Dresses: Day 3

Let’s get right to it, shall we? Day 3 of the blogathon:

Obviously, another . (You’ll be seeing a lot of these.)

Here’s the back:

You can probably just see that the yellow stripe is not completely flush with the edge of the hem. (I decided that I did not care.)

The side zip on this was a nightmare. The zipper broke, I had to take it out and put it in again, and … well, it was just UNFUN. So that is my excuse for why it is badly placed and why the waist seam doesn’t match up:


What I like most about this dress is how nice it looks with red:

The lighter stripes aren’t white, but a very pale gray, so I really like the red with it, it feels sophisticated to me for some inexplicable reason.  I bought this fabric from Fabric.com but it’s sold out now; there’s an still available that’s really nice.

The pocket lining is from this shirting that I’ve been using as pocket linings for YEARS. It was so pretty yet really wrong for any pattern I ever tried to set it up with. But so right for pocket linings, because it has this subtle texture that feels really nice when you have your hands in your pockets.

And of course it’s not really visible in this photo, but there’s a tonal thing going on with the gray of the pocket lining and the gray of the stripe. Trust me, it’s there. I pay an inordinate amount of attention to these things.
I’ve been really into stripey fabrics lately. (I’m not sure if it’s the influence of living so close to Alcatraz now or what.) There are a lot of stripes in the fabric hoard right now, and I’ve been ogling some more. There’s this Japanese fabric that is … Anyway, how about y’all? Are you pro- or anti-stripe? (And remember, the idea that horizontal stripes broaden anything other than the mind is pure hokum, says .)


Alcatraz Dress

So this pattern:


Turned into this:

(For this picture I dragooned my husband into taking it. He’s easier to persuade to take pictures, but the pictures aren’t as good because — insert “awwww” here — he thinks I look good in every picture, and so is not motivated to take a lot of them. Thus the weird expression and weirder hair in this one.)

I made the sleeveless version, which right now in the office is showing off what, in my childhood in the south, we called a “farmer’s tan.” The Keds are gray, the belt is a super-cheap one from Amazon, I’m wearing my default Swatch, and the sweater is a J.Crew “Jackie” cardigan. The cardigan is my favorite part, since the gray of the sweater and the gray of the dress stripe are EXACTLY the same — that’s so hard with grays!

The fabric is (I’m pretty sure) from last year sometime … I thought I had a picture of it, but perhaps at the time I didn’t think it would need one. It’s a charcoal gray and just-barely-off-white stripe. It’s shirting, and heavy for shirting but light for cotton, which is why I decided to attempt this dress in it. As you may have seen in the pattern illo, the skirt is BOTH pleated and gathered. Crazy! (It’s like that moment of revelation I had — I must have been about seven — when I realized that you could totally put BOTH caramel and hot fudge on a sundae.) It was a little more difficult to gather than I thought; the bulk of the pleats (you have to pleat first, then gather) plus the resistance from the tightly-woven cotton conspired a bit. I ended up having to run separate gathering threads for each of the four skirt panels (there’s a center front and a center back seam, lost in all those stripes).

The stripes on the bodice match exactly, or close enough. (I ripped it out twice before I got to “close enough.”) The pattern calls for something like five yards of 45″; I think I got away with 4 of 54″, helped by making the sleeveless version, shortening the bodice by about an inch, and cutting five inches off the bottom of the skirt (it was super, super long). I also discarded the armhole facings in favor of bias tape; the neck is self-faced. I added pockets. (Do I even have to add “I added pockets” anymore, or is that a given?)

Oddly enough, this is actually a little big on me. (I made the 36 bust.) I love it, though, so I’m going to look for a similar dress (maybe with a leeeeetle less skirt?) in a B34, to make in a stripey seersucker. Links appreciated. 🙂

Newsflash! Horizontal Stripes Won’t Make You Look Fatter, Say Scientists

Stripe-lovers rejoice! Two vision scientists at the University of York, Peter Thompson and Kyriaki Mikellidou, have scientifically determined that horizontal stripes will not, after all, make your rear look like the broad side of a barn:


A square composed of horizontal lines appears taller and narrower than an identical square made up of vertical lines. Reporting this illusion, Hermann von Helmholtz noted that such illusions, in which filled space seems to be larger than unfilled space, were common in everyday life, adding the observation that ladies’ frocks with horizontal stripes make the figure look taller. As this assertion runs counter to modern popular belief, we have investigated whether vertical or horizontal stripes on clothing should make the wearer appear taller or fatter. We find that a rectangle of vertical stripes needs to be extended by 7.1% vertically to match the height of a square of horizontal stripes and that a rectangle of horizontal stripes must be made 4.5% wider than a square of vertical stripes to match its perceived width. This illusion holds when the horizontal or vertical lines are on the dress of a line drawing of a woman. We have examined the claim that these effects apply only for 2-dimensional figures in an experiment with 3-D cylinders and find no support for the notion that horizontal lines would be ‘fattening’ on clothes. Significantly, the illusion persists when the horizontal or vertical lines are on pictures of a real half-body mannequin viewed stereoscopically. All the evidence supports Helmholtz’s original assertion.

(full text available )

I love science. I also love stripes! (Okay, I didn’t love , but I did love .) How nice that one is enabling the other! (Although, truth be told, I never really worry about how big my rear looks in something: once it’s over a certain critical mass, there’s really no point …)

I expect to see a flotilla of horizontally-striped dresses in the coming months. That’s how this science stuff works, right?