Completed: The Brasilia Dress

Some time ago, when Rachel of HouseOfPinheiro requested some testers for her new pattern I joined in without thinking about all the projects I had in mind and the little time I normally have. Because this dress is beautiful. With elegant lines that hug the body one can’t help but feel classy in it. When I was trying it last week to ask for Koen’s opinion, he said that it would be good for a Sci-Fi convention. I guess that those diagonal lines plus the grey color give it a bit of a Sci-Fi flavor. That and the light reflecting on my tummy. The days are getting short and taking pictures with natural light is becoming more and more difficult, and when we get it, it could be sometimes too much, like in this case. I apologize, we had a very sunny day (Madrid Winters are sunny and beautiful, but also very cold).

I had to adapt the pattern to my measurements, quite different from Rachel’s (bust: 88 cm; waist: 67 cm; hip: 98 cm), do an FBA (for a B cup) and a slopping shoulders alteration. For the resizing I used the slice and tuck (or spread) method described in zillions of places, but I checked the Colette sewing book just in case. The FBA of this pattern is a bit special due to the bodice structure and the placement of the darts, but even though it didn’t pose any problems. I used my personal pattern blocks to compare dimensions during the process and I have to say that it sped things quite a bit. I had to shorten the bodice by 3 cm (Rachel is sooo tall) but I left the original hem length (I don’t look good in mini-skirts).

What I’m not very happy about is the fabric I used. The weight and elasticity are fine. For this project I would recommend a fabric with a little bit of elasticity so that it hugs the body, but I guess a regular cotton should work also fine. I wouldn’t recommend a knit fabric, since some structure is needed. When I complain about my fabric I don’t mean that it behaves wrongly. It doesn’t if you don’t disturb it. But I have to say that after prewashing it I notice some shrinkage when pressing it. It’s a polycotton with more poly than cotton I’m afraid, that I had leftover from Koen’s cosplay pants. It doesn’t press well, and if you insist it starts shrinking irregularly (even without steam). Therefore you can see some wrinkles especially on the front where I wanted to “tame” my seams. The skirt would need a good press but I was afraid of what could happen. I think I’m going to wash this again and see how it comes out.

I finished the neckline and armholes with bias tape but you could also apply facings. I was just a bit lazy and short of time, and anyway it looks fine like this.

I have to say that before making it I liked this dress, but now that I’ve made it I absolutely love it. You had to see my face the first time I tried on my muslin. I was amazed. The bodice lines are so flattering, and the side pieces create the illusion of having a wasp waist. Congrats, Rachel, and thanks a lot for allowing me to test this. I love this design and I’ll make it again with some better fabric.