The Hundred Dresses: Day 93

So I have more dresses left than days left to post them in (adhering strictly to the hundred-days requirement) so I’ll be doubling up a bit for this last week … so here’s a giant post of all my crossword-themed dresses! These were all worn to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Here’s the 2007 dress:
crossword dress #1

The neck gathering/piping is truly atrocious (you can’t tell this was a rush job AT ALL, can you?):
crossword dress #1 bodice

Scalloped hem. Why? Well, why not?
crossword dress #1 hem

It was kind of a waste because you can’t even tell the hem is scalloped:
crossword dress #1 back

You can tell, however, that I didn’t have a regular zipper in black OR white and had to put in (I kid you not) a big ol’ plastic SEPARATING ZIPPER:
crossword dress #1 plastic back zip

For some reason the dress I made in 2008 didn’t turn up after a fairly extensive search of the house and grounds. Huh. (Perhaps it didn’t want to be associated with the dress above?) Well, the pictures from the original post are pretty decent …

Here’s the 2009 dress:
crossword dress #2

Futura pockets!
crossword dress #2 pockets (Futura)

The bodice (yeah it’s all upside down, I just wanted to add to the difficulty level for the people filling in the puzzle [joke]):
crossword dress #2 bodice
Full back:
crossword dress #2 back

Here’s the 2010 dress:
crossword dress #3

I tried to match the grid across the pockets:
crossword dress #3 side

I actually like the fading of this particular print, as it makes it look more newsprinty, but since the bias edging didn’t fade AT ALL (of course, why would it?), I don’t like the contrast:
crossword dress #3 bodice

The back (you can see the fading more here):
crossword dress #3 back

If you want your own crossword puzzle fabric, there is usually some floating around on eBay/Etsy, or you can try Spoonflower — details of the fabric I used are here.

The Hundred Dresses: Day 92

Today is a twofer; here’s dress 1:

neuron Liberty McCall's 8484

This is McCall’s 8484, which I think I also made once in a striped seersucker version that didn’t survive. I don’t wear this that much because the bodice is a bit blousy for my taste. It definitely needs a belt. I used to wear it with a cream-and-green faux zebra-stripe sash, which sounds ridiculous but actually worked.

neuron Liberty McCall's 8484

I do really like the collar:

neuron Liberty McCall's 8484 collar

Side zip, eh:
neuron Liberty McCall's 8484 side zip

The pockets are actual lining material, which I don’t really ever do unless I think they will show through — and this fabric is both pale enough and sheer enough that I thought it would:

neuron Liberty McCall's 8484 pocket

I didn’t do a very good job on the back neck, although it was one of my favorite features of the pattern:

neuron Liberty McCall's 8484 back neck

This is one of my favorite Liberty prints — I wish I knew the name of it! — and I have a standing bounty on it, let me know if you have any to sell. So when I went back to the UK in 2007, I bought some more and made this:

mystery Liberty neuron dress

I can’t find the pattern this was made from — I know I made another version in gray sateen that I abandoned halfway through as it ended up looking like the uniform of someone enslaved in a Magdalene laundry. It was all about the midriff band, which is kind of beside the point in a fabric this busy:

mystery Liberty neuron dress midriff

The back is also gathered for a little bit of a train effect:

mystery Liberty neuron dress back

Here’s a closer look at the bodice — I liked the curve of the v-neck, too:

mystery Liberty neuron dress bodice

And the side zip:

mystery Liberty neuron dress side zip

Man, I wish I had more of this fabric …

The Hundred Dresses: Day 91

Here’s another McCall’s 8858, which I made back in 2008:

green windowpane McCalls 8858


I really love this fabric, even if it wasn’t the best choice for these facings:

green windowpane McCalls 8858 bodice


This was one of the first side-zip-and-pocket combos I ever did, if I recall correctly. So it’s a bit wonky:

green windowpane McCalls 8858 side zip


And the back had to be piece, because I didn’t have quite enough fabric.

green windowpane McCalls 8858


I wish I had more grass-green dresses. They’re so happy and restful. And since I hide on St. Patrick’s Day anyway, I can usually minimize the risk of being mistaken for a leprechaun.

