The Hundred Dresses: Day 49

I’ve held off on posting this dress for some time, first of all because the photos are fuzzy:

Liberty Everyboby front

Which may be because the fabric itself is fuzzy:
Liberty Everboby bodice

It’s supposedly Liberty (when I bought it from the invoice called it “Liberty Of London Seymour Poplin Everyboby Burgundy”) but it’s not Tana Lawn, and it’s not really poplin. It’s not very nice compared to either, I’m afraid. I’m wondering if the print was licensed. It has a kind of rough feel, like a cheap sheet. The fabric is also available from Shaukat, so I’ve been tempted to reorder it, as I really like the pattern. (I like this colorway, too.)

The zipper turned out nicely, though:
Liberty Everboby zipper

Here it is from the back. Obviously, the scribbles make my camera lose focus. It’s like a secret power!

Liberty Everboby back

The other reason I’ve held off on posting this one is that I couldn’t remember what pattern I used to make it! After a little sewing-room archaeology (remember that scene in Temple of Doom? The one with the big rock? That’s what it’s like digging stuff out of my sewing room) I thought it was this one:

McCalls 5471


But now I think I’m still wrong. The collar is round, not pointed, and the skirt is pleated, not gathered. What do you think? I will have to keep searching …

The Hundred Dresses: Day 48

One more Simplicity 6894, okay?

Liberty Splash Simplicity 6894

These are the best tucks of the three dresses, but you can’t really see them because this is Liberty Splash, which I bought in London in 2007:
Liberty Splash Simplicity 6894 bodice

I have NO IDEA what happened with this zipper. The waist seam is comically off:
Liberty Splash Simplicity 6894 side zip

And here’s the back:
Liberty Splash Simplicity 6894 back

And here’s a selfie from 2012!

(Cheap patent belt from H&M, Marc Jacobs patent loafers. Hair still wet — I hate blow drying with a passion, avoid it at all costs. The only time my hair is blow-dried is right after I have it cut.)

Thanks for all the pressing and fabric suggestions on yesterday’s dress … you might see another incarnation of this pattern sooner rather than later!

The Hundred Dresses: Day 47

Here’s Simplicity 6894 again, in the better red than dead edition:

red poplin Simplicity 6894

I really love the IDEA of this particular dress, but the actual instantiation of it is problematic. Mostly because this fabric wrinkles like a Shar-Pei. It took all my weight on the iron to get it as smooth as it is in these photos:
red poplin Simplicity 6894 bodice

The pleats turned out well, though, didn’t they?
red poplin Simplicity 6894 bodice 2

And the side zip?
red poplin Simplicity 6894 side zip

More evidence of the essentially wrinkly nature of this dress:
red poplin Simplicity 6894 back 2

And the back:
red poplin Simplicity 6894 back

I’d like to make this dress over again but I’m thinking I should go more Classic Villager and do it in some teeny tiny prints. I just bought some Japanese Liberty from Jones and Vandermeer (on sale!) that might be a good candidate for this pattern … or maybe in red again, so I can salvage those buttons, but something not so crinkly. Thoughts?


The Hundred Dresses: Day 46

You’ve seen this dress before … it’s Simplicity 6894:
brown roses Simplicity 6894 front

This dress was the trial-run version of this pattern. I believe I altered it to include pockets (which are very hard to see in this busy fabric, but there’s a picture in the link to the previous post) and (of course) adjusted the waist measurement. Also I knew I was going to need practice with these tucks:
brown roses Simplicity 6894 bodice

After making this I got a great tip from readers of this blog: make the tucks in the YARDAGE first, then cut out the pieces (with the tucks folded up on the pattern piece) on top of it. It’s so much easier! (And of course, with that method, you can do tucks on just about any pattern that you like, as long as you allow for dart placement, etc.)
brown roses Simplicity 6894 bodice

This is very old vintage fabric — I believe it was 36 inches wide — and I didn’t like it much to start with (thus its role as trial-run fabric) but it’s really grown on me. I love that dark gray and camel combo. I don’t love so much the sloppy collar points:
brown roses Simplicity 6894 collar

The side zip is okay. (For those of you asking “WHY ALL THE SIDE ZIPS?” I will do a post about that soon.)
brown roses Simplicity 6894 side zip

And … here’s the back.
brown roses Simplicity 6894 back

This dress turned out slightly over-large, but that makes it pretty comfy. (And easier to ride a bike in than it may look.)


