Saturday, 28 December 2013

A Christmas Reith Dress

Have you heard of the Reith lectures? They're great!

Every year the BBC asks a prominent thinker to make a series of 5 lectures on some of the current themes of our age. Subjects have ranged from security and terror, democracy and economy, art and the role of the artist to name just a few. The archive goes all the way back to 1948 but I've recently been working through the last few years with Grayson Perry, Niall Fergusson, An Sang Suu Kyi plus a few others. They've been the main soundtrack to this project, put together for the office Christmas party. 

Hence Christmas Reith.

Spotted a stray bra strap...

It's Burda 12/2012 #112, graded to a size 34 and reduced to a non-tall pattern. The fabric is a midnight blue sandwash silk from Goldhawk Road (incidentally from the shop of cursed fabric). The existing versions of this dress from last winter were beautiful, so I've been egging to make it for quite some time. Plus, there is a lot of shaping in the CB seam which doesn't necessarily show up in the technical drawing.


Only major modification was to move the zip to the side and to hack some length off the skirt once the dress had been tried on and the bias left to relax. I need to start doing adjustments again, rather than relying on Burda size 34 to be a fairly close fit out of the packet. Does anyone else do that?

There seems to be a few shoulder/armhole alterations I really need to get right soon.

Back, you get the idea
I also used invisible thread on the hem. Definitely wouldn't recommend it as it kinks and unwinds very easily. Not sure how it will launder but the stuff is very frustrating to sew with! 

That's about it for this dress, but I have one question to those of you who've made it already: do you find the drape is constantly pulling the side seams (and cb seam) out of whack? Is this made any better by wearing a slip underneath or adding a lining?

Finally, you can check out the Reith Archive here. This year's talk with Grayson Perry is very interesting and he raises a lot of points that can hit home for anyone doing something creative, not just professional high art.


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