Monday, January 30, 2012

Wrap dress love

When I'm not obsessively obsessing about finding the *perfect* shirt dress pattern, I'm on the hunt for the *perfect* wrap dress pattern.

Sure, I love the Colette Crepe. It's the best dress I've made so far this year. But the wrap is is in the back, not the front. I want the wrap in the front.

I've come across a few patterns though none of them really did it for me. The sleeves were weird or the dress itself was a little too dated. I did attempt to make a wrap dress last year, but my pattern choice was bad. New Look patterns are not for the faint of heart.

A lot of wrap dress patterns are designed for knits. I loathe knits. I don't like wearing them (aside from T-shirts). I've yet to come across a knit dress or skirt that didn't make me wholly uncomfortable.

Anyway, Butterick 5030 is nice enough. I'm not a fan of the sleeves.

Butterick 5030

Another Butterick offering, 5451, is okay too, except for the collar and lack of sleeves. I need sleeves to live.

Butterick 5451

I bought this out of print McCall's pattern thinking I had found the one. The skirt on this one is full. It's practically a circle skirt. This makes it a bit of a fabric hog; roughly 6 yards. I was never dedicated enough to a particular fabric to purchase almost 6 yards of it.

McCall's 5314

Now it seems like Vogue may have granted my wish for a simple, yet interesting wrap dress without weird sleeves, a collar or requiring knit fabric.

Vogue 8784
It's also fully lined. I LOVE that. I doubt that I'll wait until the next pattern sale. I want this now.

I desire some simplicity (excuse the pun) for my sewing adventures for the time being. January has been in a exercise in patience with multiple bodice fittings and sewing failures.

Please Vogue, don't let me down. We had a win last year. Let's have another in 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


You know, I hate it when pattern companies print one seam allowance in the general instructions but the actual pattern has another. I also hate it when I fail to notice before sewing.

Simplicity 2215 we were so close to love. So close.

I'm glad that I have extra fabric and lining. I'm not glad that I have to cut out the bodice and lining all over again.

I was on the fence about the dress. I like it, but I'm not in love with it. However, I did have the feeling that it would grow on me once I finished. Now, I have no desire to finish. To toss it into my ever-growing UFO pile would be such a waste. Aside from that blunder, sewing was going well.


Tonight, I will have my little hissy fit and leave it be. I have the weekend to work on it. This is just a minor setback. Not the end of the world.

Aside from that, I can feel myself cheaping out on the whole buying Liberty Tana lawn thing. I really want to buy a new bag. The price is about the same. Hmm.

Should I buy this (4 yards):

Liberty Tana Lawn: Wiltshire - Red/Green
Or this:

Fossil Vintage Re-issue

I can't decide. I want them both. That will not happen as the hubby and I plan to take a trip to New York in April/May.

Too many thoughts. I need to sleep on it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More rambling about Spring

Simplicity 2215 view A is on my sewing table (read: dining room table) at the moment. I'm this close to having it all cut out. Cutting out and tracing darts is my least favorite part of the sewing process. I think this is why I tend to avoid dresses with too many pieces to cut out.

Perhaps I'm just lazy ;)

Anywho, I'm using a poly/rayon gabardine (listed as "dress fabric") purchased from Trim Fabric. This was my first purchase from this site. It was super cheap and shipping took about a week. I'm not usually a fan of burgundy/maroon. Usually, I dance around those two shades...I like plum, red-violet, eggplant, etc. Since it's technically still "winter" here in Austin, I chose burgundy instead of yellow.

I can't wait for Spring to officially arrive. I think I may have posted about my yearning for Spring a few weeks ago.

I haven't had this blog a year yet and already I'm repeating myself. Sheesh.

Random update: My Colette Crepe is almost finished. I've procrastinated on hemming the damned thing. It is beautiful, I must admit.

Onward to ideas...

So, I came across this dress on Pinterest, from Anthropologie of course.

Grass Court Dress

Although I think the tennis racket eyelet is cute, there's no way in hell I would pay $168 for it. Nope, not gonna happen. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of eyelet. But I am a big fan of this dress. Like the Pinterest poster suggested, I can use a combination of  the Simplicity 2209 bodice and Simplicity 2444 skirt to make this dress happen. Actually, I wouldn't use the skirt from Simplicity 2444. I like the skirt on New Look 6910 or the gathered skirt of McCall's 6503.

Something like this.

I need something gray in my wardrobe. I think this dress would be excellent in gray. Not sure what kind of fabric yet.

This Spring, I also hope to add more shirts to my wardrobe. All I ever sew are dresses. That's fine and dandy, but sometimes I want to wear jeans or a skirt. I have three Tova shirts, one Colette Violet and a couple Sorbettos. That's about it.

To remedy this, I purchased New Look 6104, a cute and simple shirt that doesn't appear to be a sewing headache in the making:

New Look 6104

Views A and C look pretty cute. I already have some cotton lawn in mind.

I also purchased New Look 6831. It was a while ago. I tried looking it up on the Simplicity site and it's no longer available. Try ebay.

New Look 6831

I'd like to make View D but with the sleeves of View E. I am not a fan of short cap sleeves.