The Hundred Dresses: Day 45

So this is the same dress as yesterday (SimplicityVogue 5121), but was made earlier … this was the trial run:

floral Vogue 5121

Does anyone have a favorite source for inexpensive, brightly-colored buttons? My local fabric stores tend toward the bejeweled and the overly-representative (cats, soccer balls, etc.) I was hoping to find turquoise buttons but I like the yellow more now that I see it in the photo:
floral Vogue 5121 front bodice

The zipper. Semi-related question, if anyone knows: when you’re altering a bodice to allow for more … padding … in the waistish region, occasionally I feel like the sides of the bodice slope down a bit more than they ought. Anyone have a link to a good tutorial? My cursory investigations have only gotten me so far.
floral Vogue 5121 side zip

This collar was made before I read Kathleen’s instructions. See the difference? See that roll in the wrong direction? It’s terrible. (Luckily it’s at the back of my neck so I don’t see it very often.) I would take it off and redo it … but … (looks off into the middle distance, whistles).
floral Vogue 5121 rolling collar 2

Sleeve finished with bias tape, as per usual:
floral Vogue 5121 sleeve hem

The back view:
floral Vogue 5121 back

This is my absolute favorite kind of fabric for a trial run. First, it was cheap. (I think maybe under $3/yard? Might have been a dollar-a-yard wonder, even.) It’s also a nice mid-weight poplin, so I don’t have to worry about fabric being too lightweight and floaty or too stiff and unyielding. And most importantly, it is SO BUSY that I could have created & mended a giant triangular tear in the front of the bodice and you wouldn’t even notice from further than a foot away. Cheap and busy are probably the most important criteria for “wearable muslin” first drafts with new patterns, in my opinion. I mean, there’s a center-back seam in that picture right above, and not only did I not try to match the pattern, I’m not sure if it would have made any difference if I had …


The Hundred Dresses: Day 44

Totally new dress! I bought this pattern ages ago, and finally finally made it up:

Liberty books Vogue 5121

It’s Vogue 5121, and Liberty fabric (Doctor Tulloch). Here, check out the buttons:
Liberty books Vogue 5121  front bodice buttons

They’re a little too far over … I’m going to have to move them over a tinch. They’re just plain ol’ plastic buttons from the fabric store. I can’t remember whether I bought them at the Hancock’s that was going out of business near my house in Chicago, or at Fabric Outlet in the Mission. Either way they match nicely, don’t they?

I’m very happy with the collar — I used Kathleen’s collar adjustment and it worked beautifully:
Liberty books Vogue 5121 collar front

(More photos of the collar under construction at the bottom of this post.)

Also, this zipper is SO much better because wonderful reader BeckyW sent me a link to Ken’s Sewing Center, where I bought a zipper foot made especially for my Juki, and it is like night and day. It’s like going from a butter knife to a steak knife.
Liberty books Vogue 5121 side zipper

And, um, here’s the back. I thought about mirroring the print along that back center seam but I almost didn’t have enough fabric, so I decided against it.
Liberty books Vogue 5121 back

Extra collar pictures! This is the underside — do you see how the seam is nudged to the back?
collar technique 1

Here’s the other side, a little wonkier:
collar technique 2

And  from the front (these were taken on my ironing board, thus the weird light):
collar technique 3

And the other side:
collar technique 4

This collar is a bit tricky, attachmentwise, so it was nice to have it all crisp and tidy for the rest of the seams.

I like this dress and want to make it much, much more. It’s really fun to wear. In fact, I made this version as a stunt dress, because I went to talk to some very nice folks at the ALA a few weeks ago, and this is what I wore. (With a bright pink belt and pink shoes.)

This was the second time I made this pattern; you’ll see the draft version tomorrow.

The Hundred Dresses: Day 43

This is another Simplicity 5723 (I posted it earlier, with terrible pictures):

Despite really liking 1) this pattern and 2) green denim I’ve been a bit “meh” on this dress. Although one of the things I like about sewing with denim is how it whitens at the edges with wear:

green denim Simplicity 5723 neck view

Here’s the zip, which is really not good. I should re-do it, but I’d have to redo the seam on the other side to get the ease to fix it, and … well, it hasn’t made the top of the to-do list yet. (It hasn’t actually gotten ON the to-do list yet.)

