Thursday, July 17, 2014

Simplicity 1665 - The Frida Kahlo dress

So, my friend Mamie suggested we should sew something special for the Frida Kahlo tribute on the Sewing on my Kichen Table Google+ community. I was only able to finish mine a few days ago because I wanted to add a built-in bra and it took longer than I expected. Happy belated Frida!
Built-in bras are my latest obsession. A friend of mine has a beautiful halter dress from Athleta that I wanted to replicate so I've been experimenting with adding built-in bras to some of my dresses. I spent hours at REI examining dresses and how the bras were sewn into them.
For the tribute, I chose the Simplicity 1665.

I have been wanting to make this pattern since it came out and after I saw Art Attack's dress on Pattern Review. The pattern is made for woven fabrics and lightweight double knits. I liked the colorblock option of the pattern and decided to use a medium weight rayon knit I bought last year during a fabric shopping spree in Berkeley. For the contrast, I used a matching purple rayon knit from my stash.
I have been doing great staying away from fabric stores since I am participating in the Quirky Peach Summer Stashbusting Challenge.
My stash is out of control so I am glad I stumbled upon Sally's blog and working on reducing it. I still have fabric from 15 years ago when I used to live in Paris!!!!!
Anyway, since the pattern was made for woven and lightweight double knits, I cut a size 8 grading up to a 10 at the hip. I had to trim it down another inch to make it fit properly. So, it is better to go down 2 sizes if you decide to make it in a knit. I added about 19 inches to make it a maxi dress because I love maxi dresses and I envisionned this dress as a maxi.

I lined the straps with some power mesh fabric from my stash since I was afraid the weight of the print fabric would make to top part of the dress sag. It worked perfectly.
For the built-in bra, I cut the front and back piece again using the length of my own sport bra as a reference. I cut one out of the purple fabric and one out of the power mesh. I left an opening on each side to insert bra cups and finished with an elastic. I bought bra cups at Joanns and unfortunately they were too light to provide a good coverage, so I used foam bra cups from one of my sports bras.

The contrast fabric is hard to photograph. It is actually purple but it appears blue.

I am pretty happy about the result. I will be making more dresses with built-in bras in the future.

I have been sewing up a storm. I am participating in the Mini Wardrobe Challenge on Pattern Review. I figured it would be perfect for my trip  to Africa. I am super excited about my color combinations. I went all mixed media with stripes, flowers and lace.
Stay tuned.