Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A start on the Prada Inspired Dress using B5922

I've started on my version of this Prada dress worn by Keira Knightley a couple of weeks ago:
found on Pinterest on Instyle Magazine's page, better pictures can be found here
I thought I would document my work on the dress.  It might be interesting, even if it doesn't work out, right?  I hope so!  I've scoured the internet and the only pictures I can find are front views of Ms. Knightley, which is rather disappointing.  I've learned that Prada no longer sells women's clothing online, which is kind of weird (in my opinion) as they still sell menswear, shoes, bags, and other accessories.  Just not the women's clothing.  So I could never find a back view, but with the fullness of the skirt, I'm going with that it's also pleated in the back.  The other thing I've gleaned from staring at it for hours is there are no darts.  The only shaping that I can see is that the pleats closest to the side seam are angled and not straight.

I went through my pattern stash.  By the way, this is how I store patterns, well the pattern envelopes.  I have them in alphabetical order by company and numerical order.  It makes it easy to flip through them.  I need to print out all my digital ones and add them.

The actual patterns are put into manila envelopes and stored in boxes from Target.   I currently have five boxes full.  The manila envelopes are nice because then I have more space for traced patterns, multiple sizes, whatever.  Anyway, back to the dress.  After looking through my patterns, I found the perfect starting point.  Butterick 5922
I decided on this pattern because it it has no darts and the correct collar.  It should be fairly simple to make it the correct length, just follow the side seams to the length I want.  I still need to find a sleeve pattern, I have an idea to change them a tiny bit, we'll see how it works.  The downfall to this pattern is that it's drafted for knits, so my usual size 14 would be a bit snug in the chest area.  Before I started adding the pleats, I made a muslin adding 1/2" to the center of both the front and back.  I also graded the waist to the size 12 as I wanted a snugger fit.  The muslin worked ok, with only a couple of changes.  I took a 1/2" wedge out of the front armhole and a 1" wedge out of the upper back.  I also moved the side seam a little bit and added a smidge to better accommodate the girls. 

After studying the dress some more and going through the construction in my head, I realized that the side seams couldn't have a curve to them because of the parallel pleat.  If it was curvy the parallel pleat would probably twist.  To fix this I straightened the side seams.

This picture moves us ahead several steps, but it shows how I straightened the side seams.  Fortuitously, it looks like the pleats the pleats are about 1" wide with 1" between them.  Which translates as box pleats as two inches added every two inches.  Also, there is an odd number of pleats.  The measurements work out pretty nicely in the size 14, with one more pleat each side than the original.  You can see my slashing and spreading above.

Now the other tricky thing is the center back.  Because of the high neckline, you need a center back opening.  This is where it gets tricky, because you also have a center pleat, and the edges of the collar.  I would realllllllllllly love to see how Prada did it.   This is how I'm thinking it will work.  I made a right and a left back.  The right side has the center back pleat next to the 5/8" seam allowance.  I am thinking a lapped zipper would work in this scenario, because the pleat would be a giant lap? Ooooor I just came up with this, what about buttons.  Hmmm, thinking, thinking.  I'll get back to you.  What I have right now is the right side has the pleat, which will cover the back opening, but remain centered.  How would you do it with buttons?  Any suggestions? 
I guess I'll have to work it out with the wearable muslin.  The wearable muslin will be made out of the same fabric as the dress, but as a shirt.  I'm going to use a cotton voile, underlined with a bemberg rayon lining.  It likely won't have the same heft as the organza that was likely used, but it should work out nicely. 

 Here is the voile.  According to the guy at the fabric store it's a vicose, but it feels a lot like the cotton/silk voiles that I have used in the past. Wish me luck.  I should hopefully get the muslin done by Saturday (I have work events both tomorrow and Friday).  I need to get it done, so I can get the dress fabric and my other Bronte tops cut out by Sunday night because on Monday morning the packers come.  Luckily my sewing machine will stay, as it's traveling with me on the plane so it can go to the sewing machine spa when we get back to the States.
Speaking of Bronte tops, a quick shot of what I wore today.  My Bronte top, with wool Thurlows and my flower Bass shoes. Until next time happy sewing!

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