Simplicity green denim 5723 side zipper

My favorite part of this dress is the camouflage pocket linings:

Simplicity 5723 camo pockets

I was going to make camo bias tape for the sleeve finishing as well, but, um, I didn’t.

green denim Simplicity 5723 sleeve finishing

Here’s the back view, which, in line with the rest of the kind of lick-and-a-promise I gave this dress, didn’t get settled on the dress form properly.

green denim Simplicity 5723 back view

I can’t believe we’re this far into the the hundred dresses posts … getting close to halfway! And thanks to you all, The Hundred Dresses book is doing nicely, too — some very kind reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

The Hundred Dresses: Day 42

Happy Bastille Day! Here, have an Eiffel Tower dress:

Eiffel Tower Butterick 7504 front

I really like the scale of this print:

Eiffel Tower Butterick 7504 bodice

I had some blue and white piping that matched perfectly, so I thought: why not?
Eiffel Tower Butterick 7504 sleeve piping

The buttons are from a swap that Mary Beth Klatt put together in Chicago before I moved away:
Eiffel Tower Butterick 7504 collar/buttons

Here’s the zipper, not bad!
Eiffel Tower Butterick 7504 zipper

The pockets obviously needed the same piping as the sleeves, right?
Eiffel Tower Butterick 7504 pocket

And the back view:

Eiffel Tower Butterick 7504 back

This is Butterick 7504, which I was SURE I had posted before, but no dice:

Butterick 7504


I love this illustration, I think of Print Dress and Blue Dress as members of the notorious West Side Wimmin gang, and Gray Dress With Hat is their mouthpiece. I wish I could stand like this normally — hip cocked, head cocked, hand in pocket, fist on hip: a posture that says “I’m ready for a fight!”  if there ever was one. (Of course, if I did stand like this normally, I imagine I would have more neck and back issues than I would like to have, so perhaps it’s better that I’m not always in “spoiling for a fight” stance.)

This is the first time I’ve made this entire pattern — I used the skirt pieces (those pockets are SO NICE) for another dress. (Which will show up in the Hundred Dresses countdown eventually).

The Hundred Dresses: Day 41

Today’s dress is another Butterick 7513, and as I was looking at these pictures I was thinking “why haven’t I made *this* dress a hundred times?” It has all the lines I really like, including soft side pleats in the skirt:

Liberty Schlesinger Butterick 7513

Plus a roundish collar and kimono sleeves:
Liberty Schlesinger Butterick 7513

Here’s a better look at the collar and buttons. The buttons are vintage. This is before I started my trick of interfacing all collars and facings with silk organza, so this dress is a little under-stiffened in the placket department.
Liberty Schlesinger Butterick 7513 bodice

(Here’s my trick for silk organza interfacing: 1. buy silk organza from Dharma Trading. 2. Buy this Odif 505 Spray and Fix Temporary Fabric Adhesive. 3. Cut out your pattern pieces in the dress fabric. 4. Spray wrong side of cut pieces with 505. 5. Press pieces to organza (make sure they’re nice and smooth). 6. Cut around edges. 7. Treat the stuck-together pieces & organza as one. 8. Live happily ever after.)
Liberty Schlesinger Butterick 7513 collar

Here’s the side zip. The dress is hung up on my dressform a bit weirdly.
Liberty Schlesinger Butterick 7513 side zip

And the back:
Liberty Schlesinger Butterick 7513 back


I can’t remember when I made this dress; I bought this fabric (Liberty Schlesinger) in 2007, so it had to have been after that. It’s also a little on the tight side, so I probably made it at the perigee of my normal weight fluctuation, and I know I redid the side zip and added a deeper side-seam pocket at some point, too.

The Hundred Dresses: Day 40

Another Vogue 8460! This one is in Liberty Mauvey:
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 front

Here it is in slightly better light:
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 front 2

And close up:
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 bodice

The shoulder, for a closer view of the print. I love that soft pink and the grayish-blue together:
Libery Mauvey Vogue 8460 shoulder

The zipper! There’s a bobble at the top:
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 zipper

And the waist seam doesn’t QUITE match up:
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 zipper closeup

Here’s the back:
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 back 2

And the facing:
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 back facing

A closer look at those bodice darts (they are so satisfying to sew, honestly):
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 front darts

And the hem!
Liberty Mauvey Vogue 8460 hem

This dress pattern is definitely going into my regular rotation, but I’ve only made these three so far … what should I make it in next? I have plenty more shirting, and plenty more seersucker, and more dotted swiss than a nearly 42-year-old woman should reasonably have …