Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Floraison Dress

Hi everyone! I hope this finds you well.
Last weekend, I made a wrap dress from the fabric I got from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics. I called it Floraison ("blossom") in honour of the stylized flowers scattered over the fabric.

*Fabric*
Yep, this truly is a "gorgeous fabric"! Fabulous, even. Fabulous to look at, fabulous to handle, fabulous to wear. I visited the bunch of fabric stores beneath the Sacré Coeur last Friday, and I may now safely confirm that there is no way I could get such quality for that price here - and that's counting the international shipping charges (which Ann did manage to keep to a minimum)! With the dollar-euro rate being what it is now, I'd have to pay at least twice as much here. Besides, I couldn't find any printed knits that could compare in prettiness, even at Tissus Reine, where the designers buy their fabric (and where I just window-shop, for inspiration). We are very deficient in knits here, especially in sleek cotton-lycra blends!
So much for the fabric in Paris myth.
Ann, I'll certainly be back to your store when I have saved up enough for another order!

It was the first time I used that kind of fabric, but with the right needle and a few tension adjustments practiced on a scrap, it went just fine.

*Pattern*
The pattern is from the Easy Burda n° 10 issue (spring 2006). Besides the numerous typos, I found the instructions very lacking. Sure, this isn't a problem when you're used to sewing, and this wasn't a problem for me. However, that magazine is supposedly geared towards beginners. I can imagine how frustrating and difficult it must be to sew that dress as a beginner's project. The pattern is wanting in notches and markings, too (especially in order to mount the sleeves onto the dress accurately).
This is one of a few reasons why I favour pattern envelopes over Burda magazines now.

*Alterations*
Besides the inevitable fitting alterations, I made several others. The main alteration was raising the neckline for a less plunging décolleté. I used Ann's excellent instructions to re-draft that pattern piece. Thank you, Ann!

I bound the neckline with black satin bias tape (instead of turning under the edge as per the instructions), to add an interesting contrast to the black and white print. I also replaced the sleeve bands with the same satin bias binding.

The sleeves are slightly gathered, which I love. Besides, I heart three-quarter sleeves. Come to think of it, the sleeves are my favourite detail in the garment.


I did a rolled hem on my serger, using black thread, for a swinging hemline.

My final alteration concerned the sash. It was supposed to be a couple of strips cut in the same fabric as the dress. Instead, I recycled an embroidered scarf I had got years ago for a couple of bucks, and that I never wear, because my older sister, who has exquisite taste, gave me a beautiful black scarf for my birthday a couple of years ago. I cut the cheap scarf in two lengthwise, serged the raw edges, and sewed the lengths to the dress as required.

After the pictures Sébastien took of me in the dress, on Sunday afternoon, I took the fringe off the sash, for a neater result. Since Seb is now away in England, you can only see the finished result (sans fringe) on the dressform (first picture in the post).

Seb may be away, but I am not alone...
Miss Cutie is never far!

(she's not fat, really, just very fluffy!)

~*~
I wanted to thank each and everyone of you who leave comments on my blog. They are deeply appreciated. I wouldn't sew so much, nor with such gusto, if it weren't for you.
Thank you and welcome to the new commenters, too - it's an honour to have you comment here!
Take care, everyone.

55 comments:

Patty said...

HI, dear! not sure I understood it all, being in a hurry.
hope this will be cleared up soon. I'm not going to try to persuade you into continuing blogging, because you should follow your heart and listen to your personal needs.
keep us posted...
:-(

Tany said...

Isabelle, first of all I want to say that your dress is really awesome! Great work, I congratulate you also on your fabric choice, that fabric is so beautiful!
Secondly I would like to say that I'm sorry for what your friend is going through and I totally disapprove the kind of behavior described. There are very nasty people out there, some nasty lobbies too. In my behalf I wish you and your friend the best. Don’t let them get to you. Big Hug from Portugal!

Vonna said...

Your dress is beautiful and the changes you made make it exquisite :)
I knew nothing of the nastiness going on either, until I read Karen's post and then went to Needles in My sleeve and read there too, but I don't know or can't figure out who did what to whom. But you know I don't think taking a break will do any good, other than hurt the people that regularly follow others blogs.

