Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Liesl+Co Gelato Dress in Tula Pink Sateen

I liked the look of the Liesl+Co Gelato dress since it first came out a couple of months ago.  There are a number of simple, shift style dress patterns that have been released recently: Gelato Blouse and Dress, Wiksten Shift Dress and Top,  and Closet Case Cielo top/dress.   I was very tempted by the Wiksten but I think it's too boxy for my frame and will look shapeless unless tightly sashed.  I liked the neckline on the Gelato and the welt pocket detail, as well as the long sleeve top option and Liesl always writes impeccable instructions, plus the closer fitting shoulders tend to look better on me.  

I found a paper pattern on eBay and made a toile- a top with a long sleeve, short sleeve and frill to test fit.  I made size 2 which matched my chest measurement.  The fit was a tiny bit tight across the chest and back just next to the armscye, a pulling and restrictive feeling.  So, I consulted Fit for Real People and also found a couple of Threads videos; How to Modify Sleeves for Better Arm Mobility and Correct a Pattern for Foward Shoulder.  I didn't remake my toile although I wished I had in hindsight, but I did make some changes.   I altered the sleeve cap pattern to make it a shallower curve (as in the first Threads video).  This added extra material on either side and raised the lower curve of armseye on the dress front and back by 3/8" at the  I also reshaped the cap for a forward shoulder following the second video and adjusted the shoulder seams adding 1/4" to the back and subtracting the same at the back.

The result is nearly but not quite right as you can see on some of the pictures- there's some lines and folds around the sleeve head/arm hole that indicate the fit is a little off.  But I have worn the dress a lot and some features like the pocket and the overall shape, I love.  I just need to really nail the sleeves!  The bust days and length are without alteration so do consider that the cup size is small on this dress (I'm an A/B cup at most).  The pocket construction needs to be slow and methodical as it needs to be symmetrical and balanced.

I used a Tula Pink cotton sateen that was originally designed as a quilt backing so was super wide at 108".  I only had a short length so the grain was rotated 90 degrees to fit the pattern pieces and I had to work the best I could to balance the birds across my body.  Sateen can be a little tricky to work with- all those floating threads which snag really easily- but it is soft and silky to wear.   I had similar fit niggles after I made my Liesl+Co Cinema dress which I only realised when I was wearing it, so I'm thinking that the block Liesl uses isn't quite right for my upper body. I've got a couple of other shift style dresses (Closet Case Ceilo and Maven patterns French Dart) so I'll be interested to see how those sleeves compare. 

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