I’m not a Valentine’s Day girl but with a red dress it feels appropriate to talk about it now. Truth be told, I made this dress in an afternoon in December. I’ve been a horrible blogger lately. Hubby and I have bought a home and it’s been taking all my time. I good write an entire post just about all the things happening. Some has been planned but most hasn’t! I’m sure you can get the picture that I haven’t had much time to sew, let alone blog.
Okay, let’s continue with the dress!
I’m going to start with the fabric. It’s a red sweater knit from Wal-mart! It was part of my awesome score of 5 yds for $5. It’s a light to midweight, padow red. If it wasn’t so cheap, I would not have picked it up. I’m sooo not a red kind of girl. I can honestly say this the only red item in my closet.
The pattern for the dress is a mix of a Briar Tee by Megan Nielsen and McPattern Swing Dress. My original Swing Dress pattern is not a crew neck style so the introduction of the Briar Tee pattern helps to change up the neck. You can also see the tight crewneck on my cropped Briar Tee. I wanted more of a winter dress so that required long sleeves and I love an extra long sleeve so I added 3-4″.
The hem is a bit wavy but I’m not super annoyed by it. The hem is wide to give it a bit of weight. I’m not Marilyn!
There you have it. A nice simple red dress. It’s so comfortable and soft. I can easily curl up underneath it. Of course, it has some swing!
Add a heart necklace and I’m ready for Valentine’s Day!
I’m trying to catch up and post the last few things that I made from 2017. First on that small list is a denim dress. I bought the fabric for this from JoAnn’s back in 2016 during their Black Friday sale. I guess I just needed a good reason to get my butt in gear and make it.
Hubby had his first Xmas party and he was told it was denim and boots attire. Please keep in mind it was at a western style village. *big eye roll* I am not a country/western liking kind of girl but damn it, I was going to look cute.
I took my soft denim fabric and my trusty B5526 shirt pattern and went to work. “Wait!” you say? You just said “shirt” not “dress” pattern. Well any shirt pattern can be changed to a dress if you have enough fabric! I’ve made B5526 plenty of times now. I know the version with the princess seams flares out enough at my hips that if I extend the pattern lines I can make a dress. For real! The only new measurement I needed was how long I wanted the dress. I added 11″.
It’s that easy! I bought metal silver buttons. I wanted snaps but that looked like a pain so metal buttons it is! I topstitched all the seams in navy thread. I didn’t want a contrast but I did contimplate using gold.
To make the dress have a bit more fit at my waist, I did take in the sides. I didn’t want it to look like I was wearing a bag. I put the dress on inside out and pinned the sides until I thought I had brought it in enough.
I finished the hem with self-made navy bias tape. Since the bottom was straight I’m sure I could have turned up the hem and stitched it but I like the bias tape finish.
I’m pretty proud of this collar. I’m still perfecting this process. Usually it comes out wonky and lays flat so it looks like my collar is about to take flight. I followed the instructions from Four Square Walls suggested by Lladybird. I’m so happy she did! I have never felt so comfortable putting on a collar and not feeling I need to fuss with it about 100 times. Btw, my hand looks like a claw because my nail polish looked so bad. I did my best to hide it!
Here I am looking too cool to look at the camera. You know when you dream of a dress then it turns out exactly as expected? Neither have I until now! Yay for simple dresses! I had just enough to squeak out a shirt out of the same fabric so you’ll be seeing that in the near future.
Btw, the western village xmas party sucked but I was adorable. 😛
The new year is here! With the new year brings a review of my past year of sewing. Usually it’s pretty surprising for me. I forget all the things I’ve made and how much I love things that I’ve only had for a short amount of time.
I also joined in #2017makenine. I was able to complete 7 out of 9. Pretty proud of that. I would have really liked to have gotten my red Thurlows made but I’m still fussing with the fit. I was able to complete: several Sorbettos, new handbag, failed Jamie Jeans (still looking for the perfect grey denim), Burda flares, Simone, pajamas, and a couple B5526.
Participate in Project Sew My Style being put on by Alex from Bluebird Fabrics. This is a full year sew-along. I’m putting this out there now: Sorry March, but there’s no leggings in my future so I’m skipping that month.
You can see the results of this above. I’m happy with the participation that I was able to complete. Several more things I want to make though. I do wear most of the items religiously. The two I really don’t wear too often is the pocket skirt (May) and the valley blouse (July) both from CaliFaye. The valley blouse is so fussy and the skirt looks so bad on. Maybe that pattern company is not for me.
Use my fabric stash. I have enough fabric for 13 projects. Each piece of fabric has a pattern mate already chosen. Just need to sew! The only fabric I’m going to buy is for Sew My Style until I get through my stash.
I successfully adhered to this for about half of the year. I’m surprised I made it that far. I would have liked to have made it the whole year but I think we all know that was not going to happen!
Learn at least one new technique. There’s a lot of techniques out there, flat fell seams, Hong Kong seams, etc. Never thought to try one out and I think it would be good to expand my horizons.
