YAWD (yet another winterish dress)

I made another dress like this one, right down to also using Liberty Lantana fabric:

Simplicity 2389 w/Heidi Skirt

The name of this particular print is “Haberdashery”, and I fell in love with the weird faux-patchwork:

Simplicity 2389 bodice

(“Haberdashery” is a fairly stupid name to call a Liberty print, because it is nigh-unGoogleable, but here it is at Shaukat iffen you need some. Looks like it comes in a nice bright blue, too.)

And OF COURSE there is piping:
Simplicity 2389 piping of course

And on the pockets:

Simplicity 2389 pocket piping

Here’s the zipper (bonus piping view):
Simplicity 2389 zipper

And the back:
Simplicity 2389 back

I forgot to take a picture, but the neck facing is the same plaid as in the flower print (or near-enough as makes no nevermind). (Because that’s the sort of thing that makes me weirdly happy.)

This variation has a much longer skirt, nearly tea-length, so that it looks better (in my head) with ankle boots. (Does it actually look better? Who knows.) If you want to see how it looks on, I wore it to give this talk.

Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaid

Been forever since I posted a new dress, huh? I’ve done a teeny bit of sewing since October, but only got around to taking some pictures last weekend, or maybe weekend before last?

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This dress is all sorts of mashup. The bodice is McCall’s 6727, only with the neckline taken up an inch or so. And I didn’t do a facing — instead, it’s a mitred bias binding (first time I’ve ever tried this):

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The fabric is wool, maybe with a little cotton in it — bought it so long ago I’m not sure. I believe it was an Anna Sui bolt end from Fabric Mart Fabrics. (It gets a little linty, as you can see here.) Pockets got piped in the same binding — it’s a really nice twill binding I bought at Britex.

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I could have done a better job matching the plaid, especially along the back center. I kind of just said “eh, I’ll hardly ever see it, whatever”:

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The skirt is a heavily modded Simplicity 5238. Honestly, I’ve traced and altered that skirt pattern so many times now that I’m not sure I can call it Simplicity 5238 now. I think I would have to call it “from the school of Simplicity 5238” at best.

Zipper:
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This dress is *warm*, and very comfortable, and the longer skirt length is nice with boots.

Lots of things have been keeping me away from blogging, but I did write a little thing here at The Pastry Box you might enjoy.

(Oh and the titles are from here.)

Another winter dress

Here’s another January-appropriate dress, although I made this back in October, to wear to talk at Pop!Tech. (That there is a video link.)

galaxy dress

Specifics: it’s Liberty Lantana, but I don’t remember the pattern name — if you search for Liberty Lantana on eBay this one always comes up. (Lantana is the winter-perfect cotton/wool blend. Super soft, nicely warm, and wrinkle-resistant. Probably my favorite Liberty fabric type.) It’s the Simplicity 2389 bodice with the (heavily modified) Burdastyle Heidi skirt.

galaxy dress bodice

For colder weather I’ve been wearing this with a long-sleeved black t-shirt under it. And by “colder weather,” (sorry non-Californians) I mean around low 50s F. Below you can see the colorway — it’s mostly black, with a bunch of blue-y grays and a little warm taupe.

galaxy dress shoulder piping

I used the extra-fat piping cord to make this piping. It’s very satisfying.

galaxy dress zipper

Here’s the zipper & pocket (also piped) in a washed out photo. (Honestly, #nofilter, my phone is just not that great.)

galaxy dress back, at a jaunty angle

And the back, with my dress form at a jaunty (not to say off-kilter) angle.

I’ve taken a little break from this pattern but it’s calling to me again. The bodice is probably one of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn, and even those tricky-looking shoulders sew up easily. I’m thinking the next version will probably have a longer skirt (this one is knee length) and we’ll see how that proportion looks. I have some more Lantana …

Another McCalls 6727

Hey, here’s another McCall’s 6727!
McCalls 6727 front
I love this pattern an awful lot. Here’s the bodice, I didn’t tack down the facing in front because I thought it might make a visible line, but that means it rolls a tiny tiny bit:
McCalls 6726 facing

I was sure I took a picture of the facing, but uh, no. It’s Liberty — I used leftovers from this dress.

