Sunday, August 23, 2009

Simplicity 3503

I've made out pretty well with this dress pattern. This is the second time I've made a dress from this pattern.
Previously I made view B in orange jersey. If you squint out (squint!) the different dress drawings on the left side of the pattern photo, view B is the red checked short dress with dolman sleeves. What I learned was that this pattern has excessive ease and that jersey stretches if you hang it on the hanger. The orange dress was my go-to dress all last summer and then this year as I was packing to move I found that it was stretched out of shape from hanging in my closet all winter.

So this time around, I made the dress a size smaller than my measurements indicated (I'm at 10 by the package measurements, but I cut an 8.) I wanted a maxi dress but without a halter neckline or exposing my horrible runner's tan (sport bra line on my back, HOT!) and view E of this pattern fit the bill. This dress is the dress that I'm going to wear to 3 outdoor weddings -- one next weekend, on Labor day weekend, and one in mid September -- I wanted something packable that didn't need to be steam cleaned. So a jersey dress would be perfect!

The fabric is a jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics that's been sitting in my stash for over a year, and the lining is some mystery blue polyester knit (it's amazing what you find when you dig deep enough). The fashion fabric has a beautiful border print that's about 1' deep. You can see it in full from my mid calf down. I used on portion of it for the bodice, and the bottom most portion (with the brown trim) for the neckline to repeat the print. I like the result!

The thing that I hate about Simplicity patterns is that they're sized for Amazons. I took 3" off the skirt portion of the pattern, and the dress is still too long. I was really disappointed and didn't want to cut the border print off the dress. Because I am so short, I was able to squeeze this dress out of 2 yards of fabric, when the pattern calls for 2 3/4 yards.

If I had left the dress as designed by the pattern, it would have looked like a total sack. The waist line of the design was well below my natural waistline. So I took the midriff lining out, and sewed the skirt seam to the bodice seam. With this adjustment, the dress fits better on my body but it's still really long. I have to wear it with heels, and because I cut it so that the stretch runs lengthwise (to use that border print at my feet!) I'm afraid it's going to get longer if the fabric stretches as I wear it.

Here are some details. Apologies for the fuzzy pictures. I just can't win without someone to take pictures for me. They're either too dark because I take them indoors or they come out crazy bright outdoors.

Look ma! No runner's tan!

This is the doubled over midriff piece on the outside.
Not so pretty on the inside, but it works!

The neckline is hand stitched. I hate handsewing, but I'm happy with the result -- no visible stitches.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some fall planning

I've done a little examining my fabric stash, ahem, horde and thinking of how to use some of it for new clothes this fall. I have bought some more fabric, with ideas of what I want to make next. A list, for what it's worth:

  1. Pants. I think my butt has gotten bigger. Strange, I know. You're probably wondering how this happened, and I am too. I haven't stopped running, and I've started climbing too, so I don't know why I'm having trouble getting into my jeans. But I am, and this is trouble because I only have like 3 pairs of pants. So it's time to make some pants. I have some red/wine colored stretch sateen in the stash that I bought years ago to make into a dress, that I think will become a pair of pants. I have also bought more denim to make into another pair of skinny jeans, because my skinny jeans are just a little too tight now!
  2. A midweight jacket. I'd like a semi-fitted hip length jacket that I can wear into late October/early November.
  3. Two or three button down shirts.
  4. The cozy. After seeing Christina's version of the DKNY cozy, I want one too! This is really the coolest thing since velcro on shoes. After you watch this video, you'll probably want one too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Burda 7/2009 #108 (overblouse)

A year or so ago, I decided that part of the I-Can-Sew-My-Own-Clothes-Thing should be I-Should-Stop-Wearing-Black-All-The-Time (ISSWBATT), and I-Should-Wear-Something-That's-Not-A-Tshirt (ISWSTNAT). Sometimes it's a miss. But sometimes it's a hit. I just finished making this tonight, and I'm very happy with it. It needs to be ironed, (not that you can see from where you are, but the collar is puffy because I haven't pressed it into place), but this definitely fits the bill of ISSWBATT and ISWSTNAT. I promise, no more acronyms for the rest of this post.

The fabric is a linen stripe that's breezy and light. It's also a step outside the box for me, being that it's not black, can't be made into a Tshirt, and... it's striped. I can't tell you the last time I wore stripes. Maybe high school? I recall having a horizontal striped Tshirt that I wore to death.

Here's a picture of the pattern in the magazine. You can't really see the shape of the shirt and the model looks kind of pissed to be wearing it. I don't see why; it's a pretty cute design.
Here's my version.

Without the belt, it's still fairly fitted. Around the hips, it's not very loose. I think that's what keeps it from looking like a pillowcase.

Here is a close up of the tucks in the inset on the front.

The front stays closed because of a 3 inch seam at the front bottom. I am sure you are all grateful I took the shirt off before showing you how it stays closed!

To make the holes for the belt nice and neat as shown here:

I sewed the seam allowances closed on either side of the hole:

The sides are sewn up just below the armpit. Looking at the magazine photo, you might guess that the side is completely open...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Can we have a do over?

Lady in the stripes is thinking to herself, "I should have tied the sash around my neck instead of my waist. She always looks so put together!" Let's look at this a little closer:
Look at our poor girl hiding her hands in her pockets. She is totally wishing she was wearing white gloves too!

mad menned

Lee has been visiting for the last 10 days (lucky me, I should say!) so I've been doing little sewing. I'm about halfway through a linen pullover top, made from fabric that I originally bought to make Lee a pair of drawstring pants a few years ago... I brought the fabric home and he said it was way too girly. Lucky for me, I'll say again!

I bought this vintage dress pattern on ebay last week, and it arrived yesterday. It was just too cute to resist. When I moved in December, I got rid of half of my patterns -- I sold them all on ebay or gave them to the Salvation Army. I decided that now that I live in a much smaller space (having traded a one bedroom apartment for one room in a shared room apartment) that I should be choosier about what I buy for my everloving hobby that encourages my hording leanings. That is, I should buy patterns that have some possibility of fitting (likely to be my size) and that I could likely see wearing. So, no amazonian sized patterns and no evening dresses. And this is what I have: look at the buttons on the collar! The buttons on the back! So cute. I think I'll make the straight skirt version and hem it at the knee instead of below the knee.
I'm just not sure how it will fit yet because as you can see below, it has dolman sleeves. I bought and made another vintage dress pattern off of ebay that had similar sleeves and it turned out to be a very loose fit, as opposed to the like-a-glove-fit shown in the pattern envelope illustration. this would be good reason to make a muslin. We shall see. I'm always too excited to make a muslin, though I'm sure it would be worthwhile.