Saturday, November 12, 2011

lisette itinerary dress, ala missoni

 Did Missoni for Target explode all over your closet this fall? 

I steered clear of it when the craze hit in mid-September, and now I'm glad because I'm usually uncomfortable wearing something that is instantly recognizable by brand. You won't see me strutting around with a Ralph Lauren flag sweater or a Coach bag, for instance. Not like I could afford those things even if I wanted to strut with 'em.

I am attracted to Missoni designs in general, and the Target ones use interesting color combinations in their signature zig zag style. But the zig zags are too big, and straight sweater dresses aren't flattering on my body. Not to mention everyone owns something in it. So when I came across some smaller-scale colorful zig zag cotton on clearance at Joann's, I knew it'd be a way to emulate the Missoni style without anyone saying, "Hey, cool Target dress! My mom, aunt, sister, best friend, boss and 3-year-old daughter have that same one, annnnnd I also have it in blue."

Kinda makes you dizzy when you scroll down the page. The colors are nice -- black, purples, olive green and some white. I don't have anything like that in my closet.

I used the Lisette Itinerary dress pattern from their new line in Simplicity. It's Lisette 2060, view B. 

All the Lisette stuff is pretty cute, but I think it's mostly the styling, font, colors and layout of their pattern covers that make you wanna make their clothes. I DO appreciate this attention to aesthetics; other pattern companies have nice-looking designs once made, but sometimes the pattern covers and model styling just make me laugh...or groan.

I didn't use contrasting fabric for the yoke because I didn't wanna buy any. I squeezed this dress outta 2.25 yards of 45" fabric so I wasn't able to cut the yoke along the selvedge. I like the vertical zig zag effect, though. I also couldn't make the obi belt with what I had, so my existing waist belts will have to do. This dress is a basic rectangle, and because I used quilting cotton (I know, an apparel sewing no-no) it needs a thick sturdy belt to keep the waist cinched without looking puffy or sloppy.

The neckline looks wavy in these photos. I guess it doesn't really lay completely flat against my chest, but in real life when I'm moving around you can't really tell.

My zig zags don't match at the sides but I don't mind. Lemme tell ya, this dress is pretty short. I'm 5'7" and the upward slope at the sides goes to mid-thigh, so this is definitely a date night dress, not a work dress. When I sit down and cross my legs, there's some side-thigh exposure for sure. If that's not your thing, I'd recommend adding a few inches, if not several! I will NOT wear this bare-legged for that reason. Hello there:

It's a pullover dress but there are three functional buttons on the top right shoulder, which helps maneuver the neckline over your fancy 'do. Also they're just kinda cute. Note: continuity error -- the neckline photos were taken in the mirror, so the buttons look like they're on my right shoulder. Actually on the left.

The only design change I made was cutting the neckline slightly lower than the pattern. This was so it'd look less boxy and wouldn't strangle me.

If I made the Itinerary dress again, I'd understitch the facing so it wouldn't roll to the front as easily. The pattern has you "secure" the facing when you top stitch at the bottom of the yoke, which is fine but still allows the top to shift around. I'd also use fabric with more drape... this one's pretty stiff and I know I will have to constantly yank the skirt down as I walk. Like it though!

Total project cost: $11.19 = $1.00 pattern (yes! 5 for $5 Simplicity pattern sale at Joann's last weekend); $9.00 fabric (2.25 yards at $4/yd); $1.19 buttons (notions sale at