Here’s a tighter view of the bodice:
McCalls 6727 bodice

The fabric is (I think) a silk-cotton blend from FabricMartFabrics, bought ages and ages ago. It’s very lightweight but hangs nicely, and also it’s impossible to tell what color it is. In fluorescent light it looks olive green, and in daylight it looks either gray-brown or charcoal. It has a very, very slight basketweave.

Here’s the side zip and pocket. I cut away about an inch, inch and a half to make the pockets easier to get into. And — heresy to say — I think I may have actually made these pockets TOO BIG. They’re just about an inch too deep and two inches too wide. I thought I’d never see the day when I thought that pockets were too big, but I keep losing my lip balm in these, so that seems to be the key leading indicator.
McCalls 6727 side seam and zipper

And here’s the back:
McCalls 6727 back

(It’s not hanging perfectly, but I made seven pies today and am already tired before eating anything.)

This dress looks very Edwardian on, for some reason. I think it’s the combo of the narrow long skirt and square bodice. For winter here in the Bay I love the “long dress with long-sleeved tee underneath plus knee socks and roper/ankle boots”. So I expect to make about five more of these.

Oh! And in happy holiday news, Michelle of Oldpatterns.com has a special coupon for you! 10% off orders over $10 — NOTE: you’ll need the coupon code “dressaday10”. So you can get your Christmas shopping started ASAP.

A dress for a wedding (not a wedding dress) plus bonus kiltwearing

Erin and Matt

Haven’t posted in a while … there’s a backlog of new dresses and old patterns with new stories, but a shortage of TIME to post them in!

This picture, of course, takes priority, as it involves a kilt — that’s my handsome-yet-goofy younger brother in the McKean tartan with all the trimmings, ready to walk my little sister down the aisle at her lovely wedding in Brooklyn last weekend. (Don’t ask me which variant of the McKean/McIan tartan this is, it could also be some kind of McDonald? Genealogy is complimacated.)

She asked me to stand up for her as well (that’s why I’m holding a sheaf of lavender, that’s not a customary accessory of mine) and asked me to wear navy blue.  (Of course I did not own a navy blue dress of any kind whatsoever.)

After a few false starts, I finally just made THE SAME OLD DRESS I’VE BEEN MAKING FOR THE LAST FOUR MONTHS. Here’s a post where you can see the lines of the dress. It’s the Simplicity 2389 bodice with the (heavily modified) Burdastyle Heidi skirt. And now I have a navy dress.

I don’t own navy shoes, because navy shoes never match anything else that’s navy, so the silver ankle-straps were left over from that part of the early 2000s where I was going to a lot of weddings. I forgot how painful they were — note my “let me just relieve the pressure on this foot here” stance — so they were exchanged for flats at the earliest possible point of the proceedings.

At the shoulder you can kind of maybe partly see that I did do piping for this one as well — self-bias piping with nice fat cord. The fabric is a kind of faille so the corded piping has a nice bias twist to it, very satisfying (if nearly invisible).

It was a very happy day. Hope your days have been happy, too.

Dots at Liberty

Schlesinger Liberty (Simplicity 2452) bodice

I don’t think I’ve posted about this yet — it’s a hybrid Frankendress of Liberty Schlesinger (which I’ve used before and still think looks like a cricket-ball print) with the bodice from Simplicity 2452 and the same skirt (only deeper pleats) as this dress (Simplicity 5238). Okay, that was confusing. Perhaps the pictures will make it easier:

Here’s the (added) side pockets and side zipper:
Schlesinger Liberty (Simplicity 2452) pocket

The deep back pleat in the skirt:
Schlesinger Liberty (Simplicity 2452) back skirt

The collar (you can see the mustardy bias tape I used to finish it — probably should have used gray. (It matched more in my head.)
Schlesinger Liberty (Simplicity 2452) front collar and facing

I used the Fashion Incubator method on this collar, and it rolled really nicely at the edge:
Schlesinger Liberty (Simplicity 2452) collar

Here’s the whole back view:
Schlesinger Liberty (Simplicity 2452) back view

I made this three different times early this spring but I suppose I never got around to posting them? A search doesn’t turn anything up. I have pictures of the other two as well, so I’ll try to get them up soon.

