Dresses: Day 21

Have you all picked up yet on the fact that I will basically make the same pattern over and over again until we both drop from exhaustion? Here is another , which needs a bit more pressing than it got:

This is in a nice slightly-heavier-than-usual shirting stripe. I had really high hopes for this fabric, and then this happened:

No matter what I tried, I just could not get those stripes to match up. I probably took it apart four or five times. I may take it apart one more time and use some fabric tape to stave off presser-foot creep, which is what I’m blaming for the mismatch. (Well, presser foot creep and my slightly off cutting out.)

The zipper is a C:

I have no idea why I had any navy bias binding at all. My guess is that I bought it in a big lot at a yard sale:

And what happened here? Your guess is as good as mine:

This is my favorite part of this dress … I really like the chevron effect:


I’m not sure where I bought this … it might have been on the remnant table at . It has that slick expensive-Italian-cotton feel. (And hey, when did Britex start ? Ooooooh! And like I NEED more places to buy fabric online … )


Dresses: Day 20

Wow, I can’t believe we’re a fifth of the way to the end …

Here is another dress from the same pattern as yesterday’s (Simplicity 5723):

(I blogged about this one , with worse pictures.)

Here’s the pocket, self-lined:

The back (Simplicity 5723 has a center back seam, which is a little bit of a pain):

The bodice/neck (I really love this fabric):

And the zipper, which is a definite C- minus on the McKean Scale of Zipper Eptness:

I generally end up wearing this dress with a cardigan (in teal, brown, or that mustardy-gold), a mustard-colored belt, and brown ballet flats.

(Today’s rollovers from , which may be my new favorite website …)

I keep forgetting to add that there are several spreads from up on “Inside the Book” at Amazon, if you’re looking for a !

Dresses: Day 19

Today’s dress is one of my favorites:

I blogged about it (there’s a picture of me in it at that post, with bonus surprise lexicographers!) It’s from this pattern, whichI really like:

Even though the finished skirt is nowhere near as full as the pattern envelope would suggest. And anyway, I put pockets in it (copying those of Simplicity 1577, natch):

I’m very happy with how the print matched at the waistline:

The zipper here is about a C+. I have come up with an invisible zipper grading scale, would you like to hear it? After the picture:

Zipper Grading System:

A zipper: can’t see it, truly invisible except for the pull, waist seam perfectly matched;

B zipper: puckering or  indication that zipper exists (besides the pull); no zipper tape visible;

C zipper: zipper tape visible;

D zipper: unwearable, must be ripped out and redone;

F zipper: makes entire dress unfixable, might as well cut the thing up for quilt squares.

Here’s the sleeve, finished with bias binding:

And the back. I’m just going to believe that I don’t look from the back what my dresses look like from the back — my dress form is very persnickety and always catches the material across the back:

Here’s a picture of the fabric scale, just because I found it in my Flickr set:


I really like this dress because: it fits well (dress form back view notwithstanding); it’s formal enough to give a talk in but comfortable enough to enjoy myself in; and also, I like that brick.jpgnk AND broken plaids. A twofer! I usually wear it with a black cardigan and penny loafers.

And in news — if you’ve already read it, would you consider leaving a review somewhere? (Maybe ?) It’s definitely one of the things that people use to decide whether they will choose Dresses over, say, .

Dresses: Day 18

Here’s today’s dress:

This is another collarless — when I had to do the collar amputation on the , I thought, “Hey, what if I did this on purpose?” and voilà:

The bias binding for the neckline is a slight bit lumpy. The fabric is a lighter twill, so it showed through more than I thought it would (better image of the fabric below). I’m very happy with the pocket lining (it’s Liberty, natch):

Here’s the back where you can see exactly the spot I missed while pressing this before taking pictures:

And the zipper, which is truly terrible, a C- at best. For some reason this dress came out smaller than I thought it would so I have to go back and undo both side seams and cheat them out a bit, and do the zipper “right” in the process. Needless to say this has not happened yet. At all.

I tend to wear this dress in the winter (it’s warm) with black boots and a black sweater (or brown boots and a brown sweater). It’s a good traveling dress, too, since I made the pockets extra-deep. Now if only I managed to get this on to the top of the pile for fixing …


Dresses: Day 17

Careful readers of MilitaryHumveeAuction (are there any other kind? I think not) will have seen this dress ; it’s definitely one of my favorites:

The buttons are probably my favorite part — they’re covered with another black&white alphabet fabric at a different scale:

There are a lot of things I’ll do differently when I make this pattern again. For instance, I don’t think the placket edges need to be edgestitched:

And when I first put in the zipper, I started the top too low and the fabric ripped at the stress point — you can see the repair below (I also replaced the zipper):

Here’s the back, it’s off-center on my dress form but not in real life, really.

This is from Butterick 7513:

Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t make this all the time, it’s super-comfortable and not very demanding. It might be because I tend to shy away from center-front skirt seams, but I’m getting over that. Maybe I’ll give this one another shot soon …

And in Hundred-Dresses-The-Book news, did I already link to this ? Check it out!

Dresses: Day 16

Here’s another version of the dress:

It is surprisingly hard to tell the back from the front with this dress pattern (and this print!) but here is what I am pretty sure is the back:

I made this dress in an extreme hurry because I had gotten it into my head that I needed a slightly vintagey, yet cool and comfortable dress to go out in one . I got this idea about  4 pm, and the dancing started around 9. So it was a bit of a rush job, as you can see by the not-quite-matching of the print at the waist, here:

That shoulder pleat, though, I’m still really liking it:

Side zip? B+ this time.

Oh, and a sneak preview of a dress (or two) that’s coming next week, as it was hanging in my hotel room waiting to be hemmed:

Dresses: Day 15

Brand new pattern! This is  — another half-size pattern, or as I like to call them, squishy-middle patterns (they’re bigger in the waist than non-half-size patterns):

I was drawn to this pattern by the simple-looking skirt and the nice collar, but I had absolutely no intention of making that welt chest pocket. (Let’s just get that out of the way up front.)

It has a little bit of a 1940s vibe all made up that it doesn’t have on the pattern envelope, doesn’t it?

I really liked this fabric, too, as an abstract cityscape. The buttons are nothing special, although the buttonholes turned out pretty well:

Here’s the collar, which has a decent roll to it:

Side zip, much improved, I think you’ll find:

And back view:

And sleeve. Sigh. The sleeve caps did NOT want to go in flat. Despite much basting and pressing and easing and cursing, this was the best I could do:

I’m definitely going to make this dress again; it’s really comfortable and sews up well in quilting cotton (which is what this is). I’ll probably add just a bit more fullness to the skirt (by the lazy expedient of adding an inch or two at the front gathers, unless someone has a better, less slapdash idea?) and spend more time on those blasted sleeve caps …

Editorial query: do people want me to post sources for the mouseover text on the pictures (when it’s not just straight-up jokes)? Almost everything is searchable with Your Favorite Search Engine, but would it be helpful to include them here, or would it ruin the fun (such as it is)?