The Hundred Dresses: Day 37

Let’s take a quick break from Vogue 9929 for a blast from the past: Simplicity 5232!

This one was the first one I made, and I still take it out every once in a while, even though it doesn’t fit quite right (I shortened the bodice too much, so the waistline is a bit high):

gray Simplicity 5232 front

I used some rickrack on the collar (don’t worry I still have plenty left):

gray Simplicity 5232 collar

Here’s the back, I really like the yoke although of course it’s like five “extra” steps (when compared to a yokeless dress):

gray Simplicity 5232 back bodice

Slightly closer look at collar/yoke:

gray Simplicity 5232 back collar

 

I put cording in the front seam, for no good reason other than because I felt like it:
gray Simplicity 5232 front piping

And the full-length back:

gray Simplicity 5232 back

This was part of my fabric haul from Japan. I still have several pieces from that haul I haven’t even sewn up yet … and one I just used a couple of weeks ago.

Looking at this dress again makes me want to make another Simplicity 5232 … it’s going on the list.

 

 

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The Hundred Dresses: Day 15

Brand new pattern! This is Simplicity 4003 — another half-size pattern, or as I like to call them, squishy-middle patterns (they’re bigger in the waist than non-half-size patterns):

Simplicity 4003

I was drawn to this pattern by the simple-looking skirt and the nice collar, but I had absolutely no intention of making that welt chest pocket. (Let’s just get that out of the way up front.)

Simplicity 4003 city print

It has a little bit of a 1940s vibe all made up that it doesn’t have on the pattern envelope, doesn’t it?

I really liked this fabric, too, as an abstract cityscape. The buttons are nothing special, although the buttonholes turned out pretty well:

Untitled

Here’s the collar, which has a decent roll to it:

Simplicity 4003 city print

Side zip, much improved, I think you’ll find:

Simplicity 4003 city print

And back view:

Simplicity 4003 city print

And sleeve. Sigh. The sleeve caps did NOT want to go in flat. Despite much basting and pressing and easing and cursing, this was the best I could do:

Simplicity 4003 city print

I’m definitely going to make this dress again; it’s really comfortable and sews up well in quilting cotton (which is what this is). I’ll probably add just a bit more fullness to the skirt (by the lazy expedient of adding an inch or two at the front gathers, unless someone has a better, less slapdash idea?) and spend more time on those blasted sleeve caps …

Editorial query: do people want me to post sources for the mouseover text on the pictures (when it’s not just straight-up jokes)? Almost everything is searchable with Your Favorite Search Engine, but would it be helpful to include them here, or would it ruin the fun (such as it is)?

The Hundred Dresses: Day 6

Six days! Woot! (Which made me go search out this half-remembered novel, which I think now I will have to re-read.)

I had high hopes for this pattern:

Butterick 9542

 

It just seemed so … head of the PTA, if you know what I mean. No-nonsense yet somehow soft.

This is what it turned out like:

gray Butterick 9542 front view

It might have been my fabric choice … this is a little less “head of the PTA” and a little more “candy striper in the depression ward.” The fabric is nicer closer up:

 
gray Butterick 9542 bodice view
 
I even made covered buttons!

gray Butterick 9542 covered buttons view

And because I knew I couldn’t get the pockets to match stripes perfectly, I tried a little embroidered distraction:

gray Butterick 9542 pocket distraction view

And I carefully put in a waist hook, a detail I usually gloss over by promising myself that I’ll just wear a belt:

gray Butterick 9542 waist hook view

Here’s the back view:

gray Butterick 9542 back view

And a closeup of the back collar, which I’m not happy with — I didn’t turn & press it quite right:

Gray Butterick 9542, back collar view

Even with the slightly institutional air and the wonky collar, I would probably wear this a bit more often if the skirt were a bit fuller. It looked plenty full in the illustration, but it’s just narrow enough that I think I’m going to tear that front placket fold if I wear it riding my bike, and when I sit down it pulls, too (not fun).

So the search for the perfect shirtdress continues …

Return (Slightly Elevated, Not Yet Triumphal) of the Shirtdress

I think I've posted about this before, but I can't find it: Simplicity 6894.

Simplicity_6894

Anyway, I made it. Here it is:

 

I chose such a busy print because 1) I hadn't done tucks before and figured that if they were uneven, uneven on a bed of slightly abstract ochre roses was the way to go, and 2) I have had this fabric SO LONG that it has been giving me reproachful looks. Especially as new yardage has continued to come in … it was well past the eye-rolling stage, and into heavy sighs and significant eyebrow-raising. So. Now it's ready for its close-up:

 

You can see a little of the red thread I used to thread-mark the buttonholes. The buttons are vintage, I have no idea where I got them, either. This is not their first rodeo — they had little bits of cloth and thread on them that I had to remove. Looks like I cut them off whatever they had been on before. (Or maybe I bought them that way? My buttons are not what you would call "organized.")

The fabric is very lightweight, just a couple steps up from voile, so I did a very deep blindstitch hem. [PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE] 

Oh! I added pockets, slash hip pockets: 

And in lieu of my usual "here's the side zipper" picture (which is nearly invisible in this print, anyway, but you can see it here if you are so inclined) I present to you instead the "here's the set-in sleeve cap." Not my finest work, but not the worst I've ever done, either:

 

(My set-in-sleeve-setting life changed when I finally started taking the time to sew from the top center of the shoulder down to the underarm seam on each side, instead of trying to sew the whole thing in one go from underarm seam to underarm seam.)

Verdict: A+, would sew again. This is not so hard to make (after I figured out the tucks, which look FAR more complicated than they actually are) and it's fun to wear. I felt like a 1960s schoolteacher all day, which is better than it sounds. It did end up being slightly too big (it's fine through the bodice, but I added too much ease for the pockets). I will go easier on the wearing ease next time. 

I have another shirtdress coming … one I'm very pleased with, and another one cut out. Oh, and a semi-traumatic encounter with Simplicity 2180, but I think we managed to hug it out. Stay tuned!

Idée fixe

Dewberry_woodgrain_August2011

My latest idée fixe is to make a shirtdress out of this new Joel Dewberry fabric (Woodgrain in Vintage Yellow). (Faux bois idée fixe is probably the longest French phrase I can manage.)

I don’t know why — as with most of my dress-related brainstorms, it falls under the category of “it seemed like a good idea at the time”. 

Not sure WHICH shirtdress pattern this will be matched up with — I dragged out several contenders the other night, of which Butterick 2237:

Butterick_2237_August2011

and Advance 8524:

Advance_8524

are currently in the lead. 

Wooden buttons, naturally! Maybe even little twig ones … 

I'm So Glad That You're Mine (Almost)

Simplicity_4248

Thanks to Janet at ZimmersArmy, this pattern is now mine. Or close to mine, as soon as the USPS delivers it into my waiting arms. I believe the only appropriate reaction is "oh boy!"

There are pockets, people. And look at that yoke. And I'm going to make it in just that buttercup yellow with a teal suede belt and teal shoes (…. um, someday).

I love a dress that has a narrow front and gathers in the center back of the skirt. It always feels like a train to wear — you just sweep into rooms (if you're so inclined).

Check out the looks that these two are exchanging. What happens next? My guess is: what always happens next when two people spend a little too long looking at each other.