Sunday, April 1, 2012

Teaser pictures

The Sewing Lawyer loves to show off her just-completed creations but the latest one's a LBD and it's after dark, so the fashion shoot will have to wait.  In the meantime, here are some hints of what's to come.

The LRD (aka muslin)
Those of you in the Burda know will instantly recognize this as the colour-block dress from February, 2012.

I traced off the size I should be these days and flat pattern measured.  Hmmm.  I added wider (1" or 2.5cm) seam allowances at the side and CB for insurance.

I needed it.  I am happy with close fitting, but skin tight?  Not for me thanks.

I had this red wool blend doubleknit in my stash.  It's medium substantial, but has a definite stretch factor.  I sewed the side seams at 1.5cm below the waist.  I like the "muslin" well enough to sew it up properly.

This inside-out photo shows the only surprise fitting issue, which is that the midriff piece needs shortening at the upper edge.

My black fabric is a pure wool doubleknit.  It's very substantial and much less stretchy than the red fabric.

The zipper started out way too long.
But The Sewing Lawyer has access to pliers
 and isn't afraid to do a little zipper dentistry.
I needed those extra-wide seams even more.

My dress was going to have an ordinary CB seam but I changed my mind when I found the perfect zipper, thanks to being able to sneak 30 minutes for shopping on a recent business trip to Toronto.  I raced to the  Leather and Sewing Supply Depot, a store I had never heard of before K-Line raved about it.  It's a great spot for finding elastic, trim of all kind, interfacing, tools, purse hardware, leather bits, etc. etc.  Check it out, if you are ever in the neighbourhood.

Anyway, the zipper.  My fashion slavery definitely doesn't extend to applying the zipper tape on top of the garment.

The CB seam is reinforced and stabilized with fusible woven tape, then the seam allowances are pressed back.  Finally the pressed edges are sewn down over the zipper tape, which stays underneath and out of sight where it belongs.

Finally, to avoid the bulk of the facings Burda suggests, I cut the facing pieces out of a fusible interfacing with a soft, slightly brushed face, and used the interfacing as the sole facing, fusing it down very carefully.

I think it worked.  The edges are nice and crisp and very thin, and there's no bulk at all in the crossover!

Stay tuned for the fashion shoot...


  1. That back shot looks beautiful, can't wait to see the front.

  2. What a good idea to make the facings out of interfacing. I'm definitely stealing that one for when I make this dress again. Can't wait to see the final result.

  3. I like your version of the back zipper. Good idea about fusible interfacing.

  4. That zip is looking pretty darn good!

  5. Glad I found your blog. As a lawyer teaching herself to sew, I love seeing all these things I might actually wear, as opposed to the crazy things I tend to make. I made myself some going to court dresses in black and gray this weekend. I nearly fell asleep at my machine. I'm learning every day, and your stuff is perfectly fashionable and professional. Thanks for putting the time and effort in to share.

  6. I have been looking all over for fusible woven tape ....may I ask where you got it? Thanks!!!

    1. I got a mammoth roll a few years ago at a little tiny store in Montreal called H. Fisher & Sons. There's a packaged product sold under the brand name "Design Plus" and a quick internet search reveals it's available in straight grain or bias versions. Check

  7. Love the look of the zip in the back and I am with you on the zipper tape being hidden.

    Look forward to the fashion show

  8. Lucky you, you found pure wool double knit in black. Since Madelaine soie et laine closed, I was not able to find any in Montreal. Couture Elle does not keep those type of fabrics. Nor do they keep bloucl├ęs. If you haven't have that piece for a few years in yours stash, where did you buy it ??

    I am looking forward seeing a bit more of your dress. It looks wonderful... nice YKK zip. I am jealous for this as well. See you soon I hope !

    1. I don't have a current source for wool doubleknit, sorry.

  9. I prefer not to expose the zipper tape either but I like exposed zippers like yours. Nicely done. I like your idea of using the fusible for the facing itself. Did you test first to make sure that it wouldn't show on the outside? I had this happen on a wool knit a few years ago.

  10. I so admire you. I love reading your blog and looking at pictures you post. It puts me to shame I can't find the time to sit down and sew and you a lawyer can. Keep posting keep up the inspiring and admiring.

  11. I'd love to know exactly what you used for the fusible facing at the neck of the black "zipper" dress. Very clever...not that I would expect any less from you!

  12. Leather and Sewing Supply Depot is the BEST PLACE EVER for zippers! Organized by length, colour, and zipper type... plus, there is a giant binder that they have with every kind of zipper that they can order if they don't have what you want. Also, they sell hair canvas. WIDE hair canvas. Plus various sleeve heads and shoulder pads. I live only a few minutes walk from there, so it is my home-away-from-home.

    I love your idea for facing with interfacing. So simple, yet so inspired. Why didn't I think of that? Also, how did you handle the facing at CB? You have such neat corners at the top, I would love to see a picture of the inside.