Hearts and Bones

I finished this dress up last weekend:

queen of hearts bodice

This here is the part I like best. I was going to do plain red piping, but the reds didn’t match. (And neither did the maroons or blues. I have more piping than a Scottish funeral.)

hearts with striped piping

The striped piping is from Britex. Every time I go in I have this little surge of hope that they’ve decided to carry even more patterned cotton piping, and then I see that the choices are basically pinstripes, leopard, and neon. I’ve bought all the stripey ones; I’m just not really a leopard-print kinda gal; but I’m sure someday I will manage to avoid the gorge-rising nausea upon seeing neon colors that the early 1980s left me with and you will see some fluorescent pink piping here in these pages.

Here’s an off-center and slightly unfocused front view!

queen of hearts

I suppose at this point I should mention that the bodice is Simplicity 2389 (again) and the skirt (for a change) is BurdaStyle Heidi with some alterations.

What alterations? Well, I added 6″ to the skirt center back and front, and lengthened the skirt by about 8″ to ensure a deep, deep hem. I really like this version of the Heidi skirt — it’s very comfortable, and for some reason manages to cohere with the 1940s bodice and feel modern at the same time.

I piped the back yoke seam this time, too:

queen of hearts back bodice

Except I forgot that the yoke has to meet the facing at center back and had to kludge in a little bit more piping. Also, the back facing DID NOT want to turn nicely over that piping bit, so I finally just said “this is a design feature” and left it at that.

queen of hearts back afterthought piping

Here you can see the piping meeting at the underarm (probably another reason that piping the back is not as good an idea as it might seem), as well as the pocket piping and the zipper:

queen of hearts side seam and piped pocket

The whole back view (I’m not sure what was up with the lighting when I took these, weekends have been fairly sunny lately):

queen of hearts back

 

This voile is lighter than I’m used to, so I thought I might have to line it. Instead I settled for a heavier slip than usual and cutting the pocket lining and neck facing from this weird pale pale pink linen/cotton voile I had lying around. Since I’m mostly pale pale pink too, it seems to work. I have another one cut out where the fabric really was translucent, so I ended up underlining it in black voile, which is creating a kind of goth-flavored mallard color effect (that fabric is teal).

I ended up wearing this to a Javascript conference last week — I hesitated a tiny bit about wearing something so flat-out girly, as the gender ratio at these things approaches that of your typical offshore oil rig and/or professional football team (only with more ironically-worn mustaches and skinnier jeans). But it wasn’t as if I was going to magically become any less of an outlier in a plain denim dress (choice #2) than I was in this one, and since I hadn’t really worn it yet (and really wanted to), on it went.

Honestly, since I’m not looking for a job, I have a whole lot less risk in wearing something super-girly at tech conferences. And if I wear something like this, I can set some kind of upper bar and make other people look moderate in comparison, and gradually move the whole bar of “conference wear” further in my direction, right? That’s the plan, anyhow.

It was a total luxury to be able to go to this conference, by the way. I’ve been dabbling in Node.js for a bit and have finally reached the stage where a tiny archipelago of scattered knowledge is emerging from the receding seawaters of my ignorance. However, I am still looking for navigable channels between the islands, and a conference is one of the fastest ways I know of to connect the dots.

There’s something about going into a talk where you know nothing about anything in the description, grabbing onto the first idea tossed out by the presenter that connects to anything you know, and following along, knot by knot and intersection by intersection, until you have a lovely net with which to catch the entire topic.

Usually when I learn anything new it’s like taking the Tube in London: I get on at one subterranean stop and clamber back up the light in a completely different place, and couldn’t for the life of me say how to get back to the first stop overland. Going to a conference is like riding around on the top of a bus: I can finally see how all the different neighborhoods join up and how to walk between them. And coding is such a lovely city …