I need more ideas for shirts. I want to avoid square, boxy shirts (I'm looking at you, Colette Violet and Sorbetto). I'm not afraid of buttons but I think zippers in shirts are silly.  I also want to avoid cutesy shirts with Peter Pan collars (I see you, Colette Violet). One of those is enough. I don't have the personality necessary to wear a Peter Pan collar without smirking. Then again, I always smirk.

Shirt suggestions are welcomed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dreams of Liberty

With all the overtime I've worked this month, I decided that next month I will splurge on some fabric. I'm thinking Liberty Tana Lawn.

I'm hesitant, of course. It's not cheap. I want at least 3 - 4 yards. I have a dress in mind, but I haven't made a definite decision yet. Something simple and understated, I guess. That way the fabric would take center stage.

The most important decision is, however, which print do I choose? All of them are so very lovely.

Especially this one

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Picture day!

Eventually, I hope to write up a post about each of these dresses. For now, enjoy my awkward photos...also, my apologies for all the wrinkles...

Colette Peony

The Peony neckline gave me much grief. This is as close to "perfect" as it's going to get. I may make this pattern again, but with a scoop neck. I used the poplin from Fabric Mart's $1.99 poplin sale. My sister has since informed me that the fabric was not really poplin, but pima cotton broadcloth with stretch. She majored in textiles. I guess she would know. This explains a lot.

Simplicity 2246 view C

Ahh, Simplicity 2246 aka the Lisette Traveler dress. I finished this dress back in August. I did write a post about my progress. I wore this while in Chicago; I haven't worn it since except to take this photo. Not one of my favorites.

Kwik Sew 3023
Another dress made with the aforementioned Fabric Mart "poplin." I do like this dress a lot. It's Kwik Sew 3023. I made it on a whim. The fit is fine although I may lengthen the sleeves next time.

That's all for now. I'm back to working on my Crepe. Perhaps I'll post photos later on next week.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Looking forward to spring...

...already. Even though it's practically "spring" here in least for the next week. This gets the gears in my head turning and planning for spring. It's always dresses, dresses, dress here. I want to break from this habit but it won't be happening any time soon.

First up, I'm working on my Colette Crepe. Remember my Crepe fail from last August? I got over myself. I don't know why I couldn't just draft a new facing to replace the lost one. I did that two days ago and so far, so good. I'm using some wonderful cotton lawn (black with white polka dots) courtesy of TexStyles here in Austin. The fabric is lovely and even more lovely to sew.

I had planned to use this fabric for McCall's 6503 view B, but while digging around in my fabric bin I came across my Colette Crepe muslin. I tried it on and damn, I must say, that it was a perfect fit. Why I freaked out so badly back in August I will never know. The only thing that I didn't enjoy was all the pieces involved---I underlined the dress since the lawn was pretty thin. Double the cutting table fun.

Hopefully, I will finish it by next week. I've also put in some work on my Darling Ranges dress muslin. I did my very first full bust adjustment on this pattern. There was no way it would fit otherwise. It's been tricky so far.

Finally, I want to make another shirt dress. I'm a wee bit obsessed. I came across this dress and now I must make another:

MaelleMadeByHand on etsy

I bought a vintage pattern very similar to this dress but I lack the patience to make all the necessary adjustments. I thought about combining patterns---perhaps the skirt from McCall's 6503 (view A gathered skirt) and the bodice of Simplicity 2403 (view A bodice with different sleeves). I want to use patterns that I have in the stash. I don't want to use Simplicity 2246 (view C) again (I'm not a fan of the collar). I think gray poplin or shirting would be perfect. If only I could find some that was good quality and reasonably priced.

That's it for now. I should have been in bed an hour ago.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Colette Licorice: The dress that almost broke me.

Like everyone else in the sewing world, I nearly lost my shit when the Colette Sewing Handbook came out.
The Colette Sewing Handbook

Five patterns for almost the same cost of one pattern?! Thank you Amazon. To say that I was excited would be the understatement of 2011.

I got the book and browsed through all of the patterns. I was on the fence about every one of them. You see, until this point I had been completely unsuccessful at making a Colette dress. I made the Sorbetto and Violet with relative ease, however, when I attempted to make one the dress patterns I experienced a level of fail that made me shriek with anger.

The Crepe was my first attempt. I lost one of the sleeve facing pieces. Then I made the mistake of reading every sewing blog about the Crepe and became quite overwhelmed. The obsession with having "the perfect fit" made it nearly impossible for me to make this dress. I made a muslin then gave up.

A couple months later, I purchased the Parfait pattern. This dress came together much more easily. I decided to be creative and add piping around the midriff band. Then, I added the invisible zipper. It broke. Frustrated but determined, I took it out and replaced it with another invisible zipper. It broke as well. The dress has been in my UFO pile ever since.

The Peony almost broke me. I could not get the neckline to work for me at all. Everything below it fit just perfectly. Eventually I screamed "F%#@^ it" and cut 1 1/2" off the neckline and used bias tape to finish it. It's not perfect but it'll do. Photos and a blog post of its very own will are on the way.

For New Year's, I wanted something classy and simple. By simple, I meant "ease of construction." I didn't want anything that required a lot of detail or pattern pieces. I wanted a quiet, simple sewing project. There is no such thing.

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