Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BWOF 5-2010-105: Vegas Dress, Retro Style (and a Vegas recap)

Soooo, this is my very first pattern from Burda Magazine!

[jumps around]

[throws confetti]

This dress has been made by several bloggers recently, to great results. We planned a mini-trip to Vegas for July 4th weekend and were originally only going to be there for two nights. I had dresses to wear for both, but when we added a third night at the last minute, I scrambled to find a quick dress that I could whip up that was comfortable, cool and still Vegas-y. After seeing Trena's version, it felt like a perfect fit.

I pretty much completely copied her dress, right down to eliminating the facing around the neckline (using a twin needle to finish it off), cutting the skirt to mid-thigh and adding a lining. Thank you Trena for doing all of the hard work first and summing it up so I could just follow your instructions. ;) Since the other two dresses I was planning to wear were black, I did opt for an emerald/teal green rayon jersey, since my travel wardrobe was feeling very dark and a bit boring.

This dress pretty much sewed itself. It's only 3 pattern pieces and a bit of elastic. Super simple, even with the added lining. Yet, for such a simple design, it yields a very cute result. I cut the smallest size for the bodice (36) and instead of grading down, I just didn't add seam allowances and went from there. While not technically correct, the end result was fine. I did add an inch to the bottom of the bodice to allow a bit of extra room for making the elastic casing, but wish that I had added another inch or so because it didn't blouse over as much as I would have liked. Ah well. I was pleased to have a great experience working with a twin needle this time around, too. I tried to work with one on a knit dress just a couple of months after starting to sew and it was a hot mess. I've obviously increased my skills since then, as it was so easy to use this time and I was very pleased with the finished result.


I wore this dress our first night - it was very comfortable and I felt cute and hip in it. I knew that I'd be killing my feet in heels the next two nights, so I opted for a small wedge sandal and lots of gold jewelry for accessories. Total win!

I think this was a great first foray into the world of Burda patterns. I already have another skirt cut out (just needs to be sewn up) and a few other things that I have my eye on. I've found that tracing out the patterns and adding seam allowances doesn't really bother me. In fact, it's something I can do while I watch TV with Jim and accomplishes two tasks at once - hanging out with the husband and working on sewing stuff. :)

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I didn't take enough pictures for a full Vegas recap, but here are a few tidbits and pictures that sum up the trip:

* This was our first time at Bartolotta and the food was really fabulous. Any time you have that much fish in one dinner and don't taste like fish at the end is huge. We both thought the main fish dish was the best we have ever had. However, it was the dessert course that was so freaking amazing to me - 9, count them 9 individual scoops of ice creams were brought to the table. Three granitas, three gelatos and three sorbets. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! There were two other dishes served, too, but those 9 scoops of frozen deliciousness were so freaking delicious!

* However, there was a huge downside to Bartolotta - the poor service. We were met with a chilly reception upon checking in for our meal and things didn't get any better. We had a small, like amuse-bouche size, pasta dish brought to our table shortly after ordering. We thought it was, indeed, an amuse-bouche and started to eat it. Not two minutes later, our waiter ran up to us, exclaiming "Did you touch that?!" Um, yes, and if we'd said no, were you really going to take it from our table and deliver to the table where it belonged?! EW! We said yes, he gave us a disgusted look and went away. We felt horrible and didn't know whether to continue eating or what. The waitstaff stood behind us whispering and pointing before finally coming back and saying "Well, since you're eating it, here is what you're having." Seriously?! We were at an incredibly expensive restaurant, ordering the tasting menu (+ alcohol) and that is how you treat your patrons? I mean, it's not even acceptable service if we were at a Denny's but damn! This was just ridiculous. The rest of the dinner was awkward and I don't think either one of us really settled into the meal. The guy that brought dessert was incredibly sweet and gracious and was the only bright spot in a dinner otherwise marked by a waitstaff that was both pretentious and quite rude. I'd love to highly recommend the place, but frankly, there are plenty of other restaurants in Vegas that do fabulous food AND have servers and staff that are kind and generous to their patrons.

* In fact, Le Cirque and Carnevino would both fall into that category! It was our 2nd time at Le Cirque and our *mumble mumble* time at Carnevino. We had many of the same servers at Le Cirque and they were again excellent. The food was fantastic and the vibe of the restaurant was formal, but not at all pretentious. We had a French couple sitting next to us and it was really cool that our waiter went back and forth between our tables, speaking english one moment and french, the next. I told Jim that I want all of our dinners to be like that - the accents and european language gave the whole dinner a very sophisticated air. While all of the food was delicious, the indiviual 'fruits de la mer' platter and the dessert wine tasting flight were the highlights. We let the sommelier know we would be splitting the dessert wines and he specifically mentioned that he poured us a bit extra so we'd have enough to share. See what I'm saying? Now that is service done right!

