Tuesday 21 November 2017

Velvet Knipmode designer birthday dress

When you're celebrating a significant birthday you need a new dress, right? And when you're going to spend your birthday in a castle it needs to be a posh dress!

After going through my pattern collection I decided this was the perfect occasion for one of the Knipmode designer dresses by Dutch designer Janice. It's from the October 2017 magazine, #26

KM 1710-26

I chose a matte stretch velvet in a deep shade of emerald. The colour is very hard to capture and it doesn't help that most pictures were taken by candlelight. Although the pictures are a bit blurry, I hope their festive character will make up for that!

In the wine cellar

Now let's talk about construction details first before all that wine will distract us. Over the last few months I've been struggling with the fit of the Knipmode bodice block. Although I was making progress, I was not ready to cut that pretty velvet without making a toile first.

When I was looking for fabrics with a similar amount of stretch I found a loud mix that resulted in a Pippi Longstocking / Ikea employee type of dress.

On second thoughts, I probably would have been arrested for indecent dressing when entering Ikea in this prototype. That neckline was scarily deep! I raised the neckline (4 cm), thus creating a cheater FBA by adding length where it was needed.
 The rest of the dress was fine once I did my usual  adjustments: taking out 2 cm at the neck base and correcting the hip curve. Knipmode patterns are drafted for a X-shape while I'm 8-shaped with a higher hip curve. I shave a bit off at the lower hip and the same amount to the high hip. This is such a standard procedure I'm thinking of creating a cardboard hip curve template.
One other thing I should mention is that, although the line drawing suggests otherwise, the pattern has no darts in the back bodice. The center back seam provides subtle shaping, resulting in a nice overall fit.

Since I hadn't been sewing stretch velvet in ages I did a few test runs to decide on the finishes. The biggest challenge was formed by the front neckline. Instructions told to just foldover and stitch down, but to be on the safe side I added fusible seam tape first.

After fusing and topstitching I measured both bodice pieces against the pattern. No stretching had occurred so all was good! The skirt has three diagonal pleats, the bodice two. The lower bodice pleat is folded over the waist seam before the side seam is stitched.

When I put on the dress to decide on the length I found the skirt too straight to my liking and I tapered it to obtain more of a pencil shape, taking out a total of 10 cm of the circumference. I catch stitched the hems because I prefer the clean look over a twin needle or coverstitch finish.

I'm really happy with how this dress turned out and I will most likely make this pattern again.

I'll add some extra pictures, just because....partydress in action! I had the most wonderful time celebrating my 60th birthday with our family. Excellent company, great food, ample wine and whisky. All that, and a dress that was made to party!


With the knight in shining armor

And with the real deal 💘

Bring on the next decade. Cheers!

Thursday 16 November 2017

Review Knipmode December 2017

Sometimes I wonder if  Knipmode's copywriters play those silly word games where you take random syllables out of a box and make a sentence with what you've got. How else can you explain Pink Christmas (Roze Kerst) on the cover of an issue that neither contains visual references to Christmas nor many pink garments?

Pattern overview Knipmode 12/2017

What's new? By popular demand all patterns are back on the pattern sheets. For the last few months some of the patterns in the magazine had to be downloaded as pdf. This caused a major uproar in The Lowlands, also known as The Kingdom of Tracers. May the dust settle soon.

The first collection in the magazine is all about the new trend colour grenadine:

Clockwise dress 17dress 7, and blouse 4

Dress 7 is the exact copy of a dress that first appeared in the October supplement. I know because I've made it. (Still to be blogged). I like the blouse but I'm not sure about the combi of volants and my ample bosom.

Next up is a 10-piece capsule wardrobe, consisting of a skirt, blouse, coat, cardigan, culottes, a top, sweater, pair of jeans and two dresses.

From left to right: cardigan 14 + top8 (variation of dress 7) + jeans 15, top 8+culottes 10, coat 13 (missing in the shop)

 Blouse 20 + skirt 24 (not yet available in the shop), sweater 12dress 17

I'm not known for limiting myself to a capsule wardrobe and am not tempted by any of the individual pieces, which is good with my mile long to-sew list in mind.

 Designer dress 22

This month's designer dress is a maxi, made in a graphic print silky twill. The flutter sleeves add a summery feel. Must remember this one in June, lovely for a garden party.

Boho chic in mini dress 21 and vest 25

This one made me smile. I swear she robbed my 1973 wardrobe! The boots, hat, self drafted mini dress with vest, even the embroidered velvet band around her neck, I had them all. Soundtrack: Jefferson Airplane and Led Zeppelin.

In the mean time we've reached page 64 and not a single pink item in sight!

Dress 3skirt 19jacket 1 and skirt 5

At last! The pink Christmas dress on page 68! And it's a beauty with a high waist, statement sleeves and a lovely deep v-neck with volants. The straight skirt on the right is made in jacquard fabric. I'll keep this one in mind for when I find time to watch Susan Khalje's Couture lace skirt class on Craftsy. Maybe it will work in guipure lace. 
Jacket #1 may be the solution for a 'Year of the Sleeve' conundrum: what to do with those statement sleeves now that it's time to put on extra layers? The sleeves of my white concord tee tend to bunch up the moment I throw on a jacket, which I often do. I'm always looking forward to fall because I love wearing jackets.

That brings me to my absolute favourite outfit in this magazine:

Jacket 2 and trousers 9

Jacket #2 was love at first sight. I love the styling with wide legged pants, however I don't think a paper bag waist is the best choice for me. I'll be tracing the jacket tonight and I have a lovely piece of  crepe waiting. The colour? Magenta. So who knows, I may have a pink-ish Christmas after all!

Disclaimer: this review contains no affiliate links. I paid for my copy and all opinions are my own. Photocredits: Knipmode