Monday, September 23, 2013

Barbara - progress update

So far I have really enjoyed making this dress. Sewing with a different fabric in a new style is rather refreshing! And as this is underlined, managing 2 pieces of fabric that move around a lot has been a learning experience

To recap, this dress as named after the BIBA genius herself Barbara Hulanicki, will be modeled on this pattern - Style 1118 (1975)




This is the rough sketch of the end dress as inspired by the beautiful BIBA dresses of the late 60s



And the star of it all, the fabric - black chiffon with a tiny gold print. (Here it is for sale on the Lincraft website)


I decided to try making a muslin of the bodice first to check the fit and also the height of the neck line. Happily it didn't need any alterations and the neckline is rather decent, so not much more in terms of fitting was needed.

Sorry for the terrible photo

As a nice little surprise when I was laying out the pieces  I found 2 back segments. There is only supposed to be one in the envelope and it was for the same pattern, so perhaps when it was being put together in the factory, the assembler made a mistake? And then unfortunately for someone, all those years ago ended up without the back piece of their skirt... poor them



Here are all the pieces traced and ready to go...


Bodice Back, 2 darts one at the top and one at the bottom

Bodice Front with french darts, cut on the fold


The cuff piece from Vogue 7219


The sleeve piece from Vogue 7219


Skirt Front


One of the skirt backs

The dress features the underling as the facing also (not sure if that wording is correct?) so I started the dress by sewing the neckline closed



Once it was turned out it looked like this...


Then I sewed the darts closed, and used french seams to piece together the skirt pieces, and then the skirt to the bodice, and this is what I have so far...



This is only the front and I'll do pretty much the same with the back, but with a zipper. 

The fabric itself is really nice to work with, but when its ironed, it buckles as bit. Annoyingly I need it on a warmer setting for the lining, but the chiffon itself takes the lowest setting. Any suggestions on how to tackle that? 

Also assisting my Barbara dress dreams, is this blog by BIBA illustrator Kasia Charko, who did all of the beautiful drawings for Big BIBA and many others in the art deco, 30s and 40s style.

How are your sewing projects going?

Cat xo

20 comments:

  1. Looking great so far - can't wait to see the finished dress!

    And thanks for the link to the Biba blog - it's fascinating.

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    1. oh no worries! It kinda like her autobiography but with more photos!

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  2. Ooh we have the same doona cover - just love Orla Kiely! And am impressed you found something that nice in Lincraft - I've sworn off them after I went into one that didn't sell pattern tracing paper, and another where I bought fabric that was made off grain - I had craft store rage and swore never to go back. Your dress looks lovely by the way!

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    1. yay! Orla fan club!
      So many times i have almost wanted to just talk to the manager at lincraft about their crappy fabric choices, but just walk out instead. But when i saw this i was so happy! maybe they have hired a new purchaser/designer? and its in all the stores so if i need more i can just pop in and grab some!

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  3. I really need to start learning/practicing with patterns (for some reason, I'm terrified!). My boyfriends mom gave me a vintage 'robe' that belonged to her mother and it's GORGEOUS, the fabric is Emerald green (color of the year - hello!), silk, and has a beautiful pattern to it. There is so much fabric there that I am sure I could use a pattern to make a gorgeous dress from the same era - just need to find a pattern and get inspired, reading your post helped. so thanks for sharing!

    Ok, I'm done writing you a book now.

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    1. Oh you should definitely give it a go! or let me know what you need help with and maybe i can try doing a post?

      That silk robe sounds gorgeous! silk can be tricky, but if your careful and take your time you'll make something spectacular! good luck!

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  4. Biba & the Biba look is one of my absolute favorites. I have a couple patterns that are very Biba-esque that I've been wanting to put together for a while. Did you see the Dark Shadows remake? Plot aside, the costumes are gorgeous. Helena Bonham Carter even wears vintage Biba in one scene! http://nouvellegamine.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/dark-shadows-fashion-part-1/
    I'm very excited to see how your dress turns out!

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    1. yes, i did see Dark shadows! I loved all the 70s set ups in that, so many drool worth items. Its a similar print almost, but black instead of plum. and the black chiffon gown that Michelle Pfeiffer wears is so lovely!

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  5. So far, so fabulous! i can't wait to see the end result! xxx

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  6. Looking wonderfully slinky!
    I avoid chiffon like the plague, so sadly no tips from me!
    My man has asked me to make him a denim wallet for his birthday...typically, I haven't started it yet and his birthday is next week! GAH! X

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    1. oh yeah ive tried avoid it too, but this was too lovely! but its not so bad really. just a sharp needle is a good tip!
      Good luck with the wallet! Should be easy hopefully! xx

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  7. It is looking really good love! Have you tried to put a protective shoe on your iron? I got one at my local fabric notions store for 10$, I can iron any kind of fabric and not melt it or leave shiny marks, you should get one it goes over any domestic iron. Can't wait to see the end product of this dress :)

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    1. Thank you! I'll have to take a look in the store for one. Its just a pain switching between 2 temperatures to iron a tiny bit of a crease

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  8. Love how the dress is progressing! I'm guessing Lincraft is a bit like Spotlight then? We have Spotlight in NZ but not Lincraft. Spotlight is completely hit and miss too.. I've found some amazing fabric and some horrible fabric.

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    1. thank you! Yes, Spotlight i think owns Lincraft, which may also explain why Spotlight tends to stock better things, but yeah they can be a bit iffy too. I was on Fabric.com yesterday and got a few things all pretty well priced. you should check it out.

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    2. I love the stuff on Fabric.com, if only the shipping wasn't $25+

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    3. Thats true. Shipping from the US has always been expensive. Even just buying a pattern from Etsy the shipping is $12!!!

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