I used flat fell seams! A lot actually. They’re so much easier than I thought and they look so nice on the insides. I really want to do Hong Kong seams but I need to find a project that I’d feel requires it.
Make more dresses. This is a simple one but I think a necessity. I have a lot of separates and I like the easiness of pulling one item out of the closet without a need to match. So it is on my list just to feed into my laziness.
This was so the year of dresses. I do think #sewmystyle really helped me out on this one. There were two dresses that were made just for that! I made a total of eight through the year. Two have yet to be blogged. Okay that number sounds pitiful but for me it’s good!
I’m gonna keep them short and simple this year.
Home work wear
To wrap this up, here’s everything that I’ve made! Have a Happy New Year!
After my success with my first McPattern, how could I stop myself from making another? I wanted to make a big circle tank dress. I started off similar to my tank McPattern. It took a bit to figure out how tight I wanted the dress to my neck and how wide to make the straps. I did the same arc to figure out the curve on the bottom of the dress.
I sewed up the neck and shoulders of the dress first. Immediately I knew I was wrong. The straps were much farther from my neck and the neck scooped to low. I pulled the straps up and pinned them up to where the neckline hit my neck. I used chalk to mark a new line from the outer strap width down into the arm.
After my adjustments, I finished the neckline, arms and sides. It fit so much better! The problem I had now was the extra length I pulled up to move up the neckline made the dress short! Too short!
To remedy this issue, I picked up lace to trim the edge. That did it! It was light enough to keep the float of the rest of the fabric. I sergered the lace to the bottom and topstitched the edge for a clean finish.
This is ridiculously comfortable and surprisingly flattering. I’ve realized that anything with a lot of fabric at the bottom needs to be balanced with a more fitted top otherwise I end up looking like a potato.
I made another McPattern tank. This time in a knit! This was the last little bits of my $5 for 5 yds of grey fabric from Walmart. I made a maxi, dress and tank. There’s a few small pieces left that I would need to mix with something else to make anything. Talk about a deal!
I did topstitch both sides of the straps which I didn’t on the others. I felt that if I didn’t, the strap wouldn’t stay nice and flat.
I picked up a cotton shirting from Jo-Ann’s. I could not decide on a fabric for this dress. I shopped and shopped online but ended up going to Jo-Ann’s and deciding that I would not leave without something. The shirting is a navy blue with swiped on white dots. The cotton is light but still has enough body that the dress won’t fall flat. I did read over the post by Emily at Self Assembly Required. If I would have retained it a bit better it would have helped but I’ll get to that in a bit. She did mention that the sizing was a bit off and I agree. I cut a size small. I never do that… also just had a moment of déjà vu. Have I had this sizing issue recently? I also went with version 1 that has a gathered skirt. I think the other dress looks like a hospital gown with buttons in the front. Maybe that’s just me.
As I mentioned I cut a size small. The top sews up fast and I did sew it in the flat as the pattern suggests. I really didn’t see why it was a necessary suggestion but hey, who am I? I repeatedly tried the bodice on because I was nervous about the fit of a small but my measurements fit into the finished garment sizes so I was going with it. I attached the skirt and started to finish off the placket. That’s when the brain became the blame. I should have remembered from Emily that she thought the bust darts came up too high. I tried it on after finishing my plackets and realizing how much space I was losing. Uh oh! I fit but it was tight. That does not work! I pulled out a majority of one placket. I was not going to tear this whole dress apart. I resewed it about 3-4 times before it became acceptable and I fit appropriately. After I was sure about the one dart, I ventured to the other. So much better. I do want to look at those darts a bit more though before another go at this dress. They do go too high and I think they eat up too much of the bodice.
It took me a bit to decide on the length of the sleeves. I thought about hacking off the length and creating short sleeves. I ended up keeping the length to my elbow. I think a tulip sleeve might be a fun alternative for a future version. Do you also notice the back gives me some badonkadonk?
I chose little white buttons that would match the dots on the fabric. They do have a bit of a pearlescent kind of sheen and I think they complement the dress so much better than plain navy or standard white buttons.
I’m not sure how much of a hem the pattern suggested. I always hem my dresses last and at that point it’s what I want not what the pattern tells me. I made it a bit shorter than my knee. This tends to be the typical length I’ve been hemming my dresses at. See Simone and Sorbetto. All 3 are the same length. I go with the old rule of, as long as it’s past my fingertips it’s acceptable.
I wore this dress all day at work and not one wrinkle. Can you believe that? Especially of a 100% cotton? I’m amazed and totally delighted! Even with the 100 degree weather, I was still comfortable. I did add a little belt to enhance the transition from the bodice to the skirt. Is it weird that I love this picture because I have creepy dead eyes?
Very happy with this dress and pattern. A long bust dart won’t make me dislike this pattern. Next up is the Yona Wrap Coat by Named Clothing. I’m looking forward to this one and dreading it all at the same time!