Back to the Simplicity 1577

another dark denim dress

I have started—don’t all act surprised here—making Simplicity 1577s again. I basically tried to re-create this dress, sans collar this time, because my previous version had an encounter with a bleach splash in which it came off the decided loser.

This one is in a much heavier, darker denim, which I am kind of enjoying. You might have noticed the last dress was denim, too: I have found that I’m sewing a lot of denim lately, making me look like some kind of absurd June Cleaver-as-barista. But it’s so convenient! Denim is my favorite fabric to try a new pattern in, since it comes in all kinds of weights, and a denim dress is nearly always wearable, and goes with everything.

Here’s a closer look at the bodice:
new denim 1577 bodice

I lined the pockets with some Liberty scraps I had lying around:
Liberty-lined pockets

Here’s the zipper, with the photo lightened a bit so you can see it:
side zipper

Oh, I forgot to mention that I piped the pockets with self-piping, of course.

And here’s the back: not sure why my dress form looks a little hunched over here, perhaps it was a cold day?
denim 1577 back

I made another one of these in this gorgeous black-on-black seersucker; it’s a little lightweight for winter but … I don’t know what it is about corded and ribbed fabric, but I cannot stay away. I just did a tidy of my fabric stash and the amount of seersucker I own for someone who is not a baby in rompers in Nantucket is absurd. Plus I have at least three pieces of corded cotton, including one in a bright peony pink that has probably been kicking around my stash for going on two decades.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (What types of fabric do you tend to hoard?)

Happy New Year/Dress

Happy 2017, people! Here’s a new dress that isn’t the same dress I’ve made the last dozen times:

Rushcutter denim dress

It’s the Rushcutter by In The Folds, sewn up in fairly heavy denim. I enjoyed sewing it quite a bit (once I got the pattern taped together), but I enjoy wearing it immensely.

Here’s the neck bit, isn’t it nice?
Rushcutter neck detail

Back zip, which I’m usually not a fan of, but this one is short so it’s okay:
Rushcutter back zip

I used some patterned bias tape from Daiso to finish the neckline:
floral bias tape neck finish

These pockets are HUGE. Really, really big:
Rushcutter giant pockets

Really:
Rushcutter giant pockets pt 2

They’re set a little low on the dress so occasionally I have to stoop to get things out of the bottom of them, which I find equal parts annoying and hilarious. (When I sew this again I’ll be putting a false bottom in the pocket somehow.)

This is a very, very comfortable dress, with a few caveats. First, the sleeves are a bit wide so they can get a bit jammed up in a coat. I sometimes have to do a quick ‘wrap’ of the sleeve around my arm before jamming my arm into the coat, to make sure that I don’t end up with bulgy elbows.

Also, this is a dress that’s much more comfortable standing than sitting, but that’s probably because I overload the pockets (because I can, because they are HUGE). So if you also load your pockets like Harpo Marx, you too might have to do a little adjustment and pull the sides of the dress forward when sitting so that your heavy pockets don’t fall weirdly down the sides of your chair. But it’s a small price to pay!

I like wearing this with footless tights and sneakers, or regular tights and ankle boots. I’ve worn this with bright yellow tights several times thinking that someone will say “hey, in those tights your legs look just like MUPPET FLESH,” but no one has yet. Which is probably because most of my friends and acquaintances are tactful, kind people, but it’s TRUE.

Oh, and the hem is faced, which is a treatment I always like, especially on heavy fabrics:

Rushcutter faced hem

I have a few other dresses I’ve made during this last blogging hiatus, and the goal/resolution is to post one a week until I’m caught up. Wish me luck!

Kicking the tires

Hey, a new dress:
Altered Simplicity 5238

This is Simplicity 5238, with a few little changes. Mainly, pockets:

added pockets Simplicity 5238

I tried plain side-seam pockets first, but they hung badly, and lately I’ve been really into this style of pockets (inset? not actually sure what to call them). They can be a bit of a pain to add, especially if the skirt has pleats or gathers, but they’re worth the munging and hacking.