* The one, um, bright spot? to our dinner at Le Cirque was the gal sitting in front of us who proceeded to get completely plastered as the night wore on. At one point, I look over and she is sitting back in her seat and proceeds to lift her leg all the way up to her head. Did I mention her chair was turned to face the restaurant and she was wearing a very VERY short dress? Yes folks, that's right, the gal flashed her lady bits to the entire restaurant! Only in Vegas. You could feel the entire restaurant sort of gasp and then not know what to do. Jim told me to stop staring. I informed him that they were way past the point of having any idea of what was going on. It was like dinner and show folks, I kid you not. It was just so ridiculous that all I could do was crack up. Ha!

* Our last night was at Carnevino and it was a great way to end the trip. Another dinner full of ridiculously yummy food, great staff and a fun atmosphere. If the dinner prices make you want to run for the hills, might I suggest their lunch special burger and house-made potato chips. Literally, the best gourmet burger we've ever had. Ever. Well worth the price of admission.

* We've sorta christened one of the tables at Lavo in the Palazzo as "our table." I swear, we've sat there and had drinks more times than I can count - at least twice a trip. One night we decided that it really needed a plaque proclaiming it as such. Since we couldn't make that happen, we took pictures there instead. :)

* Vino and Spurs were able to meet us for drinks one night and it was great to see them. They had a crazy busy weekend and I'm really glad they were able to come and hang out for a couple of hours.

* Our days were spent poolside - reading, lounging, taking a dip and drinking. We both needed the break, Jim even moreso than me. It was a very nice getaway. :)

22 comments:

Miss Dandy said...

The dress looks fantastic! I love the color and those draped sleeves. I'm going to make a pair of Burda trousers very soon...I'm kind of terrified since there are no diagrams in the instructions! Definitely going to make a muslin first...

weezermonkey said...

I'd say something about the dress, but I'm totally distracted by your amazing arms.

Winnie said...

The dress is super cute! I like the color on you too. Crappy service is not acceptable, especially at a nice expensive restaurant. You're paying for attentive service! "Dinner and a show" just killed me. Sounds like you and Jim had a terrific getaway! So jealous of all the fancy food.

AllisonC said...

Sounds like a great trip, shame about that shabby service one night. So glad the dress worked out for you, its the perfect burda beginner dress and the results are fantastic on you.

Gail said...

I spotted this pattern in the May issue too (which we've just received in the land of Oz!). Love it and now know why I've been lovingly fingering some teal jersey at my local fabric store.

Eugenia said...

Congratulations on your first Burda magazine pattern!! May this be the first of many Burda creations. Your dress looks fabulous on you and I LOVE that teal shade. I also loved your restaurant review :)

KID, MD said...

It looks like you had a great time in Vegas, and congrats on a great first burda!! It looks amazing! That color is perfect on you. That's such a sewing milestone!! I remember being crazy intimidated by burda, but now I reach for them before I look at Big 4 patterns.
I do have a little twin needle tip for you. If you decrease your upper needle tension a little, then you won't get that ridge in between the two rows of stitching.

rosemarie said...

It's so great that you and the hubby got away for some special down time. You had me cracking up about the woman showing her lady bits. I love the European flair myself ... was in Barcelona in May and Paris at least once a year.

The dress in that color is splendid on you - another great job.

gold said...

Your dress looked very cute on you! great pics of your trip.

Vanessa said...

You did a great job with the dress, it looked wonderful on you! Happy anniversary!

selfishseamstress said...

Gorgeous, as usual! It looks fantastic on you. I'm so amazed that you're doing this without a serger. I thought about this dress and the idea of sewing a drapey knit on my regular machine frightens me.

I love your idea of tracing it without the seam allowances- that seems like a great idea of this kind of loose-fitting, simple pattern- if I tackle it, I'll do the same.

Susan said...

I love your version. Funny - even though I do have a serger, I mainly used my Bernina to sew this dress. I think your tips are great options, too.

Leslie said...

That's probably my favorite dress that you've done so far! It looks great on you. :)

Feminist Gold Digger said...

Ditto weemo

Lindsay T said...

You young things all look so sexy in this dress! Great job, love the photos, and happy birthday to you.

10yearstogether said...

Ditto wemo and mboc! And I'm sorry your experience with the service was bad, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the dinner after that. You look absolutely beautiful A!

Debbie Cook said...

Great dress on you! I hate bad service at a restaurant too - is it really that hard to be nice to diners? I don't think so. Glad your other nights made up for it - dinner and a show LOL!

Kennis said...

You look so hip in that dress! The accessories complete the look. Great job!

dapotato said...

love the dress. love your arms in that dress. in a non-creepy way, of course.

trisha said...

Awww, you looked so beautiful! The teal dress looks fab on you and the fabric color really compliments your skin and hair color.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

Congratulations on making a Burda piece! I am SO not there yet. Burda scares me.

It was a great project to pic - that is a hot dress. You look awesome in it! Like you said - cool and hip, perfect for Vegas.

Cennetta said...

Isn't BWOF great? Happy Belate Anniversary. The dress is defintely hip and cute.