Prisoner of my own device

This is the dress again—this pattern is definitely one of my favorites now, even though I’m convinced I look faintly ridiculous in it. (Actually, “Faintly Ridiculous” would be a great title for an autobiography.)

This is some old Marc Jacobs stripe denim/canvas—it’s plenty heavy, either way. I made another dress with this a while back, but it just didn’t work and I both took it apart AND bought more yardage. So I had plenty of fabric to work with.

This dress is all about the stripes—here’s the side panel:

And the pocket:

And the back, which is just kind of ‘meh’ but at this point it would have been masochistic to take it apart to get that back panel to be more even, so …
¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

And here’s a better view of the front insert, which I did actually take apart and recut when the first try didn’t work out evenly:

I didn’t actually make any of the adjustments to the pockets that I wanted to—mostly out of sheer laziness—so I am still having to bend over to fish things out of the very bottom. But that’s a small price to pay for HUGE POCKETS.

So far I’ve been wearing this with black tights and ankle boots, or black leggings and gray Keds. (The biggest issue is finding a coat that fits over it, because of the extreme A-line.)

Here’s what it looks like on (you can tell I’m bad at selfies …)

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I was wearing it all day, so it was a bit wrinkled at this point. (Also, I needed a haircut, since remedied.)

Pretty sure there’s going to be at least one more of these before I’m done … maybe something in broderie Anglaise for summer?

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Dresses: Day 76

I had really high hopes for this Heidi:

I love the pink and red and gray colorway:

I kind of bailed on trying to match the stripes, since I think it’s impossible to match stripes and gathers:

Pockets, lined in batiste:

Side zip:

The whole dress is lined in batiste, actually:

I’m not sure why I lined the dress, the fabric didn’t really need it. Probably just to see if I could:

But this is why I hardly ever wear it, and why it’s going in the Goodwill pile, finally — there’s a subtle flaw in the fabric and I managed to cut it right across the front bodice. Arrgh:

I know it’s almost imperceptible, but I know it’s there, and it drives me crazy. So … oh well. I scrutinize fabric a LOT more now, especially bargain fabrics (which this was). If I find a flaw, I mark it (on BOTH sides) with blue painters tape, so that I can’t help but see it when I’m cutting.


Dresses: Day 71

This dress was an indulgence:

It doesn’t really show up against the light background — it’s from this pattern:
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It’s an indulgence because I really don’t need a light-colored seersucker dress (especially as cold as it’s been this month!) and things have been so busy that if I’m sewing, it should be sensible things. But I really loved this pattern, and the minute I saw it I knew I wanted to make it in stripes, with the yoke stripes going in the opposite direction from the bodice stripes.

Here’s a better look at the bodice:

And the yoke stitching detail:

The pattern wanted to you to turn in the yoke piece 1/4 inch and then topstitch it, but I thought that was a nightmare scenario … so fussy! So I faced the piece with some very very lightweight batiste, and then topstitched the faced piece:

Here’s the side zip:

And a closeup of the inverted pleats — the pattern wanted me to stitch them down, and I tried it, but it didn’t work with my body type (cough, apple, cough) so I picked out those stitches and let it be open pleats:

And here’s the back:

I definitely want to make this again … good thing I have lots of striped fabric stockpiled!

 


Dresses: Day 38

This is a totally new pattern! Well, new as in “I haven’t sewn it before/posted it before” not new as in “produced in this century.”

This is Vogue 8460, and I lurrrrrrve it:

Vogue 8460

(sorry for the fuzzy image, click on the pic to see it bigger)

I know on the pattern envelope it looks like a party dress, but I have enough party dresses … Here’s what I made with it, shown with belt (purchased):

This is a nice shirting fabric I bought online sometime last year. Here it is sans belt:

Of course, the pleasure in this dress is in matching those rainbow stripes!

They don’t match at the waistline, but that’s okay, the chevron effect on the skirt is what I was going for:

This zipper? This is probably the best zipper I’ve made in AGES. B+!

And the back stripe matchup:

I hemmed it with bright vintage hem facing, which I love. It’s getting harder and harder to find bright hem facing these days. (Also, I’m going to fewer yard sales.)

The shoulder stripes … you can see the facing rolling a little there, I probably should have understitched it:

Here’s a glimpse of the neckline facing. I zigzag finish my facings on the inside (and I also didn’t press this one very well):

And the back (the skirt’s not properly positioned in this one, sorry!):

I’ve made this pattern twice more since this one, and I really love it. It’s super-simple to wear (and yes there are pockets in all these dresses)!


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 Simplicity 5723, 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 10

Hey! We’re 1/10 of the way there! Don’t worry, there are still many, many dresses to come. Like this one, which is more than a little reminiscent of the Day 1 dress:

This is made from Simplicity 1538, which I really liked in the pattern illustration, despite the fembots-on-the-attack arms:

I’m not as happy with it in Real Life, though, and I think it’s my own damn fault for using this super-heavy Marc Jacobs cotton/linen canvas. Wrong fabric choice, despite the wonderful stripes. Here’s the back:

(As evidence that this dress would look much better in a lighter fabric, check out this super cute gingham version .)

The back stripes are off JUST ENOUGH to bug me:

The side zip didn’t fare so well in the heavier fabric either:

And for some reason this pattern is about a inch too long in the bodice, a problem I never have with Simplicity B34 patterns. I might just make it again (but not in this fabric). And speaking of the fabric, using up this great fabric on a “meh” dress bummed me out, but then I found that it’s still on sale at . (It’s a bit expensive, but maybe I can have a second chance!)

And … Dresses was officially published yesterday! had a nice piece that makes me hopeful for the Youth of Today.


Dresses: Day 6

Six days! Woot! (Which made me go search out half-remembered novel, which I think now I will have to re-read.)

I had high hopes for this pattern:

 

It just seemed so … head of the PTA, if you know what I mean. No-nonsense yet somehow soft.

This is what it turned out like:

It might have been my fabric choice … this is a little less “head of the PTA” and a little more “candy striper in the depression ward.” The fabric is nicer closer up:

 

 
I even made covered buttons!

And because I knew I couldn’t get the pockets to match stripes perfectly, I tried a little embroidered distraction:

And I carefully put in a waist hook, a detail I usually gloss over by promising myself that I’ll just wear a belt:

Here’s the back view:

And a closeup of the back collar, which I’m not happy with — I didn’t turn & press it quite right:

Even with the slightly institutional air and the wonky collar, I would probably wear this a bit more often if the skirt were a bit fuller. It looked plenty full in the illustration, but it’s just narrow enough that I think I’m going to tear that front placket fold if I wear it riding my bike, and when I sit down it pulls, too (not fun).

So the search for the perfect shirtdress continues …