of it is the Folklore embroidered dress on page 10. I love the silhouette of the dress but didn't have any fabric with embroidery so I made it up with Kona Purple Cotton. The lovely purple with swirl print is really pretty. The dress has very basic shapes and only few pattern pieces like the front and back bodice, front and back waist yoke and 2 rectangle pieces for the skirt. The sleeve is a continuation of the bodice so no sleeves to set, easy.
If you are familiar with Japanese pattern, you will know that they usually run BIG. So, I usually measure the paper pattern to get the 3 vitals on the bust, waist and hip. For this dress, it is important to follow the bust and waist since it is a pleated skirt with fitted waist so I go for size 9 but use size 11 on the waist.
Although the dress is simple, it has some fine details that add charm to the dress. I like the little gathers below the bust area that define some shape. It helps the dress to look more feminine. I also love the waist yoke that enhance your waist. The combination of the soft gathers at the bust area and the high waist yoke really gives the dress a nice shape. If you are long waist like me, the dress will be perfect. If not, good to try on the bodice before you sew on the skirt so you can adjust the waist yoke first.
The pattern called for double layer for the waist yoke but since I've lined the skirt, I only have the 2 pieces. The skirt is simple 2 rectangles with 3 pleats on each sides, front and back so not a big problem. But I did shorten the skirt a little to just touch my knee.
I had to complicate the matter to add lining on my own. That took me some time as I didn't know how to line a dress with a side zipper. I think the side zipper is necessary since all fabric are cut on fold and putting it in the back seems to break up the flow, imho. Finally I resort to hand sewing the zipper on at the lining. Anyone can advise on other faster method? I also didn't have a purple zipper so make do with the black one that I got in the right size.
I just love the overall shape of the dress. If I'm to make this again, which I think I will, I'll try using a thicker material and do away with the lining.
Here am I wearing the dress. Pardon the crease as i had the dress on for the whole day. It was after the Good Friday service and we went for dim sum lunch and did some shopping before dropping at my mother in law place for dinner. You can see how fitting the dress was on me. : )