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!

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!