Another McCalls 6727

Hey, here’s another McCall’s 6727!

I love this pattern an awful lot. Here’s the bodice, I didn’t tack down the facing in front because I thought it might make a visible line, but that means it rolls a tiny tiny bit:

I was sure I took a picture of the facing, but uh, no. It’s Liberty — I used leftovers from this dress.

Here’s a tighter view of the bodice:

The fabric is (I think) a silk-cotton blend from FabricMartFabrics, bought ages and ages ago. It’s very lightweight but hangs nicely, and also it’s impossible to tell what color it is. In fluorescent light it looks olive green, and in daylight it looks either gray-brown or charcoal. It has a very, very slight basketweave.

Here’s the side zip and pocket. I cut away about an inch, inch and a half to make the pockets easier to get into. And — heresy to say — I think I may have actually made these pockets TOO BIG. They’re just about an inch too deep and two inches too wide. I thought I’d never see the day when I thought that pockets were too big, but I keep losing my lip balm in these, so that seems to be the key leading indicator.

And here’s the back:

(It’s not hanging perfectly, but I made seven pies today and am already tired before eating anything.)

This dress looks very Edwardian on, for some reason. I think it’s the combo of the narrow long skirt and square bodice. For winter here in the Bay I love the “long dress with long-sleeved tee underneath plus knee socks and roper/ankle boots”. So I expect to make about five more of these.

Oh! And in happy holiday news, Michelle of has a special coupon for you! 10% off orders over $10 — NOTE: you’ll need the coupon code “dressaday10”. So you can get your Christmas shopping started ASAP.

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A dress for a wedding (not a wedding dress) plus bonus kiltwearing

Haven’t posted in a while … there’s a backlog of new dresses and old patterns with new stories, but a shortage of TIME to post them in!

This picture, of course, takes priority, as it involves a kilt — that’s my handsome-yet-goofy younger brother in the McKean tartan with all the trimmings, ready to walk my little sister down the aisle at her lovely wedding in Brooklyn last weekend. (Don’t ask me which variant of the McKean/McIan tartan this is, it could also be some kind of McDonald? Genealogy is complimacated.)

She asked me to stand up for her as well (that’s why I’m holding a sheaf of lavender, that’s not a customary accessory of mine) and asked me to wear navy blue.  (Of course I did not own a navy blue dress of any kind whatsoever.)

After a few false starts, I finally just made THE SAME OLD DRESS I’VE BEEN MAKING FOR THE LAST FOUR MONTHS. Here’s a post where you can see the lines of the dress. It’s the Simplicity 2389 bodice with the (heavily modified) Burdastyle skirt. And now I have a navy dress.

I don’t own navy shoes, because navy shoes never match anything else that’s navy, so the silver ankle-straps were left over from that part of the early 2000s where I was going to a lot of weddings. I forgot how painful they were — note my “let me just relieve the pressure on this foot here” stance — so they were exchanged for flats at the earliest possible point of the proceedings.

At the shoulder you can kind of maybe partly see that I did do piping for this one as well — self-bias piping with nice fat cord. The fabric is a kind of faille so the corded piping has a nice bias twist to it, very satisfying (if nearly invisible).

It was a very happy day. Hope your days have been happy, too.

Dots at Liberty

I don’t think I’ve posted about this yet — it’s a hybrid Frankendress of Liberty Schlesinger (which I’ve used before and still think looks like a cricket-ball print) with the bodice from  and the same skirt (only deeper pleats) as this dress (). Okay, that was confusing. Perhaps the pictures will make it easier:

Here’s the (added) side pockets and side zipper:

The deep back pleat in the skirt:

The collar (you can see the mustardy bias tape I used to finish it — probably should have used gray. (It matched more in my head.)

I used the method on this collar, and it rolled really nicely at the edge:

Here’s the whole back view:

I made this three different times early this spring but I suppose I never got around to posting them? A search doesn’t turn anything up. I have pictures of the other two as well, so I’ll try to get them up soon.

Hearts and Bones

I finished this dress up last weekend:

This here is the part I like best. I was going to do plain red piping, but the reds didn’t match. (And neither did the maroons or blues. I have more piping than a Scottish funeral.)

The striped piping is from Britex. Every time I go in I have this little surge of hope that they’ve decided to carry even more patterned cotton piping, and then I see that the choices are basically pinstripes, leopard, and neon. I’ve bought all the stripey ones; I’m just not really a leopard-print kinda gal; but I’m sure someday I will manage to avoid the gorge-rising nausea upon seeing neon colors that the early 1980s left me with and you will see some fluorescent pink piping here in these pages.

Here’s an off-center and slightly unfocused front view!

I suppose at this point I should mention that the bodice is Simplicity 2389 (again) and the skirt (for a change) is BurdaStyle with some alterations.

What alterations? Well, I added 6″ to the skirt center back and front, and lengthened the skirt by about 8″ to ensure a deep, deep hem. I really like this version of the Heidi skirt — it’s very comfortable, and for some reason manages to cohere with the 1940s bodice and feel modern at the same time.

I piped the back yoke seam this time, too:

Except I forgot that the yoke has to meet the facing at center back and had to kludge in a little bit more piping. Also, the back facing DID NOT want to turn nicely over that piping bit, so I finally just said “this is a design feature” and left it at that.

Here you can see the piping meeting at the underarm (probably another reason that piping the back is not as good an idea as it might seem), as well as the pocket piping and the zipper:

The whole back view (I’m not sure what was up with the lighting when I took these, weekends have been fairly sunny lately):

 

This voile is lighter than I’m used to, so I thought I might have to line it. Instead I settled for a heavier slip than usual and cutting the pocket lining and neck facing from this weird pale pale pink linen/cotton voile I had lying around. Since I’m mostly pale pale pink too, it seems to work. I have another one cut out where the fabric really was translucent, so I ended up underlining it in black voile, which is creating a kind of goth-flavored mallard color effect (that fabric is teal).

