Hey! Another Version of that Same Damn Dress

Gray Dotted Swiss dress

Oh look, it’s the bodice from Simplicity 2389 and that BurdaStyle Heidi skirt again! (Readers stifle yawns, reach reflexively for their mobile devices.)

This time it’s in this beautiful gray dotted swiss that I’ve had for so long that I can’t even remember where I bought it. I’ve been holding on to it FOREVER because I thought it would need to be lined, but it turns out no, it doesn’t. Here, have a closer look:

corner shoulder seam

It’s like chambray, but dotted swiss! Two of my favorite fabrics mashed together!

Here’s the pocket/zipper view:
pocket view

Why yes, that is gray-and-white seersucker piping! You can also just see that the pockets are lined in this very nice sheer gray voile.

Here’s the pocket-in-progress:
pocket-in-progress

Here’s the same piping on the shoulder seam:
shoulder seam

And finally, the back:
gray dotted swiss dress back

I didn’t even press this before putting it on the dress form, which is a miracle, if you ask me. But the fabric is very soft and light and so it seems that wrinkles take a look at it and say “yeah, no, I think I’ll try the next dress down, thanks anyway.” (Okay maybe there are a few wrinkles at the sleeve and skirt hems …)

I’ve managed to eke out a couple other dresses recently—I’ll try to get them posted soon.

Oh hey look a new pattern!

I made a dress that *wasn’t* the Simplicity 2389/Heidi mashup, finally:

Untitled

The bodice is the same one as here (Anne Adams 4687) and the skirt is (I think) from an old McCall’s pattern that I traced off ages ago to make the pockets bigger, then lost in a clutter of random pieces and finally unearthed two months ago.

The fabric is from Britex, and I sewed it up in about a week, which is surprising because usually when I buy fabric at Britex it’s so eye-wateringly expensive that it takes me ages to get the nerve to cut into it and sew it up. But this was a very inexpensive (and fuzzy!) marled cotton flannel … it’s incredibly cozy. (They don’t have it on the website that I could find, or I’d link to it.) It’s also pretty stretchy.

I lined the pockets with some Liberty print and also backed the lining with organza to try to take some of the weight (it’s heavy fabric), which wasn’t entirely successful but oh well  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :
fuzzy dress pockets

The neck is finished with self-binding—because the fabric is so stretchy I had to go and look up how to do stretch neck binding again … it’s also slightly lumpy where the ends meet:
fuzzy dress neck binding

Of *course* I piped those pockets:
fuzzy dress pocket piping
And here’s the side zipper … I found out that they make heavyweight invisible zippers, did you know that? They’re sometimes called #4 invisible zippers. (That’s what I went to Britex to buy in the first place, I think.)

fuzzy dress size view

This dress is so incredibly comfortable … it’s very warm, for cotton, and when I wore it in rainy Vancouver it shed water like a duck (if ducks were made of gray flannel). The piping at the sleeve edges and the neck make it a little lumpy to wear under a cardigan, but it’s not “shouldn’t you get those growths on your biceps looked at” lumpy. I wear it with knee socks and roper boots (but then I wear EVERYTHING with knee socks and roper boots these days, so …)

I’ve also made this in a heavy black cotton faille, which, if I ever need to play an ominous widow in an amateur theatrical production of … just about anything that includes an ominous widow, will be just the ticket. I’ll try to post about that one soon.

(Also, I updated the last post to congratulate the winner of the Gertie giveaway!)

I bet this looks familiar

Liberty Simplicity 2389

Same old Simplicity 2389 bodice with the Heidi skirt. Liberty print (although I can’t remember which one). Edit: It’s Rachel de Thames.

Liberty Simplicity 2389

And, of course, piping. (Nice fat piping on this one!)

Liberty Simplicity 2389

The zipper turned out nicely on this one—oh, this me burying the lede, I got a new sewing machine and the new invisible zipper foot is like buttah—post about the sewing machine to come soon.

Here’s a closer view of the bodice, although I think most Constant Readers of this blog could be woken from a sound sleep and draw this from memory:

Liberty Simplicity 2389

The pocket piping is barely visible, since the pattern is so busy: Liberty Simplicity 2389

And of course, the back view:

Liberty Simplicity 2389

I made about four more of these dresses over the last month, plus two more in a NEW! PATTERN! I’ll try to post those shortly.

Winter Dress: Embryonic Stage

I just got this Liberty Lantana fabric for a winter dress:

Liberty-Fujio

Looking forward to the long process of finding JUST THE RIGHT COLOR PIPING to use with this. (It’s probably going to be another dress like this one; I’m a sucker for a fabrics with a dark ground and bright designs!)

Lantana is the Liberty wool/cotton blend—I think it’s 80% cotton, 20% wool. It’s a dream to sew with and it’s very warm. Perfect winter fabric!

I need this for an event in February, so now this just has to arrive at warp speed from the UK (and my sewing machine has to make a speedy return from the repair shop)!

Do you have any winter dress plans?

