Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mood Sewing Network: Tweedy delights

Tweed is one of the nicest and easiest fabrics to sew, in my opinion. Did you know that the origin of tweed is said to be the Tweed River that flows along the border between England and Scotland? Yet, apparemtly, the name of the fabric is a result of a clerical error when tweel (old name for tweed  for its characteristic 2x2 twill weave) was misspelled as tweed. Anyway, it is a perfect wool fabric for beginners. It doesn't distort easily, reacts very well to steam and heat, easy to sew, easy to cut, easy to hide mistakes, it is reversible, durable, and, and, and...  So, once I decided to sew a dress with tweed it was pretty straight forward.





Ok, this is not one of those amazing dresses. It is rather quiet and simple, warm and very comfortable to wear. I worn it several times by now and I love it. However, despite its simplicity, as with many other projects I made this year, this one was about learning new couture techniques and this dress was worth a million for me.

Why? The Burdastyle pattern I chose is laid out on the bias for the front. The back is on straight grain. So, I wanted a layer between the wool and the body, and this pattern layout posed some challenges. What I did is underline the dress with silk charmeuse, with the front cut on the bias too. This required some experimentation and quite a few new skills on working with the bias, and, can you imagine, there are hardly any resources, except for some information in Threads Archive on working with bias.

I was very, very lucky though, because  Susan Khalje, a couture expert, author and teacher, generously shared with me quite a few tips for this project. I have been learning from her for a while now, but it was a revelation, thanks to this project, that Charles Kleibacker, American couturier who was also known as 'Master of the Bias' was Susan's mentor! This is as good as it gets, really!

It took me a while to research, experiment and prepare the fabric, but at the end there was no puling anywhere on the bias-cut front. Both fabrics behaved like one, despite the fact that they were both cut on the bias. I won't bore you with details here, as there will be a 'behind-the seams' post on Burdastyle.com where I will explain what I did.

Here, a few more shots - I was just fooling with the camera though - but at least you can see how the dress looks belted, or with a yardstick, ahem...

 

And, finally, my favorite, the Sewminatrix shot. Who was naughty here?


Stay warm!

Disclaimer: the fabric for this project was purchased using the Mood Sewing Network allowance for December.

35 comments:

  1. Well this is probably my favorite project you've done to date. It's quiet and simple, but at the same time it's classic and the tailoring really shows.

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  2. I love it! You are always such an inspiration. Having followed Susan Khalje's Crafsty course, I've set my own standards higher and so can appreciate more the effort and craftswomanship that goes into your projects.
    Have a wonderful 2013

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  3. I love this dress. Beautiful execution!

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  4. I love it! I prefer seeing "simpler" projects like this, because there's so little room for error, and it really lets the craftmanship shine.

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  5. Oh Marina, what a fabulous job you've done! This dress really suits you too. Thank you for the elaboration! This pattern is actually on my sewing desk and I was wondering about the lining too. If I understand correctly you underlined it, but didn't line, right? I was thinking of lining it with some stretchy rayon cut on lengthwise grain instead (silk as lining is not in my budget yet). What do you think?

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    Replies
    1. normally, on grain lining would cause issues with the bias cut shell fabric, but this tweed is relatively stable. If you are using tweed you could experiment. Another option is a separate lining, something like a slip, for example.

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    2. Yes, I am using tweed. Thanks, Marina & a Happy New Year!:)

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  6. Simple and elegant dress. Your dress was simple, however it was all about technique and learning how to handle the fabric cut on the bias. I am looking forward to your review at the Burda's site.

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  7. I am thrilled to see tweed back on the market as it has always been a favorite of mine. Glad you had this opportunity to work on the bias, a skill worth having and developing. Beautifully done!

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  8. I love the dress...thanks for suggesting tweed as fabric...especially on a long sleeved dress. I wasn't sure what fabric I could use on such project. Does it have to be a thin tweed or any would do? I look forward to reading your post on techniques used!

