Dresscue Mission

Before the holidays I did a wearable muslin of the Marilla Walker Isca shirtdress. I had very high hopes—the reviews were good, the diagonal bodice line had me dreaming of stripey wonders, and, of course, pockets!

I made it up in some nice brushed blue/black check shirting (no idea where this fabric came from, I feel like I’ve had it forever). The directions were excellent, especially given the unusual shoulder construction, and the fit was pretty good. The only alteration I made was to change the pointed collar to a rounded one.

The only problem was the pockets were too shallow. I kept losing things out of them when I sat down. Now, I don’t have very many requirements for pockets, but one hard and fast rule I do have is that things need to stay in them until I take them out.

Obviously I could just fix it in round two, but I really didn’t want to give up on the muslin, which had turned out more on the ‘wearable’ side than the ‘muslin’ side. But I didn’t have enough fabric to recut the front skirt (nor did I have enough ‘want to do it’ to recut the front skirt).

I did, however, have enough fabric to cut a few bias bands and enough ‘want to do it’ to undo just enough of the waist and side seams to shove them in:

Isca shirtdress

The inner piping is where the original pocket edge ended; I sewed the new strip to the pocket edge (sewing in the ditch of the piping), then attached piping to the raw edge of the new strip. I used a strip of black hem facing tape to finish the inside of the bias strip (because I didn’t have enough of the check fabric to do so).

Here’s a closer view (the inner piping is fatter than the outer piping because, uh, things that are closer look bigger and also because I ran out of that size of piping cord):

Isca pocket (revised edition)

And one with an iPad mini in it, for scale:

Isca pocket (iPad mini for scale)

I also shortened the skirt by about three inches (did I unpick the original foldover hem and then redo it? Ha, no, I just folded it up and sewed it down, as my reserves of ‘want to do it’ were running quite low at this point).

The only other thing I wish I had enough fabric to change are the sleeves: I feel like that diagonal line of the bodice would be really cool if it extended to a little cap sleeve. I looked at a bunch of “draft a cap sleeve” instructions but … not enough fabric, and even my spiffy new LIGHT UP SEAM RIPPER didn’t inspire me to take off these (perfectly serviceable) set-in sleeves and see if I could recut them into caps.

Isca sleeve, unrescued

I have some (lol “some” I have ENORMOUS QUANTITIES) of stripey fabric that I think will be good for the next round. There are a couple more projects in the queue before I will get there, but in the meantime, I can now wear this one!


One thought on “Dresscue Mission

  1. It’s bad enough that RTW gives us crap pockets, but when sewing patterns start doing the same…UGH!
    Nice save on the dress.


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