Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Summer Dress

I did it - I made one of the dresses I talked about in my last post!

In that post, I said that I was DYING over this outfit and wanted to try to knock it off: 

Well, my look obviously looks NOTHING like this, but I still love it! (That being said, if I find some blue floral fabric like that, I am snapping it up RIGHT away to make another one of these.) Part of my love for this dress is due to the fact that this is my first completed make from a commercial (big 4) pattern! I did try it on with my jean jacket, but it didn't really work, so I switched it up with this new ivory cardigan instead.

[I swear I'm not pissed in these photos. I still haven't perfected posing and smiling for these photo shoots. But isn't the mural awesome?!]

I used Simplicity 4070, view A for the bodice, along with some small-print floral quilting cotton. The skirt is self-drafted with soft box pleats some heavy knit fabric from my stash  (with probably enough left over for a skirt on another dress!). 

I obviously added some straps, which are still a bit too long, and used some heavy cotton lining I recently bought. Despite the heavy knit skirt and lining, I think this will be a very light, wearable dress for summer. 

I used a double needle for the hem, but didn't get it quite right since I couldn't figure out how to keep the threads from twisting. I do think it makes for an interesting detail, though. I used white thread because I didn't have a blue that matched closely enough - I thought complete contrast was better than not-quite-matching, though I might go back and redo that at some point.

I don't have a good close-up of the detailing, but I am SUPER proud of the topstitching on this make. (And though they look like polka dots in this picture, they're actually little flowers.)

Other than that, I cut a straight size 18, and it fit pretty well right from the pattern. The only issue I had was with some underarm gaping, which I think you can tell from these pictures that I fixed pretty well. :) This happens to me with a LOT of store-bought tops I buy, and it bugs the heck out of me. Luckily, I can fix it pretty well myself these days. For this dress, rather than ripping the whole thing apart, I just added some underarm dart-type things, which smoothed out very nicely. 

I definitely think this will be a go-to pattern in the future, especially once I modify the pattern pieces a little to match where I took this dress in.

(There are no pretty pictures of the inside, because it's really not all that pretty. The one picture I had of the back was also really blurry. I think my zip insertion is still a bit wonky, but the friend who took these pictures assured me that it looks fine, so yay for that!)

I know a lot of people have some very strong opinions on using quilting cotton for garments, but I figure it's good for me to get some practice with whatever's lying around. Once I make my way through my stash and allow myself to really start buying again, maybe I'll sing a different tune. What are your thoughts on the debate?

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