Silver Bells

This is my first Fibre Mood pattern, the Faye dress! Ordinarily I’m a little hesitant to buy a pattern on a whim (I own so many patterns already!) but I got swoony for this design. Plus, I felt like I had a little pattern “slush fund”, since most years I have a wishlist for the fall/winter pattern sales, but this year I only planned to and did buy one (the Thread Theory Comox trunks – unlikely to be modeled strappingly in the forest on this blog, but it seems like a handy pattern).  

I feel like Fibre Mood just popped onto the scene all at once – or more likely I just got in the know! Beck at I Sew Therefore I Am has been sewing up a storm with their patterns (personal fave, this dress) and Carolyn at Handmade by Carolyn actually made the Faye (how’s that for credentials?).

Anyway, I decided to make several impractical choices simultaneously: I would sew a new Christmas dress (unnecessary) in a metallic fabric (what) from a new-to-me pattern company (why) that requires almost 5 yards of my desired fabric ($$$ ouch). 

Luckily, Mikey likes it I like it!

IMG_4939.JPG
IMG_4965.JPG
IMG_4987.JPG

I styled this differently for our Christmas party – red ribbon for a belt, green shoes, and garnet earrings. But I was worried about wearing those earrings outside the house (they’re vintage clip-ons and sometimes one gives up its grip and I feel it slither down my neck) so this is a more restrained take on that same outfit. Yes. A staid sparkly swishy silver dress styling session. Indeed.

I’m happy with the pattern drafting and the final dress, but the process was NOT straightforward. First, you have to add your own seam allowances. I know this is standard for many companies and it makes it easier to manipulate pattern pieces, move darts, etc., but I am lazy. Secondly, the print shop file overlaps the pattern pieces, so you’d have to trace or print more than one copy for continuous pieces. The instruction layout is also no bueno. The cutting and interfacing charts are on the last pages, as is a list of seams to which you’re not supposed to add seam allowance. Surprise!

However, I can grudgingly admit it was kind of nice to choose my seam allowances. I added 3/8” because I knew I would be using my serger to finish. I didn’t add a hem allowance, and effectively removed the SA from the waist seam, too, after trying the dress on. And there’s some clever fitting details – the chest flap is not a tuck, but actually a separate pattern piece, and there’s shaping in that seam (front flaps and back yoke). Also, the size range is terrific! I sewed a 40 – near the top of some pattern ranges, but this one goes up to 58. Whoo! That being said, you can’t turn layers off and on, so some of the notches were impossible to distinguish. And there was no yardage listed for narrower fabric (for this size I used 5 yards. Woof). 

I think sizes in the 50s would be able to use 45” wide fabric, too, because the skirt is cut on the crossgrain. Something to be aware of if your fabric is directional. Mine has slubby ‘stripes’, mostly visible close up. I alternated grain direction in a quite a few places, mainly to conserve fabric. That skirt has an appetite for yardage!!   

IMG_4983.JPG
IMG_4942.JPG

I made changes when sewing, some more on-purpose-y than others! Some were simple mistakes, like accidentally using the neckline binding piece to make a rouleau hanging loop, so that workwear-inspired detail is now the silliest, daintiest touch.

IMG_5101.JPG

Some were thoughtful decisions, like baby-hemming the whole skirt before sewing the front plackets to reduce hem bulk.

IMG_5161.JPG
IMG_5075.JPG

Or adjusting the pattern pieces to work with the pocket sewing technique from Threads #195, Feb./March 2018 (oh my goodness, these are my best inseam pockets ever).

IMG_5063.JPG

Some were combo choices/mistakes, like changing the numbers of pleats from three to two and then signally failing to align them (see above, oops). Still, it was the right decision for my body – I was worried about the waist measurement, but I didn’t want to sacrifice pleat depth. This is your friendly neighborhood reminder to retake your measurements before taping and cutting a zillion pieces of paper, and not immediately afterwards, for some reason, yah goofball.

