Winter Dress: Embryonic Stage

I just got this Liberty Lantana fabric for a winter dress:

Liberty-Fujio

Looking forward to the long process of finding JUST THE RIGHT COLOR PIPING to use with this. (It’s probably going to be another dress like this one; I’m a sucker for a fabrics with a dark ground and bright designs!)

Lantana is the Liberty wool/cotton blend—I think it’s 80% cotton, 20% wool. It’s a dream to sew with and it’s very warm. Perfect winter fabric!

I need this for an event in February, so now this just has to arrive at warp speed from the UK (and my sewing machine has to make a speedy return from the repair shop)!

Do you have any winter dress plans?

& another stunt dress

So a couple weekends ago I made another stunt dress:

Wordnik is running a Kickstarter!

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThis fabric is called “Symbolic Elegance” and is “from the ‘Ampersand’ collection by Ampersand Design Studio for Windham Fabrics,” according to eQuilter, where I bought it. The pattern is the only one I’ve been making lately: Simplicity 2389 with the modified Heidi skirt.

Why is this a stunt dress? Because I’m wearing it in the Kickstarter video for Wordnik (you folks know I run Wordnik, right?) Here’s a link — play the video and you can see me wearing this dress.

The goal of this Kickstarter is to find a million missing words of English — words not in traditional dictionaries — and add them to Wordnik.

Here’s the bodice, with piping:

 Untitled

And the pockets (with piping): 

A Kickstarter, you say?//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

And the back (no piping visible):

Kickstarter!//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

If you have a minute to share our Kickstarter campaign, it would be much appreciated! We’re at >40% of our goal, but it’s a long way to the finish line!

I'm With the Bandana

Been a while since I posted a new dress, huh? Here’s one that’s been waiting patiently in pieces for ages:

Bandana Simplicity 2389 front

This is in some black bandana print so old that I can’t remember when or where I bought it. It is not great fabric — it’s pretty stiff and there were plenty of print faults and slubs. Not sure why I was all excited about sewing with it, but I think playing with the print motifs was part of it:

Simplicity 2389 bodice

Here’s a closer look at the bodice matching:

Simplicity 2389 bodice motif matching

Here’s the back — I was really interested in having the back bodice look as much like a standalone bandana as possible:

Matched the motif across the skirt panels too (this is the altered Burdastyle Heidi skirt, again again again, I really should do a separate post detailing all the changes I’ve put it through):

Bandana Simplicity 2389 motif matching

And the piped pocket and zipper:

Bandana Simplicity 2389 side zip and pocket

I bought a bunch of invisible zippers with very lightweight, almost knit tapes in Vancouver and they’re a bit trickier to sew with than I thought. As in, I’ve already broken two of them. I’m hoping it’s more “practice makes perfect” and not “you bought a bunch of lemons”. This one went it more or less okay, though. (Fingers crossed.)

I still have some orange bandana fabric yet to make up, probably the last piece of my epic 2008 Japan fabric binge.

(If you like odd bandanas you will almost certainly like the Calamityware Bad Bandana project.)

Oh, and if you missed it, I wrote about answering customer-service email on The Pastry Box! Very exciting, I know.

It's another shirt-shirtdress!

I finally found the right old shirt to complete this particular shirt-shirtdress: shirt-shirtdress

I’ve made this particular … can’t really call it a pattern; let’s call it an agglomeration, okay? twice before. (This one I blogged about.)

Here’s the back:
shirt-shirtdress back

I made the back panel wider this go-around, and used the same shirt for the back side and pocket panels (and you can see that there are three different sizes/shades of gray gingham here, and no, I didn’t match any of them):
shirt-shirtdress: I put pockets in my pockets

My favorite, favorite part of this dress is putting the front shirt pocket as the pocket panel. For some reason this just pleases me all out of proportion to how much use that little pocket will actually get. But EVEN MY POCKETS HAVE POCKETS, y’all.