I say this because if everyone in the stitching community takes a break from blogging then whoever started this nastiness is the winner! They are getting what the wanted ~ chaos, dispair, problems. Why don't we band together as a community to show that you can't get us down..we continue to shine and be the best we can be because that's the right thing to do and that's who we are...no matter if whoever wants to be nasty or not. I say boycott whoever started this, but don't boycott blogging, because we've all become close and the world has become a smaller place because of this blogging. BUT although I say this...I'm new to this and not an intregal part of the community and I don't know who was hurt and who hurt whom. Perhaps I wouldn't feel this way if I knew all the particulars. Anyway...Hugs to you and I adore all you do! I'll be anxiously awaiting your next post whenever you decide to post it :) :) :)

Isabelle said...

Dear Tany, thank you for the compliment on the dress, it means a lot coming from an expert like you!
Thank you for the hug, it was much appreciated :)
Trouble is, while there has definitely been some nastiness going on, I am not sure by whom, nor how. Until and unless I know, I refuse to pass any judgement. But this is also why I may need a break.
Thank you so much for your comments and your kindness :) ♥

Isabelle said...

Vonna, first, thank you about the dress! :)
I'll have to take your comment into mind. Thank you. It's very sweet to know you would miss my posts :) Hugs to you! ♥

ollie1976 said...

Your dress is beautiful! And a little hello to Miss Cutie (very appropriately named)

Kiwi Jo said...

Hi Isabelle
I just love all the pretty dresses you've been making for yourself. And incredibly jealous too since I can only wear pants or shorts to work because of the overalls I have to wear in the animal facility. My job is oh so not glamorous! I have no idea what the issues in the stitching blogs are all about (I'm always so dense when it comes to things like this) but sometimes we all need to take a break, for many different reasons.

Lisa said...

Isabelle, the dress is beautiful. It looks wonderful on you. I am a bit in awe of that skill and talent (and it is both, don't you think?). I love that you recycled the scarf into the dress!!

I am blissfully ignorant of any nastiness going on. I think it happens in all the different communities eventually. As in many group relationships , there is always a bit of an ego battle at times. :)

Thank you so much for your loving comment on my blog. I am feeling much better today. I woke up to the kind words of friends and warm encouragement. Happy tears began my day. Thank you, sweet friend. {{{Hugs}}}

Hi Violette! You are a cutie, for sure. I'm glad you're keeping Isabelle company.

Anna van Schurman said...

This is my favorite style of dress! And it looks fantastic on you (too).

Karoline said...

Your dress is gorgeous Isabelle, congratulations

claudia said...

This dress is absolutely scrumptous! (It looks fantastic on you!)I love the things that you have changed/added. You do such lovely work.

Michelle said...

Beautiful dress! It is very flattering and I just love the black and white fabric. Good idea to remove the fringe from the sash. Hope that all is well with you and that you follow your heart with regard to whatever situation may be going on regarding blogging. Big hugs!

Carla said...

wow that's a beautiful dress!!! And you look great in it!!

BeckySC said...

Isabelle :) That is one gorgeous dress! VERY nice :)

I am very aware of the situation at hand and I am on the fence about it all. TOO bad it had to come to all this, but I had a feeling it would come back to haunt someone....so sad!!!

BIG hugs to you and you do what you need to do to feel comfortable :) Will miss you :) Stay in touch VIA email :)

Love to you :)

lena-lou said...

Isabelle, I think this latest dress is absolutely stunning. You are a superb seamstress :-)
I will miss you/your blog if you do take a break.
Take care!

Nancy (icanknit@yahoo.com) said...

Dear Isabelle,
I am so sorry that this has happened in the stitching community. I know in the past Becky has had problems with someone being cruel and unkind in their remarks to her. I think all this really shows is a huge amount of jealousy on someone's part. I stitch some but not as much as I would like because of time constraints. I enjoy reading various blogs and seeing their completed projects. I also enjoy reading the blogs because it reveals "comaraderie" (a spirit of friendly good-fellowship... according to merriam-webster.com). Reading the blogs that are encouraging and kind and supportive are a welcome boost to my day. In a world of so much bad news, gracious blogs are like old fashioned porch visits with neighbors.
Nancy

Jamie said...

Hi Isabelle -
I second and third and fourth everyone's comments about the dress. I, like another blogger who commented, am blissfully ignorant to the ongoings of the other part of your blog. I also second what Vonna has stated whole heartedly - even in the fact that I'm new!

Every community online has "trolls" and problem starters, they just should not be allowed to win.

Jamie

Alberta said...

Hi Isabelle, thanks for stopping by my blog. My quilt effort plaes in comparision to your gorgeous dress! Oh la la! Tres belle!

I'm going to add your to my list of craft blogs I love to visit...you are so talented!

Summerset said...