I ended up wearing this to a last week — I hesitated a tiny bit about wearing something so flat-out girly, as the gender ratio at these things approaches that of your typical offshore oil rig and/or professional football team (only with more ironically-worn mustaches and skinnier jeans). But it wasn’t as if I was going to magically become any less of an outlier in a plain denim dress (choice #2) than I was in this one, and since I hadn’t really worn it yet (and really wanted to), on it went.

Honestly, since I’m not looking for a job, I have a whole lot less risk in wearing something super-girly at tech conferences. And if I wear something like this, I can set some kind of upper bar and make other people look moderate in comparison, and gradually move the whole bar of “conference wear” further in my direction, right? That’s the plan, anyhow.

It was a total luxury to be able to go to this conference, by the way. I’ve been dabbling in Node.js for a bit and have finally reached the stage where a tiny archipelago of scattered knowledge is emerging from the receding seawaters of my ignorance. However, I am still looking for navigable channels between the islands, and a conference is one of the fastest ways I know of to connect the dots.

There’s something about going into a talk where you know nothing about anything in the description, grabbing onto the first idea tossed out by the presenter that connects to anything you know, and following along, knot by knot and intersection by intersection, until you have a lovely net with which to catch the entire topic.

Usually when I learn anything new it’s like taking the Tube in London: I get on at one subterranean stop and clamber back up the light in a completely different place, and couldn’t for the life of me say how to get back to the first stop overland. Going to a conference is like riding around on the top of a bus: I can finally see how all the different neighborhoods join up and how to walk between them. And coding is such a lovely city …

 

Piping Merrily Along

This dress is all about the piping:

Okay, it’s also about being in one of my all-time favorite Liberty prints, , but mostly it’s about this gathered-shoulder silhouette:

And if you’re going to pipe the shoulder seams, you must pipe the pockets as well (it’s the law):

The shoulder piece makes this really nicely satisfying curved seam at the back neck (ignore my rolling-facing issues):

The shoulder/sleeve has a turnunder for hemmish purposes, which is a feature I always like. Makes things simpler:

Here’s the back view, a bit wrinkly as I wore this for a few hours before taking these pictures:

Last but not least, the full front view:

This pattern is Simplicity 2389 (well, for the bodice, the skirt is that much-adjusted Simplicity 5238). (All rollover text in this post from the .)

There’s still something wonky going on with the side bodice seams, and the fabric is a bit light for the deep front pleat, but I really like this dress. It’s very light and comfortable without feeling skimpy (although the front V is slightly lower than I usually wear). The sleeves are great for full range of motion (have you realized that too-tight armholes are one of my pet peeves, yet?)

There’s another version of this in a , that’s in pieces on my sewing table — hope to have it finished and posted soon.

Cinco de Mayo Simplicity 5238

Here’s a more true-to-life (or at least, true to the pattern illustration) version of Simplicity 5238:

I actually bought this fabric yonks ago. I bought it in early autumn and thought it was too summery, and then it suffered from a lot of being “too” other stuff, as well. It was too heavy for a regular shirtdress, and then too stripey for some patterns that would have required more matching than my laziness allowed, and then once I started playing with Simplicity 5238, I was all, “hello there, sorry you’ve been languishing in the back of the fabric closet, time to come out and play!”

Even though it is VERY stripey, it’s not too bad to match with this pattern:

The major departure from your bog-standard Simplicity 5238 is the addition of front slash pockets, of course:

I’ve decided, after a few iterations, that center back zippers are horrible. At least, my implementation of this one is:

Center back waist turned out mostly okay. Go figure.

The stripes did something interesting (I’m CALLING it interesting, therefore it is INTERESTING and not ‘off’) on the back bodice:

I’m also telling myself that the V there makes my back waist seem smaller (although honestly, I gave up really trying to optically-illuse my Actual Body™ away ages ago) and also that nobody will notice the weird hiccup at the bottom of the zipper because the pattern is so darn busy.

I ended up calling this the Cinco de Mayo dress because I coincidentally wore it for the first time on Cinco de Mayo,  running errands in the Mission, so I got a  lot of very nice compliments on it from people who were, for the most part, only MILDLY inebriated. I believe this would an excellent dress to attack a piñata in, should you be so inclined — the armholes are very deep, so you should be able to get some good whacks in without worrying about tearing out a sleeve. Also, you’ll match both the tissue paper AND the candy.

Another Frankendress

So this is the same pattern (or lack thereof) as the last dress, only in this Liberty fabric that I adore. Look, they’re little matches! (It’s called “Strike” and Shaukat still has some in the which is *almost* as adorable.)

Because Tana lawn is so light, I piped the pockets:


The zipper’s not terrible:

Liberty Matches Frankendress zipper

Unfortunately, this dress suffers from some of the same problems as the last version. Plus a few more, for variety!

Something is wonky with the back neck:

And oh lord the hem. This is terribly wrong:

 

This bodice is the one from my old friend Simplicity 1577, minus the collar, plus this new heavily-altered skirt that I am obsessed with. (You can see yet another version here.)

I haven’t yet followed through on all the suggestions from the last post (THANK YOU THEY ARE SO HELPFUL) with the exception of having purchased and read the Betzina book, which I think will be very useful. Especially for that back hem thing, which is even slightly worse on, if you can imagine it.

I managed to take a lot of long-overdue pictures this past Sunday, so you’ll be seeing some new dresses this week!