One was just a honking mistake. Here goes: first I finished the whole bodice but the plackets, then the whole skirt but the plackets. I went to join them, and discovered that I had trimmed one bodice placket and one skirt placket, as directed – on opposite sides. Well, dang it! I had a good chunk of scrap fabric left, so I trimmed the center bodice that was too wide, and added a new placket piece to the side that had been too short. I went to attach the bodice and skirt again, and discovered I had done it right the first time. As in, I had somehow flipped the pieces when pinning, and then went ahead and cut off the bodice placket extension that had actually been on the correct side. What’s a girl to do? Cut off the skirt placket extension, obviously, and cut a new one for the other side. BLERGH. I couldn’t believe myself. This is extra annoying because if I had planned ahead to do all this extra sewing anyway I could have cut the placket extension as a single piece and not had the multi-layered waist seam popping up when worn unbelted!

IMG_5137.JPG

GIRRRL. Well, it’s nothing a safety pin won’t fix.

I’ve never constructed a blind button placket like these directions instructed, but the result was fine; a little bulky, but very neat. It’s a bit clever how they have you handle the flap, too – flipping it up and down to sewn a continuous line.

IMG_5148.JPG

You can see that stitching line here, plus the seam on the edge of the placket where I had to reattach after my faulty impulse chopping. Also, the texture of the fabric. I used Kaufman Manchester Metallics cotton (plus Lurex, and I think a pinch of polyester). It’s mildly scratchy to wear but a dream to sew. Crisp, light, easy to handle and press, good drape but very stable. I saw it described as semi-sheer but it seems opaque to me!    

This dress is foolish, but dang it, also fun.  I haven’t figured out how to integrate it into my everyday wardrobe, but I’m considering separating the top and bottom halves. On the other hand, am I really much more likely to wear a silver skirt than a silver dress?

IMG_5118.JPG

If I ever figure it out, I’ll let you know!

See you in the twenties!

Pattern: Fibre Mood Faye dress

Pattern cost: $8.50

Size: 40

Supplies: 5 yards of Kaufman Manchester Metallic in Silver, $49.69, fabric.com; thread, buttons from stash

Total time: 11.75 hours

Total cost: $58.19

9 thoughts on “Silver Bells

  1. Whoaaaa amazing Christmas dress! Fit to be seen by the Queen 😉, could be because of the name 🤣 I love the length of the skirt. But no option for turning layers on/off, and having to trace again or print multiple copies? Yikes, I’d have probably given up. Good thing you didn’t cos you rocked that dress! 👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 😀 I’m probably making it sound more dire than it is…I’m just spoiled by easy-to-use indies! I’m glad you like your name-twin! ^^

      Like

  2. Beautiful holiday dress! I love the fabric and the pattern choice. I totally agree re: everybody suddenly sewing Fibre Mood patterns in the last couple of months. I’m definitely curious to try them, but appreciate the warning on the lack of SA. I mean . . it’s not THAT much harder to do adjustments with them. I digress.

    Also, so many lols @ that Thread Theory photoshoot. Amazing. 😂

    Like

    1. RIGHT?? I showed it to my boyfriend before buying the trunks and his only question was “Can you always see that much, um, detail?”
      Secret Fibre Mood tip: join the ‘community’ website first, wait a bit, and you get a code for a $1 pattern in the shop! I realized this after buying the pattern. Oops!

      Like

  3. My Fibre Mood obsession started with this dress! Somehow it was the first one of their patterns I saw and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since! Haven’t actually gotten around to sewing it yet though cuz those fabric requirements are a killer! Your post will be infinitely useful when I do. It was great to see a close up of the flap thingy pieces – I’d been wondering!!

    Like

    1. Oh yay I’m glad it’s useful!! At first I wasn’t sure about the flaps as separate pieces but I’m converted (secret ‘darts’ in those seams, hooray)! I look forward to any of your future Fibre Mood makes. ^^

      Like

  4. Thanks for this thorough review of this dress. I have it on my winter sewing plans. Nice to see more New Englanders sewing – I am in Connecticut and used to live in Allston. Happy sewing!

    Like

    1. Thank you! I apartment hunted in Allston! Ended up on the Red Line though. I love finding people in my region, too! They understand the struggle of back-to-back 60 degree and 20 degree days! 😀 Happy sewing to you too!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s