are you watching too many crime dramas when you start saying things like 'for the record'??
this, friends, is Grainline Studio's Kat dress, and i am SO GLAD that i bought the pattern before it disappeared from the online shop. because i LOVE this dress. the style lines are super flattering and its a gorgeous and unique style.
and i'll stop fangirling now. actually no i wont. ITS GORGEOUS.
(also: missing a hook & eye at the zipper top here)
okay okay, on to the nuts & bolts. when choosing a size, i ended up cutting all the horizontal lines on the bodice as a size 4 and all the vertical lines as a size 6. usually i cut a small size for my frame (shoulders, armholes, etc.) and then add extra room at the bust, which sometimes makes for an unfriendly curve in the under-bust-part of the princess seam. so! i was curious to see if distributing the extra horizontal room a wee bit would make for a nicer overall fit, and it worked! all i needed to do was add 1/2" extra height to the centre front and side front (tapering to nothing at the side seam), and then contour the seams above and below the bust.
vertical lines size 6, horizontal lines size 4. hours spent redistributing an FBA across all those contrast bands, zero!
the main fabric is a heavy cotton print from Mood, which had these weird reverse-tye-dye splotches along the length. when i bought it, i was actually going to use it for a Sewaholic Saltspring, but the stiffness definitely works better (on me) with the structure of the Kat :). anyways, the fabric pattern is pretty regularly spaced, so some careful cutting was required to get everything on grain with a good splotch distribution. but! in the end it kind of looks like a plume of smoke on the front, which i think is pretty rad :).
that is a bra strap, btw. i have yet to meet a strapless bra i can agree with.
throughout the whole process of making this i was super nervous about the colours working together, but in the end i think the contrast totally works. the lighter fabric is a quilting cotton (2 fat quarters actually, although it meant piecing the bottom front hem part), and the black is a light voile. i used the voile for the bodice lining and hem facing, but the Mood fabric for the skirt lining so the skirt would have extra volume :).
the skirt finishing. its so pretty.
now, the best part was hands-down the construction. this was pure zen to sew. every fiddly little piece lined up, every seam allowance gets finished and tucked away so it looks as clean and lovely on the inside as the outside. the zipper is finished between the lining and shell, the hem facing encloses all the raw edges of the contrast bands so the skirt lining hangs free, and the bodice lining has boning for beautifully sculptured support.
hanger loops definitely made out of halloween ribbon. its how i roll.
the only little issue i had was with the hem balance. the front does hang a bit lower than the back, which im pretty sure is because my posture is different in 5" heels and the finished dress than barefoot in a muslin (oops). a small horizontal tuck right above the light contrast band should fix it though. and then it will be THE PERFECT DRESS :) :)
yikes overly twee expression
so! verdict is i love this pattern, love this dress, love this fabric, and all of the engineering and care and finishing makes it the best thing i've ever made :). and! if you're the type who gets a kick out of making intersecting pieces line up perfectly (and i guess has the pattern already :\ ), i think you will enjoy sewing the Kat dress!