Retro Gridlock

Its done!

And the photoshoot was a lot of fun

Technical details

Pattern: Burdastyle (12-2012-141)

Size: 34-42, I made a 42 with some alterations (sway back, sloping shoulder, narrower back)

Fabric: Gridlock, a reversible jacquard cotton/polyester/polyurethane blend from Tessuti’s. This was their 2013 competition fabric

Changes I made:

The fit alterations were my normal 1 cm swayback alteration plus an adjustment for sloping shoulders and removing a little width through the back by continuing the back darts up higher ( in blue below).

The fit through the back is okay, but I could have probably widened the darts as well as lengthen them. Gridlock had more spring and stretch than the muslin in my toile.

The style change was to lower the neck, but keep an oval shape to it to mirror the faux jacket detail at the waist.

I also drafted a lining for the bodice so that the overlap (to give the faux jacket effect) was removed as was the curved bit for the buttons.

I guess those tucks are rotated bust darts.

One new construction technique I tried with this garment was Gertie’s method for setting in a tailored sleeve.

I used a bias strip of cotton, not a bias strip of horse hair canvas that Gertie uses, but the effect is the same in terms of easing. I guess the canvas would give you a sleeve head as well.

Look, no puckers!

I found the perfect fifties button, and used vintage thread (my grandmothers) to sew it on.

I love my secret touches of red too.

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24 Responses to Retro Gridlock

  1. Ruth says:

    Sorry, skipped the technical stuff and went straight to the pics.. Brilliant. I love it.

    • SewingElle says:

      Perfectly understandable! The technical stuff is mainly for my own reference. And there are other sewing nerds like me out there that are interested in that stuff..

  2. lacartera says:

    The dress looks great. Well done!

  3. Jann says:

    Very smart ! You might win !

  4. Oh wow this looks fabulous – just lovely. One of my books talks about easing sleeve heads with bias tape, which I have tried once but had too much to ease! I did use self made bias tape so wonder if you used store bought because there’s a lot of easing there compared to my efforts. Must find horsehair braid and try that one day too :0)

    Good luck with the comp too 🙂

    • SewingElle says:

      My bias tape was self made from a lovely cotton batiste. Its a bit tricky to get it right because you are pulling on the bias tape whilst squishing in the sleeve cap and sewing around a corner.
      I didn’t need to add a gathering stitch to get the ease right after pinning the sleeve in but I guess that’s an option too, if the bias tape trick didn’t ‘gather’ it in enough.

      • Oh I hadn’t thought of adding gathering stitch if the tape didn’t do the trick. Good idea. Not sure about pulling and pushing and sewing round a corner …. that’d need practice!! Oh no, precision sewing gasp 🙂

  5. BeccaA says:

    Gorgeous dress! I love the style of this dress, and your sewing is impeccable.

  6. Kerri says:

    tres elegante! you look fantastic.

  7. Karen says:

    What a beautiful dress! Those touches of red are beautiful – like a secret garden which will give you constant enjoyment! Well done!

  8. Andrea says:

    Lovely dress, beautiful fit, and the construction looks impeccable!

  9. amalitar says:

    Great dress! And I love the look with the coat and hat, you look so chic! Thanks for the pointer to Gertie’s set in sleeve technique, I must try it since I can’t seem to avoid puckers otherwise…

  10. Mary Nanna says:

    Congratulations – it’s a real winner – I just love it on you – I hope you really get to enjoy wearing it and you can be so proud of that beautiful construction – sleeveheads to die for!

  11. Lovely! I really like the pictures with the hats. The details are really interesting too.

  12. Karin says:

    FABULOUS! This is my favourite gridlock make so far. I loved this pattern, and was disappointed to see that there was no waist seam in the back (I really need them to accommodate my large bottom.) it looks gorgeous on you. The fabric makes the old pattern look fresh and modern.

    • SewingElle says:

      You should try the pattern. Add your own waist seam or slash at the waist like I did for a swayback adjustment (you know thats really just a nice way to say large bottom adjustment)

  13. Rosy says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I tip my hat to you! This dress is on my wish list and I hope also sew it soon … You inspired me …

  14. Audrey says:

    Your “vintage” dress looks great. What an interesting fabric. The simple change to the neckline make such a big change. Much more flattering!

  15. Kristy says:

    What a lovely dress. I’ve had this on my to do list since that issue came out but haven’t found the right fabric for it – I wish I bought some of this fabric while it was on sale now! Good luck in the competition, I can’t wait to see who wins

  16. CherryPix says:

    I was off scoffing Easter Bilbies when you posted this so very StYlish ensemble ! Great work!

  17. Rachel says:

    Gorgeous! I am so glad you commented on my blog (thank you) add it led me to yours. The items you’ve made are all so lovely – stylish and elegant. One classy broad.

  18. I’m in love with the dress and trying to make it. However, I find the instructions for the lower front very confusing without any diagrams. Would you happen to have any photos or can offer an explanation after you have stitched the facing onto the curves?

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