What a fabulous dress! It truly is a "gorgeous thing". I like the black sash - it just defines the waist and pulls together the whole thing.

I, too, have no idea what's going on. I would miss your posts (and Violette, too!), as you're part of my daily blog check and peek into life in Paris. You in the end will have to decide what is best for you, but I'll miss you if and when you take a break.

Redwitch said...

Wow! I've loved catching up on your recent dress making, you are so talented, especially with the changes you've made. It's one thing to follow a pattern quite another to be able to adapt to suit yourself, tres belle! :)

I was sorry to hear about the unpleasantness too, if you decide to take a break I hope you enjoy it and we'll all be waiting to welcome you (and Karen) back :)

Katrina said...

Hi Isabelle, your dress is gorgeous and so stylish, love love the black and white fabric - it always looks smart.

Take care :)

Leslie aka zoeandcooper said...

What a stunning dress...it looks fabulous on you!! As always, I am in awe of your sewing abilities:)

Rob said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! The Rainbow Gallery web site has alot of great needlepoint freebies. If you want to try needlepoint you can use one of those!(http://www.rainbowgallery.com)

Your dress is beautiful! I wish I could sew like that.

stitcherw said...

Your dress turned out wonderful. The material is gorgeous, and the scarf worked great as a belt. I like the black of the belt for contrast rather than one in the same print that would have been lost. Congratulations on another lovely finish.

Not sure what is going on, but I hope it resolves in a way you are comfortable with. I would miss you if you didn't blog. Unfortuantely there is always someone that causes trouble no matter where you are (work, clubs, etc...) so in the blogging world it would unfortunately be the same. Please don't let whatever happened ruin all the fun you get out of blogging and the friends that you have made here.
Sue

Sharon said...

Wow! That truly is a gorgeous dress and it looks lovely on you.

I'm not sure what you were referring to about your friend Karen, but I too enjoy reading your blog and will miss your posts if you decide to take a break.

Cathy said...

Isabelle - your dress is gorgeous! You have to be the best dressed woman in all of France!

June said...

Hi Isabelle,

Its been a while since I've visited your blog and when I did today, I was greeted with photos of your beautiful dress. I just wish I could sew like you.

I'm really blur as to what's happening to Karen, and how this has affected you. I hope when I check back your blog later, you're all fine and well.

Stephanie said...

This is my favorite dress so far. I love it so much.
Not sure I caught everything about the break, but I know some people just need them. I hope you come back soon though. Youre the only one that I talk too lol.

Gorgeous Things said...

Oh, your dress turned out so stunning!

Wendy said...

What a gorgeous new dress, Isabelle! Have you had a chance to wear it yet? I think people would be stunned to know that you made it yourself. I love the little alterations you made to the pattern. You always seem to know just the right thing to add to change to make such a wonderful creation.

I hope (selfishly) that your blogging break doesn't last too long. I'm sorry to hear about some recent nastiness. It seems impossible escape this kind of thing at times.

Margaret said...

What a gorgeous dress Isabelle. Each one you make seems to get prettier than the last.

Don't know what is going with this "nastiness" but I would certainly miss reading your blogs. Like Jamie says ".....problem starters, they just should not be allowed to win."
{{{hugs}}}

Susimac said...

Your dress is wonderful dear Isabelle.

Please don't let all the unpleasantness that may be going on upset your blogging and be the cause of you not blogging for while - tho' you must follow your own heart on that one - I'll miss you of course!!

I'm just ignoring it all and carrying on as normal what others care to do is up to them (as in the upset pair), I feel its too many miles away for me to want to get involved in it all and as always with these things it gets resolved with the partaking duo but the ripple effect it has always hurts someone else. - I just think its very sad!

Claire said...

I love your new dress. That fabric is to die for. Beautiful. You look lovely in it.

Sharon said...

Oh my, I love this dress-it's gorgeous. You are so talented with needle and thread Isabelle!

Jenna said...

Oh my goodness, Isabelle! That dress is absolutely fantastic! I love all of the changes that you made (is that's the modified neckline, I'd hate to see where the original went...) that make is your special creation. It looks beautiful on you. :)

Dawn said...

The dress is gorgeous!

Zoanna said...

Exquisite! "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." While you might not keep the dress forever, I'm sure it'll bring you a lift every time. You made lots of good decisions. My favorite (after raising the neckline) is what you did with the scarf. Solid black really sets off the amazing pattern, and removing the fringe makes it looks that much more tailored. Bravo, girl.
I think manufacturers label ANYTHING "for beginners" just to get sales, not realizing they shoot themselves in the foot because true beginners will end up having bad associations with a frustrating first attempt. You, my dear, should keep up the good work of writing tutorials for the rest of us.

