My husband’s first comment on this dress was “It reminds me of something.” He can’t remember what, but I have a feeling that it’s the costume Patrick McGoohan wore in The Prisoner – a dark blazer with distinctive cream trim around the edges. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, there’s a page of pictures at this site http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sixofone.society/prisoner-costume.htm. And while The Prisoner is an iconic piece of TV, Patrick McGoohan’s very prim and proper 60s secret agent is not quite the look I was going for.
The construction of this dress is pretty neat. I guess it’s probably standard for a cheongsam style, but I’ve never even worn one before, much less made one. The long white stripe on the side is mostly sewn into the side seam. Where it curves off onto the bodice it’s sewn down to the front in the ditch for a few inches, and the free end is held in place with snaps so you can open it to get your head through. There’s an invisible zip in the other side seam to give enough space for getting in and out. I’m amazed how unobtrusive the snaps have turned out to be. I’ll post more details about the construction next time as I haven’t taken any pictures of the inside yet.
The pattern is model 111 from the February 2012 issue of Burda. The long and wriggly pattern pieces for the white bands were a real pain in the neck to trace and cut out. Burda recommends block fusing interfacing to the fabric before cutting, and that turned out to be a big help.
Here’s a back view. Not much to see. The contrast collar and sleeve bands save it from the coffin back effect though.
I’m actually very pleased with this dress, despite the accidental Number Six effect. It’s smart but unexpectedly comfortable!
Be seeing you.