Thank you to everyone that has left such wonderful comments - I truly appreciate when people take time out of their day for me. I have had a bunch of comments asking when I would model my latest garments. I will definitely be posting pictures of me wearing my SWAP wardrobe, but I am going to wait until all the pieces are done and ready to be submitted to Julie of Timmel Fabrics (the SWAP sponsor). So, stay tuned, it won't be too long now! :)
Also, Marguerite writes, "Are the dress photos from the White House Years book or the Cassini book?"
The dress photos are from "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years", although I also own "A Thousand Days of Magic". As an aside, for anyone that is a Jacqueline Kennedy fan, I cannot recommend both books highly enough. Each book contains amazing photographs and historical information about JK, her clothing and her personality. Great reads!
The next garment up in my SWAP 2008 was inspired by a yellow silk ziberline dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy in Jaipur, India on March 19, 1962. This dress, as well as several other pieces taken on a tour of India and Pakistan, were designed by Gustave Tassell. Interestingly, JK wore this dress, as well as pumps and white gloves, to indulge in an elephant ride. One year earlier, the Queen rode the same elephant wearing a safari suit. I guess Jackie favoured fashion over practicality - that's my kind of gal!!
JK typically favoured slim or A-line skirts. Occasionally she went for the fuller skirted look as seen in this dress. Being a fan of fuller skirts myself, it was a no-brainer for me to knock off this particular garment. Originally, I had planned on making this dress in a mustard wool crepe. I tend to only wear wool crepe in the cooler months and since I really wanted to stay with the sleeveless design, I figured I would have to wear a sweater over the dress for warmth. However, I didn't want to ruin the lines of the dress by slapping a cardigan on over top of it. So, I decided to take a cue from the original and a hunt for yellow silk began. I looked high and low on the internet to find appropriate fabric (at a reasonable price) and basically came up empty. Then one day, while browsing in a local chain fabric store, I spotted the perfect shade of mustard yellow silk dupioni - sometimes what you want most is right under your nose! I snatched up 2 m and skipped merrily all the way home.
Since dupioni is a light weight fabric and in this case, fairly translucent, I underlined the bodice and the skirt with a very pale peach cotton batiste. Batiste is one of my favourite underlinings for crisp, thin silks. It adds body to the garment, it ensures modesty and all the facings and hem can be tacked to the underlining, leaving the front of the garment completely unmarred by stitches.
The pattern for this dress is based on Simplicity 7990 (which, incidentally I used unaltered for last year's SWAP as well). This pattern has the same basic silhouette that I desired and only needed a few tweaks to more closely resemble the inspiration garment. You can see a comparison of the old and new pattern pieces below.
To increase the fullness of the skirt, I slashed the front and back pieces in two places and added 1.25" to each opening. To create the front seam, I simply added a 5/8" seam allowance to the front where it was originally to be placed on a fold.
The midriff cummerbund band was perfect as is, so it was left alone, but the tie was discarded.
The front bodice required the most work. I traced out two front bodice pieces and taped them together, on top of a another piece of paper, in the crossed over manner displayed on the pattern cover. Then I drew in a wide, rounded neckline. I drew a vertical line from the centre of the neckline to the centre of the lower bodice. Finally, a 5/8" seam allowance was added to this newly drawn line. Lastly, a front facing was drafted for this new front bodice piece. See the photo on the left for a before and after comparison.
The back bodice required alteration as well, so that the back neckline would match the front. This, of course, necessitated the redrafting of the back neck facing. After checking that all the old and new pieces fit together properly, the tweaked pattern was ready to go. Next time, I will show you the completed garment.
Lastly, I am the proud owner of a new camera. I decided on a Canon Rebel XTi (which can be seen at left). It is winging its way to me as we speak. I can't wait to get my hands on this baby and give it a whirl. My husband (who is really into photography) has a much sexier version of this camera and the nifty part is that his lenses can be used with my new camera. I will now have the ability to get super crazy close-up shots, super duper far away shots and everything in between. Wahoo!!