Lizzy said...

{{{Hugs}}} and love to you Isabelle... you are such a beautiful soul and I so enjoy reading your blog and the inspiring and lovely comments you always leave when you visit mine...

I love your new dress... it's just gorgeous and Miss Violette is beautiful!

Sending much love and {{{Hugs}}} to you, Isabelle... you will be on my mind...

whitecalla said...

Wow ! Wow ! Wow ! Isabelle, that's is so gorgeous!!!

Heather said...

You look beautiful in that stunning dress. Wish I had half your talents.

Barbara said...

O-la-la, Isabelle! You look smashing in that dress! Very fetching! And Violette looks irresistably huggable. :)

Anonymous said...

Since the part of the "blogging break" has been omitted now, does that mean you are not taking a blogging break anymore? I hope so, but of course, if you feel the need, follow your feelings ;-) Ann.

Jamie said...

Hmm do I notice a change in your profile photo?

Scrapbookmomof3 said...

beautiful dress Isabelle. I love it on you. Great style.

Love the cat too....not fat just fluffy is funny :)

Patti said...

Oh Isabelle, your dress is just fantastic. I have been seeing such great things using Gorgeous Things fabrics that I'm going to have to give in and get some for myself! Thanks for being so inspiring.

Sew-in-Love said...

Bonjour, mon amie!

Hope you don't disappear from the world of blogging and, even though I missed what was happening, (perhaps you deleted something??), I can only say that the sheer volume of comments and visitors you get (of which I confess to being quite jealous!!!!) shows that you *mustn't* give in to others' poor behaviour. I don't know what happened, but most unkindness is prompted by jealousy of some kind and, if you leave off blogging, then you let the other person win. The bad guy must always lose, never win!=)

I had someone posting nsaty, twisted comments on my blog once - to do with the treatment I went through when I was recovering from CFS! He had bad things to say as he has some very warped attitudes and he was rude to me. I enabled comment moderation for a while, deleted his comments without reading them and he went away when he realised he was having no impact.

Well done with your latest finish there. I dread to think how low the original neckline was as it's still quite daring now - don't lean forward in public!!!!!=) It is a super fabric.

So, you take good care and keep on sewing, stitching, blogging and visiting our blogs too. Have a good cry too, if you need to. I find I always need to when someone is unnecessarily horrid to me. It really hurts, even though that person should mean nothing to us, and we need to let the pain flow out - then it goes away and we move on.

Je t'embrasse.=)

Bisoooooouuuuuuuuus,

Elisabeth=)

Linda said...

Lovely dress. Ann has great fabrics. Your dress looks really good on you.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

What a great use of the fabric! Love how you added the black trim to bring out the print and its so lovely on you.

Ruth Rachel Vendsel said...

Isabelle, this is another stunning beauty of a dress! Wow! You made so many wonderful improvements; you truly are an expert seamstress. It looks absolutely gorgeous on you. Wow wow wow!

Tini said...

Isabelle, I just found your blog thru Ann's page ( Her fabric is lovely, I'm just on a strict fabric diet otherwise my account would be empty by now ;) ) and you made the perfect dress out of it!

Btw. cats are never fat, just fluffy... got one of those "fluffy" cats too :)

Vicki said...

Hi Isabelle, It is nice to see a blog from France. I am from Australia. My DD is studying french at school and we talk to each other in our very poor french!

Love the dress - saw it over at PatternReview. The fabric has come up lovely with the black contrast.

bunnyhead said...

Isabelle! That dress looks amazing!

The Silver Thistle said...

Hi Isabelle! Just popped by to try and catch up with your news, and got sidetracked by your etsy shop, lol. I noticed you had a pillow with an orange kitty on it and it HAD to be mine! Since Puss Puss left us at the start of the year, anything with a ginger cat on it has drawn me in. It's a comfort I think.

Anyway, delighted to be the buyer and just wanted to let you know that it was 'I', lol. I was tempted by the gardenia one too......but husband was prowling, eheheh.

Kathy said...

Oh wow Isabelle, the dress is stunning and you look great in it too.

Hugs xxxxxx

mermaids said...

the dress is positively stunning! yes, it helps to start with great fabric, but the subtle changes you made put this dress over the top. the contrasting sash....definite plus. i agree with the decision to remove the fringe. the fit is perfect.