The Hundred Dresses: Day 90

Another mystery dress, I’m afraid:

mystery floral dress

Seriously, I have no idea about this one. Don’t remember the pattern, don’t remember the fabric, don’t remember what occasion it was made for. Nada. If I drank I’d be worried that this was the product of some sewing blackout:

mystery dress bodice

Center front seam — but no facing or fastening to justify it! The mystery continues:

mystery dress front bodice seam

Placket zipper, so probably before 2008:

mystery dress side zip

Seams are way off:
mystery dress waist seam

And the whole back:

mystery dress back

I’m not even sure why I kept this, I’m not even that enamored of the fabric. The whole thing is a puzzlement.

The Hundred Dresses: Day 89

This is no longer a mystery dress pattern — it is Advance 6675 So that’s settled.
balloon Advance 6675


It has that nice deep shaping pleat in the front:

balloon Advance 6675 bodice

Which I didn’t quite match:

balloon Advance 6675 bodice tuck


Side zip, eh. At this point I almost feel that if you’ve seen one of my side zips, you’ve seen them all:

balloon Advance 6675 side zip


Pocket lining, very boring:

balloon Advance 6675 pocket


And the back:

balloon Advance 6675

This is definitely another of the dresses that maintains its place in my hoard solely because the fabric is wonderful. I love those little balloon-wielding Keystone Kops dudes …


The Hundred Dresses: Day 88

This is dress is 1) Butterick 2344, and 2) wrong:

orange pique Butterick 2344 back

It’s the same pattern as Day 66, and suffers from some of the same problems that were due to my inexperience, plus a few extra that can be attributed to me picking the wrong fabric, like this roly-poly facing here:

orange pique Butterick 2344 bodice

There’s not enough understitching in the WORLD to keep this heavy pique from rolling. I could have superglued it down and it still would have rolled.

orange pique Butterick 2344 facing

It’s ironic that the one thing I love about this dress is it’s fatal flaw — see how gorgeous this fabric is? It’s not its fault that I made it into the wrong thing:

orange pique Butterick 2344 fabric

Trying to put a regular zipper in was rage-inducing — this here is the point where I said “I’ll just wear a sweater over it“:

orange pique Butterick 2344 back zip

And here’s the whole back:

orange pique Butterick 2344 back

I’d like to say that I keep this dress around as an object lesson in not letting your fabric and pattern be star-crossed lovers, but really I keep it around because … I still like it. I think “oh maybe if I …” then I take it out and fondle it for a bit, and then I get distracted by a dress I can actually make/fix/wear and then back it goes into the suspended-animation storage tub. I should really cut up that huge heavy skirt and turn it into dresses for my nieces, who are now just at the age where little shift dresses (which would be GREAT in this fabric) are perfect.

Oh — in The-Hundred-Dresses-the-book news, did everyone see the perfect essay by John Waters on The Sack Dress in this month’s Bazaar? Unfortunately I can’t find it online, but it’s well worth grabbing the physical (US) magazine for.

The Hundred Dresses: Day 87

Another Vogue 9760 … you guys are starting to get the idea that I’m pretty much a binge sewist, right? I find a pattern and just make it over and over until I can’t make it any more.
paisley Vogue 9760

I actually bought this fabric in two colorways — this red/blue and a brown/maroon/green. I made a skirt from the brown colorway but I actually think I might have some of it left. Looking at this again I think “hmm, I should go dig that up …”

The facing here (I remember) is Kona quilting cotton:
paisley Vogue 9760 facing

Here’s a better look at matching the pattern at the center front seam:
paisley Vogue 9760 front seam and facing

And the bodice without the facing displayed (aka stealth mode). [Which now makes me want to write a book called “Steath Mode: The Secrets of Being Quietly Fashionable” and talk about all the luxury brands without visible labels, how to commission custom garments, etc. etc.]
paisley Vogue 9760 bodice

Brightly colored zips make me happy:

paisley Vogue 9760 side zip

And the back — this fabric is really lightweight (and soft, too, which you can’t really see in the pictures) so the back facing is very obvious:

paisley Vogue 9760 back

Also, in The Hundred Dresses-the-book news, thanks to Emily at Shell Chic’d for this nice review!