I also like making sure the front center skirt piece has a pocket in it. I have put back otherwise lovely shirts at Goodwill if they lack this essential element:

shirt-shirtdress: lotsa pockets

The piping above isn’t made from shirts, it’s some bought-in-NYC Japanese piping I had left over from a gray chambray Simplicity 2389 that I don’t think I’ve posted about yet. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The buttonholes didn’t really line up well at the center front (you can see here how one buttonhole is actually caught in the waist seam) so I just made a new one (that’s the second buttonhole down). No worries.

shirt-shirtdress rebuttonholing

My second-favorite bit of making these shirt-shirtdresses is unpicking the front pocket, sewing the darts, then sewing the pocket back down over the darts. Which you can’t really tell from this picture, but that’s what I did:
shirt-shirtdress dart and pocket

Matching the shirttail hem is also very satisfying — especially at the sides:
more shirt-shirtdress hem

And, of course, using some of the shirt fabric to make bias tape to finish the sleeves:
shirt-shirtdress sleeve

(The sleeve opening is actually a bit too wide here — next time I’m going to see if I can actually shorten the sleeve and gather it into the sleeve cuff from a different shirt. We’ll see if I can find some XXL shirt with big cuffs to go around my biceps …)

Fabric-wise, this dress took 2 extra-large, 1 large, and 1 medium shirt (for the bodice). The extra-large shirts really make it easier to match up the side panel hem curves without having to use part of the sleeve underarm (never the best part of a secondhand shirt!) at the top of the skirt side panels.

I have one more of these cut out (in different shades/sizes of *blue* gingham) and I hope to take some construction pictures to roll up into an eventual tutorial … these are really not hard to make. (The hardest part is finding the coordinating shirts.)

Everyone loves a parade

For some reason (can’t think why) this fabric reminds me of ticker-tape parades:

ticker tape parade

It is, as you may have already guessed, another Simplicity 2389 bodice with a Heidi skirt. It’s a slightly grabby fabric — you can see it’s hitching a little on my dress form. Either that, or the center front seam is a little wobbly (also possible).

ticker-tape bodice

I made ZERO attempt to match the print, as I’m sure you can tell. I’m not sure if the fat self.jpgping shows up all that well in the above picture, but it’s there.

Oh wait, here it is:

And here you can see it (maybe?) on the pocket:

And the other pocket (and the zipper):

And the back:

The fabric is some silk-cotton Marc Jacobs that I bought ages ago — I bought it in bright orange, too. I think I photographed the wrong side but whatevs:

Untitled

 

I do love silk-cotton when I can get it; it’s all the best parts of cotton and silk — easy to sew with like cotton and fancy like silk.

If you want to see me wearing it, you can do so here.

YAWD (yet another winterish dress)

I made another dress like this one, right down to also using Liberty Lantana fabric:

Simplicity 2389 w/Heidi Skirt

The name of this particular print is “Haberdashery”, and I fell in love with the weird faux-patchwork:

Simplicity 2389 bodice

(“Haberdashery” is a fairly stupid name to call a Liberty print, because it is nigh-unGoogleable, but here it is at Shaukat iffen you need some. Looks like it comes in a nice bright blue, too.)

And OF COURSE there is piping:
Simplicity 2389 piping of course

And on the pockets:

Simplicity 2389 pocket piping

Here’s the zipper (bonus piping view):
Simplicity 2389 zipper

And the back:
Simplicity 2389 back

I forgot to take a picture, but the neck facing is the same plaid as in the flower print (or near-enough as makes no nevermind). (Because that’s the sort of thing that makes me weirdly happy.)

This variation has a much longer skirt, nearly tea-length, so that it looks better (in my head) with ankle boots. (Does it actually look better? Who knows.) If you want to see how it looks on, I wore it to give this talk.

Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaid

Been forever since I posted a new dress, huh? I’ve done a teeny bit of sewing since October, but only got around to taking some pictures last weekend, or maybe weekend before last?

Untitled

This dress is all sorts of mashup. The bodice is McCall’s 6727, only with the neckline taken up an inch or so. And I didn’t do a facing — instead, it’s a mitred bias binding (first time I’ve ever tried this):

Untitled

The fabric is wool, maybe with a little cotton in it — bought it so long ago I’m not sure. I believe it was an Anna Sui bolt end from Fabric Mart Fabrics. (It gets a little linty, as you can see here.) Pockets got piped in the same binding — it’s a really nice twill binding I bought at Britex.

Untitled

I could have done a better job matching the plaid, especially along the back center. I kind of just said “eh, I’ll hardly ever see it, whatever”:

Untitled

The skirt is a heavily modded Simplicity 5238. Honestly, I’ve traced and altered that skirt pattern so many times now that I’m not sure I can call it Simplicity 5238 now. I think I would have to call it “from the school of Simplicity 5238” at best.

Zipper:
Untitled

This dress is *warm*, and very comfortable, and the longer skirt length is nice with boots.

Lots of things have been keeping me away from blogging, but I did write a little thing here at The Pastry Box you might enjoy.

(Oh and the titles are from here.)