While I have been writing about variations of the Tessuti Lily dress I think I might show one that wasn’t 100% successful. I made it a couple of years back and it is not a disaster, actually I have worn it quite a lot, but casting a critical eye over it I think I might do things a little differently if I make something like this again.
While the pretty fabric of this dress rather saves it from languishing unloved in my wardrobe, it falls a bit short of the grand vision I had. What I was aiming for was a bubble dress, of the sort Rundholz does so very well.
So let’s analyse what went awry with my attempt.
Clearly, looking at these pictures, the Rundholz bodices are much more close fitting than mine. I dislike tight clothing and don’t want to go as far as that, but there must be a happy medium. I think my dress could easily have been a bit more fitted above the waist without being too restricting.
The other difference is the dramatic volume of the skirt. I know that Rundholz is fond of tulle petticoats to achieve this signature look and I can see one peeking out in a few of the photos. But as I have no intention of prancing about in tulle petticoats, anything that cannot be achieved in other ways is probably beyond my reach. A fairly substantial, non drapey fabric is a good start, as it will hold the bubble shape fairly well. I used quite a hefty cotton elastane for this dress, which is not bad. Bringing it in more at the hem with a couple of pleats or tucks would help too. In addition I could have made a lining, shorter than the dress and narrower, and attached the hem of the dress to that. With a sleeveless summer dress meant for hot weather a lining is not necessarily welcome, but for another season it would be fine.
What would improve the silhouette further would be more of a contrast between bodice and skirt to accentuate the bubble. A princess seam in the bodice where more volume can be added to the skirt part, or vertical darts from below the bust to the waist or high hip, taking in volume there, would do that nicely. Or possibly a separate bodice with the skirt pleated into that to achieve more volume. I think Rundholz uses all these techniques.
I definitely overdid the width of the A-line with this dress, at least between bust and waist, because it has to flare out so much at the side to get to such a wide circumference by the time it hits the horizontal seam. More restraint overall without any other modifications would have looked better, I think. I will have to experiment to find out if this is true. A large scale grey paisley is already earmarked for this, which is more in keeping with the Rundholz colour scheme of grey or black or both. Bit out of place for summer, but eminently suitable for autumn.
I have documented the sewing process of this current dress on Pattern Review and with the modifications outlined above I might get a little closer to my goal next time.
And a bit more Rundholz eye candy…
A looser bodice can work with the right pattern. This dress looks like it has princess seams which allow more width to be added to the skirt not only at the side seams but the princess seams as well. A band at the bottom pulling in the hem produces a gentle bubble shape. Something to think about.
A different take by Moruyu, again with a looser bodice. The skirt part is very wide and shaped, methinks, only at the side seams. This should look baggy by all my rules, but I know from other pictures that the model is very petite, so maybe that makes a difference. Or maybe she is holding this skirt the way she does for a reason, her elbows pushing in the dress at the waist…