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    1. This tweed was in a lighter range and relatively soft. Tweed is great for winter dresses and there is such a great variety on the market - a lot to choose from, including novelty tweeds.

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  9. Such an elegant dress. It looks astonishing.

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  10. I love this dress - it is classic and will be wearable for many years to come. Beautiful job. Sounds challenging with the silk lining on the bias!

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  11. love this dress. I am a fool for wool (if only that rhymed). Simplicity and perfection.

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  12. this looks so beautifully crafted, can't wait to read your in-depth on the bias techniques!

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  13. Stunning... This is a perfect dress for winter. So elegant and chic.. The funny photos deserve a bonus applause... X

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  14. Love this belted! and thanks for the tips!

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  15. Love your photos, especially the last one! I'm really looking forward to your Burda post, as this dress is on my to-do list, and I will need to underline my fabric as well.

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  16. I have seen a few examples of this dress, loved them all and yours is no exception - lovely.

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  17. I made this dress too and it's unlined (thus a bit scratchy)! I can't wait to see your post on the lining!

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  18. I disagree - this IS one of those stunning creations. I'd love a close up on your shoulder-sleeve seam - it looks amazing. I'm looking forward to the 'behind the seams post' :)

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  19. Your dress looks amazing. I have also sewn this dress, but in a cotton (stretch) jersey, because I was unsure about the fit and I would not have known how to alter this pattern to my small bust, and jersey is more foregivable. I have also created a lining (I do not understand why Burda makes such a dress without a lining). however, your tweed dress looks so far more elegant! I am looking forward to your more detailed review.

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  20. This is such a great dress-- I absolutely love it! You look fabulous!

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  21. A wearable, durable, elegant dress that uses interesting techniques will always be amazing in my book. Your version looks better than the Burda sample, which has a pool of fabric in an area that would not be flattering to most women.

    Happy New Year.

    Visitor11111

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  22. what a stunning and elegant dress. I can't wait for the detailed review.

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  23. Happy New Year Marina! The BurdaStyle dress looks lovely on you - I've been eyeing up the same pattern for myself too. And I liked your rulers so much I had to order the hip curve one for myself online hehe!(Oh, BTW later today I'm going to start measuring and drafting the pencil skirt your PIMP My Pencil Skirt Draft & Sewalong). P.S. If it's okay to mention it here in my comment please?... I'm holding a Giveaway (2 bundles of sewing goodness) over on my blog - open to folks everywhere, so no postal restrictions LOL!

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  24. Really really beautiful! I love the drape of the neckline, and the charcoal tweed is so elegant and sophisticated. You look gorgeous!! :)

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  25. Happy New Year! I've nominated you for the One Lovely Blog/Very Versatile Blogger. The rules are in my last post...

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  26. Lovely, elegant, understated dress. I'm looking forward to making this myself so will be interested to hear how you interlined it.

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  27. What a great winter dress, looks warm AND attractive. Always a dilemma with winter, do I look nice or keep warm? Nice to see you can do both. Especially like the pic with the black belt and ruler!

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  29. Beautiful dress...I think that some of the most stunning creations are the simple ones with beautiful construction rather than those that are more ornate, but that's just me! Don't you just love how each garment poses its own challenges? That's the fun of couture! Throwing away the instructions and getting down and dirty and figuring stuff out yourself. I look forward to your BurdaStyle post, as I always enjoy them. Love your sewanatrix pose...that's a profile pic if I've ever seen one :)

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  30. I love this dress and I think I will make it too. I have a nice blue wool fabric which would be great. Now I'm waiting eagerly for your post at BurdaStyle.com to be published. :-) I also want to use couture techniques, if I can.

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  31. This dress looks amazing - I have the pattern, but didn't pay much attention to it. sometimes the burda photos don't do justice to the designs. I'm also looking forward to your post on burdastyle. Its still summer in the southern hemisphere, but I have some nice lightweight wools that would suit this pattern well!

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