& another stunt dress

So a couple weekends ago I made another stunt dress:

Wordnik is running a Kickstarter!

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsThis fabric is called “Symbolic Elegance” and is “from the ‘Ampersand’ collection by Ampersand Design Studio for Windham Fabrics,” according to eQuilter, where I bought it. The pattern is the only one I’ve been making lately: Simplicity 2389 with the modified Heidi skirt.

Why is this a stunt dress? Because I’m wearing it in the Kickstarter video for Wordnik (you folks know I run Wordnik, right?) Here’s a link — play the video and you can see me wearing this dress.

The goal of this Kickstarter is to find a million missing words of English — words not in traditional dictionaries — and add them to Wordnik.

Here’s the bodice, with piping:

 Untitled

And the pockets (with piping): 

A Kickstarter, you say?//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

And the back (no piping visible):

Kickstarter!//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

If you have a minute to share our Kickstarter campaign, it would be much appreciated! We’re at >40% of our goal, but it’s a long way to the finish line!

I'm With the Bandana

Been a while since I posted a new dress, huh? Here’s one that’s been waiting patiently in pieces for ages:

Bandana Simplicity 2389 front

This is in some black bandana print so old that I can’t remember when or where I bought it. It is not great fabric — it’s pretty stiff and there were plenty of print faults and slubs. Not sure why I was all excited about sewing with it, but I think playing with the print motifs was part of it:

Simplicity 2389 bodice

Here’s a closer look at the bodice matching:

Simplicity 2389 bodice motif matching

Here’s the back — I was really interested in having the back bodice look as much like a standalone bandana as possible:

Matched the motif across the skirt panels too (this is the altered Burdastyle Heidi skirt, again again again, I really should do a separate post detailing all the changes I’ve put it through):

Bandana Simplicity 2389 motif matching

And the piped pocket and zipper:

Bandana Simplicity 2389 side zip and pocket

I bought a bunch of invisible zippers with very lightweight, almost knit tapes in Vancouver and they’re a bit trickier to sew with than I thought. As in, I’ve already broken two of them. I’m hoping it’s more “practice makes perfect” and not “you bought a bunch of lemons”. This one went it more or less okay, though. (Fingers crossed.)

I still have some orange bandana fabric yet to make up, probably the last piece of my epic 2008 Japan fabric binge.

(If you like odd bandanas you will almost certainly like the Calamityware Bad Bandana project.)

Oh, and if you missed it, I wrote about answering customer-service email on The Pastry Box! Very exciting, I know.

It's another shirt-shirtdress!

I finally found the right old shirt to complete this particular shirt-shirtdress: shirt-shirtdress

I’ve made this particular … can’t really call it a pattern; let’s call it an agglomeration, okay? twice before. (This one I blogged about.)

Here’s the back:
shirt-shirtdress back

I made the back panel wider this go-around, and used the same shirt for the back side and pocket panels (and you can see that there are three different sizes/shades of gray gingham here, and no, I didn’t match any of them):
shirt-shirtdress: I put pockets in my pockets

My favorite, favorite part of this dress is putting the front shirt pocket as the pocket panel. For some reason this just pleases me all out of proportion to how much use that little pocket will actually get. But EVEN MY POCKETS HAVE POCKETS, y’all.

I also like making sure the front center skirt piece has a pocket in it. I have put back otherwise lovely shirts at Goodwill if they lack this essential element:

shirt-shirtdress: lotsa pockets

The piping above isn’t made from shirts, it’s some bought-in-NYC Japanese piping I had left over from a gray chambray Simplicity 2389 that I don’t think I’ve posted about yet. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The buttonholes didn’t really line up well at the center front (you can see here how one buttonhole is actually caught in the waist seam) so I just made a new one (that’s the second buttonhole down). No worries.

shirt-shirtdress rebuttonholing

My second-favorite bit of making these shirt-shirtdresses is unpicking the front pocket, sewing the darts, then sewing the pocket back down over the darts. Which you can’t really tell from this picture, but that’s what I did:
shirt-shirtdress dart and pocket

Matching the shirttail hem is also very satisfying — especially at the sides:
more shirt-shirtdress hem

And, of course, using some of the shirt fabric to make bias tape to finish the sleeves:
shirt-shirtdress sleeve

(The sleeve opening is actually a bit too wide here — next time I’m going to see if I can actually shorten the sleeve and gather it into the sleeve cuff from a different shirt. We’ll see if I can find some XXL shirt with big cuffs to go around my biceps …)

Fabric-wise, this dress took 2 extra-large, 1 large, and 1 medium shirt (for the bodice). The extra-large shirts really make it easier to match up the side panel hem curves without having to use part of the sleeve underarm (never the best part of a secondhand shirt!) at the top of the skirt side panels.

I have one more of these cut out (in different shades/sizes of *blue* gingham) and I hope to take some construction pictures to roll up into an eventual tutorial … these are really not hard to make. (The hardest part is finding the coordinating shirts.)