Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A new dress - StyleArc Milly

I recently bought the 'Milly' dress pattern from Aussie company StyleArc. The picture below is the pattern envelope. It's a bit confusing at first, but shows diagrams of the actual pattern on the left/bottom and pictures of celebrities wearing similar garments on the right/top. I would prefer to see photos of the actual dress as well as the diagrams.

I bought this pattern to make a tunic top for my Mum. She mentioned that she liked this top/dress from Seed (pictured below) and I said I could make her one for a lot less than the $99 price tag!

So, I bought the pattern for $14 and some gorgeous bamboo stretch knit from Fabulous Fabrics for $20/m. The pattern says you need 2.2m of fabric but I'm sure I can get away with less and have some left over for a top for me!!

Now spending $20/m on fabric is something I never, ever usually do. I can generally be found perusing the $2 table at Textile Traders or the fabric rack in the op shop! But, it's for a birthday present so I splurged. This has now led to something else I never ever do - a muslin. I grabbed some coral knit fabric I'd got cheap and made up the Milly dress as a test run.

The pattern instructions are very minimal and it took me a little while to work out the pin tucks. I think I eventually got it right after seeing a helpful picture on Pattern Review. In case anyone is interested, I've added a couple of pictures of me sewing the pin tucks. Basically, each tuck is folded along the longest line to the point and stitched as shown to the lower point. The pin tucks do not overlap and actually have a small space between each one.

I wasn't happy with the end result of either the pin tucks or the neckline of this dress as neither was as neat as I would have liked. However, I am pretty sure that this was because of the cheap fabric I used. I wasn't able to iron the tucks as this fabric is too melty, so they didn't sit flat. Apart from these issues, I was happy with the overall look of the dress and it was easy to make after I'd worked out the pin tucks! 

I added five rows of shirring to the back to pull it in slightly (not in the pattern) and used the short sleeves. The sleeves don't look like the ones in the pattern diagram but I like them anyway.

The sleeves and hem were finished with a twin needle stitch.

I showed this dress to my sister yesterday and she said I should chop it off and make it into a tunic length top. I haven't decided yet. Thoughts anyone?


Pam @Threading My Way said...

This is a beautiful, beautiful dress!!! No one will look at the 'neatness' of the pin tucks. It's the overall look of the dress they will notice and it looks great. If I was wearing this, I'd make it into a top, as I wear jeans / pants all the time. If you like wearing dresses, keep as it is because it looks stunning on you.

Ruth said...

That's a fabulous pattern and your pin tucks look perfect to me.

a little sewing said...

It's beautiful just as it is, don't chop it off! ha ha, unless your sister has a good reason. Then chop away :)
Love it!! I would do the same thing to the back.

ZaneAnne said...

I was looking for photos of the finished dress. You look great in the dress - maybe your sister wants to borrow it as a tunic.

How did you address the stays? Did you use the knit or go with a woven? I do feel like this is going to be a lot of fabric weight pulling on the V neck and tucks.

I also like the addition of shirring in back. Nice solution to the amount of fabric (I'm using a solid knit, so it will probably look very boring without that great feature). I hope you post a picture of your mom's dress in expensive fabric.


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