a carefree mind of her own (the Seamwork Veronica dress)

Seamwork Veronica

Hey, a new dress! This is the Seamwork Veronica (with the subscriber modifications, plus more than a few of my own).

Anyway, back to the dress! Obviously, I had to add pockets:

Seamwork Veronica pockets

When I saw the subscriber modifications (specifically, the front panels for the skirt), my first thought was “pockets!” and my second thought was “STRIPES!”.

This fabric is a heavyish cotton knit with moderate stretch, so I fused some tricot knit interfacing to the pocket backing to keep them from pulling out of shape too much. I also zig-zagged some clear elastic along the pocket opening edge (although from this picture it looks as if I could have pulled it a bit tighter).

I added gathers to the center front and the center back to add some extra ease, and lengthened the back skirt about 3/4″ for a BBA (bubble-butt adjustment):

Seamwork Veronica back

Because it’s a knit fabric I didn’t have to put in the back zipper (the dress goes on fine without one). When I make this again I might cut that piece on the fold to get rid of the center back seam entirely.

Also because this is knit, I didn’t do facings—I did bindings instead. I used my tried-and-true “eyeball it” method and ended up cutting the neck binding about two inches shorter than the neck measurement, which seemed to work fine:

Seamwork Veronica neckband

The same technique worked for the sleeve bindings:

Seamwork Veronica bodice

There are a few more refinements I would like to make—the waist elastic is a bit bulky (even though I used a thinner fabric for the inside casing). I might try it with sew-through elastic next time to get a more even gather. The stripes are a bit off on the front waistband—I thought about cutting it on the bias and stabilizing it with interfacing, but I was too lazy. It would have been a cool effect … Sewing the waistband was definitely the trickiest bit, especially with this fabric. I am sure it would have been easier with a lightweight woven.

The bodice could also be shorter by about an inch, because the weight of the skirt pulls it downward and you don’t get the nice blousy effect you see in the pattern photos.

I’m surprised that this worked as well as it did because the pattern is not really intended for knits (  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) and I changed it *so* much. I made it in a rush because I needed a comfy knit dress for a couple of looooooong plane trips. It held up fantastically, and looked just as good getting off the plane as it did getting on.

Next version is definitely going to be a gray sweatshirt knit, possibly with piping along those front panels, and I’m also planning on making it in a blue-and-white woven seersucker (because you really can’t have TOO MANY striped dresses).

Anyone else sewn this pattern? What were your modifications?

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Today’s Pattern Story: Simplicity 1374

Simplicity-1374

Mavis: I spent all last night sharpening my sleeve-wings—if I don’t draw first blood in this year’s Dirigible Dollies Derby, I’m just going to plop myself right down and cry!

Doris: Don’t worry, dear, I’m sure you’ll shred the other girls—you always do! Fingers crossed that this is the year I take the Puppy Picnic Princess crown!

Mavis: Either way, we go halfsies on the judge, right?

Doris: You betcha! I think he’s almost recovered from last year.

(Pattern available from LadyMarlowePatterns.)

Purge 2017: The Final Few

So I was about to wrap up everything for the Great Dress Purge of 2017 when I realized that I had never taken/posted pictures of the dresses that didn’t have any. (Oops!) And needless to say, those pigs in pokes were not bought.

So I’m going to keep the Purge open another week, and here are those last few unpictured dresses waiting for new homes:

(UPDATE: this one is taken) The lollipop-tree dress (number 14):
Lollipop Trees Dress

This dress has a center-back zip, a rarity for me (I have a stiff shoulder that makes reaching to the middle of my back a hilarious, Mr.-Bean-esque activity):
lollipop trees dress back

(UPDATE: this one is taken) This is the “Sherbet seersucker Frankendress”, number 18:

sherbet seersucker Frankendress

I didn’t *quite* match the stripes at the waist seam:
sherbet seersucker Frankendress front waist

But there’s a nice seafoam-green zipper, if you like that sort of thing:
sherbet seersucker Frankendress zipper

(UPDATE: this one is also taken) Here is the ‘abstract windows shirtdress’, number 37:
city windows shirtdress

And a better view of the print:
city windows shirtdress

And last but not least, the ‘black pink/gray/yellow floral Heidi’, number 10:
pink and yellow roses Heidi

All the dresses (and their measurements) still available are here (four left!), and the form to request one is here, and all the other details and frequently-asked-questions are here. Just a reminder, all dresses are US$20 each (plus shipping) and I’ll be donating half of the proceeds to Chicago Books for Women in Prison.

ALL DRESSES HAVE POCKETS. (Everyone seen this thread?)

light-hearted I take to the open road

I’ve been doing more traveling again, so I thought perhaps I would do a little travel-stuff roundup of things that have been making that traveling easier lately.

I’ve carried one of these portable power bars for years, but I guess they’ve been discontinued (and that model, used, is selling for >$300, which is frankly ridiculous). The same company makes a smaller, cheaper one now—for $6, it’s worth checking out:

These are a lifesaver in airports—instead of fighting over an outlet, you can share and make friends! They’re also great in hotel rooms where they have inexplicably used up precious outlets by the bedside table with useless things like clock-radios.

Speaking of hotel rooms and their terrible outlet placement, I recently splurged on a set of extra-long lightning cables, which are fantastic if you like to use your phone as an alarm clock and charge it overnight—unless your hotel room is truly palatial, a ten-foot charging cord will let you keep the phone on the bedside table no matter where the nearest outlet is.

For long flights, I also just got one of these:

If you (like me) are just a little too short to rest your feet comfortably in an airline seat this thingumbob is amazing! The strap goes over the tray table arms (so be aware that it won’t work in an exit seat where the tray tables are in the armrest) and it’s very quick to set up and adjust. (You can fold the tray table up with it in place, too.) It is not super-sturdy (I had to reinforce the stitching where the straps meet the sling) and if you have very large feet you might feel constricted, but $14 for a MUCH more comfortable flight is completely worth it.

I was worried that it might be annoying to the person in front of me, but nobody on my flights turned around and gave me the stink-eye. The flight attendants didn’t seem bothered by it either, and it’s way better than the tiny stepstool I was using before (not joking).

Other things I take when I travel:

  • a stainless steel water bottle (gets less gunky than plastic, less likely to break in my backpack)
  • a travel coffee press (you can make cold brew with it!)
  • a travel yoga mat (this folds up pretty small and it has 100% improved my daily yoga practice compliance when traveling)
  • a large handkerchief or bandana (I like the excuse to use my Liberty ones, but any cotton handkerchief will do)
  • for very long flights I really like this travel pillow—it’s inflatable, so you’re not carrying a floppy drool-soaked foam donut around—and I think it’s less likely to give you a crick in your neck)

I also take a 4×6 soft mesh zip bag (I think I got it at Ichiban Kan), and while I’m waiting in the security line, I dump all the junk in my pockets (pen, notebook, phone, wallet, lip balm, handkerchief, change, etc.) into the bag, and then pop the bag into my backpack to go through the actual scanner. (Way more secure than those little bowls, especially if you’re pulled out for extra screening and can’t keep an eye on your stuff.)

Probably everyone in the universe is using packing cubes right now (but if you aren’t, I like these) but I’m excited to try compression cubes on my next trip.  I’ll report back!

If you’re a gadget-lover in general, you’ll probably enjoy Recomendo, a Cool Tools-style newsletter full of neat stuff (and apps and sites).

Anything you can’t travel without? Leave a comment!