Here’s the pattern pieces (the dress above has v1):
pocket pieces

Oh I suppose you want to see the (badly pressed) back, huh? I don’t usually do a center back zipper, but:
back zip Simplicity 5238

I also had some fun with the neck and sleeve facings:
inner facings 2 Simplicity 5238

This is an incredibly comfortable dress — really easy to wear (especially with the deeper pockets). I have also made it in dark denim and am thinking about another color of denim, or maybe even liberating some of my stash of Liberty twill.

I’m also looking for a dress with similar lines to this one to make in softer fabrics, like silk — something with scoop pockets but gathers, I think, and a soft kimono-sleeved bodice. Anything come to mind? (Remember, I’m awfully lazy and hate drafting things …)

(Also! This is the first post at my  new blog host, the very very nice WPEngine.com. Highly recommended. With any luck this should solve some of the “stuck” posts issues and commenting problems … please let me know if not!)

The Hundred Dresses: Day 43

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

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 12

Today’s dress is a survivor dress. It’s a Simplicity 1577, made in mid-weight dark blue (almost black) denim:

Denim 1577

But wait, you say. Didn’t that Simplicity 1577 pattern have a collar? Why yes, it did:

Denim 1577

And I did a nice Liberty-print undercollar for it, too:

Denim 1577

And the pockets:

Denim 1577

But unfortunately, I didn’t think to use Fray-Check and the collar raveled pretty much immediately. (Moral: always use Fray-Check
on raveling fabrics!) No worries, I just took it off and finished the neck edge with some bias binding.

But that’s not the only reason why this dress is a survivor — it also made it through a bike accident I had in SF last year. Here’s where I landed in the street — my keys were in the pocket and keys+acceleration+denim+tarmac = abrasion damage:

Denim 1577

I was pretty lucky — the driver stopped, I had no injury other than a few scrapes (I was wearing a helmet, of course!) and I even got right back on my bike and rode the four more miles to my meeting. (For the SF-curious, this was in the traffic circle on Townsend … which I walk my bike through now.)

Here’s the back — you’d never guess anything had ever happened, would you?

Denim 1577

I still wear this all the time, even with the little bit of fraying on the skirt panel (and a bit of fraying up near the top of the pocket, although I can’t blame that on the bike accident). It’s nice to be reminded both that 1) you’re tougher than you think and 2) be careful!

 

Olive Drab Simplicity 5723

I have a couple more Simplicity 5723 exemplars to post — here’s one, in a dim and fuzzy photo:
Simplicity 5723

The pockets on this one are lined in camouflage:

Simplicity 5723

Ignore the unclipped threads, if you please. They’re gone now …

Simplicity 5723

That’s more what the color looks like — it’s green denim from my trusty friends at FabricMart Fabrics.

I’ve been wearing this one with a bright orange sweater and belt — that’s my idea of fun. This dress in denim is a dream to wear, very comfortable yet stiff enough to hold its shape. I have some maroon denim that will soon find an incarnation in this pattern, and I’m really, really toying with the idea of a white denim dress. I don’t think I’ve had an all-white dress since high school graduation. I’m completely sure that after ten minutes on my person, it would no longer be an all-white dress, yet still I persist in this fantasy of a white denim dress. Talk me out of it?

Another Favorite Redux

Remember Simplicity 1577? I made it in heavy seersucker a while back, and have nearly worn that one to death, so I figured it was time for another version: 

Although I'm not a jeans person, I do like heavy denim dresses. They feel very utilitarian-competent. I'm pretty sure I could shingle a roof, raise chickens, or rivet a fighter jet in this dress. There is one problem in making them — you can't self-face collars in heavy denim, so you have to find some other fabric to use:

Good thing I have lots of Liberty scraps lying around, right? 

Ditto for the pockets: 

It's a dark black denim (cue Michael Penn) and I've been wearing it with bright long-sleeved t-shirts in rose or teal underneath. With stripey socks. So I look a little like a Raggedy-Ann doll in it, but it's so much fun to wear that I don't care.

I've also made this in black plaid low-wale corduroy (part of the Japan fabric haul) — pics of that soon!