So a year later and I am getting a jump on my summer dresses. Like I need more, ha! I just was rummaging in the closet to find another dress, so that a friend of mine could try it on (V1351, blogged here) and I was thinking it was time to purge a few - but that is tough, if I like 'em enough to keep 'em upon completion then I don't want to do that, despite few wearings.
This is the pattern that my friend Shams named the "Shingle Dress" based on the overlapping pieces that run down the entire front and back.
My verdict: Pattern love...although I had a few doubts along the way. But once completed I am ready to make another, or maybe a top.
Not sure how the fabric looks on whatever device you are viewing but those stripes create quite the optical illusion effect on my screen. How about a closer look? That's a bit better. The fabric is a cotton spandex blend from Girl Charlee, my absolutely favorite website for knits. I ordered 3 yards of this and have about 1.5 remaining, so I can experiment with some other t-shirt ideas. The description said aqua and brown stripe but the brown is very dark. In any case, another item with aqua/turquoise. I do have some other colors in the queue.
Here is a look at the pattern envelope, and the back of the dress which is the same as the front. I know I say this all the time but the examples on the pattern are not the most flattering, to me they are drab and droopy. Also note on the long sleeve version those strange drag lines at the inner arm. I started to make this with elbow length sleeves but they had a weird fit - perhaps because the sleeves are cut on the crosswise grain, and in doing the quick try-on in my sewing room I decided that sleeveless was much better.
Some construction and fitting details. I made a few adjustments for circumference on my pattern pieces adding a bit on the sides (by grading up a size at the sides only). I am not a fan of negative ease, even though I like fitted styles. I prefer a bit of ease or perhaps a better description is that I like my garments to float or skim over the body instead of stretching to fit. Adding a little on the sides worked out fine (also had to add to each overlay piece). I got the dress front and back machine basted together and the front looked fine but the back was ... not good. The only way to describe it is to say that the 2nd overlay from the top landed on the top of my backside and crumpled there. The horror. No photographic evidence. I kept fiddling with it for a day or so, thinking about taking a tuck from the underlining piece or some kind of swayback adjustment but that would actually make it worse. In the end I carried this along to a meeting with some sewing friends and put it on for them to judge. My friend Kathryn called it - the troublesome shingles needed to move upwards so the bottom edges didn't coincide with my bottom.
Better to show than describe. Here I have highlighted the original attachment seam line in red and the new improved seam line in green. It may look a bit wonky but the center of each shingle just needed to move up. You can see on the dress form that the 2nd shingle is a bit looser looking but not when worn, it settles into the waist area nicely. And I forgot to turn around when taking photos. Duh! So you will just have to believe me.
I used some poly knit lining that I had in my lining stash and I think the lining and the dress fabric had a slightly different degree of stretch, so that the pieces were fighting one another around the neckline and armholes.
For the neckline and armholes I skipped the pattern piece and used my favorite knit neckline binding technique from Threads magazine. It is kind of odd to use the lengthwise grain to make a neckline binding but it worked fine and the stripes look so good that way. Although the slight angle of the top piece is disturbing to a symmetry fanatic like me (that is intentional according to the pattern).
The only other oddball thing was that shingle pieces at the hip were a bit too loose where the pieces ended. Not sure how that happened but I attribute that also to the difference in stretch between the lining and the outer fabric. Fix seen below. Opened seam and pulled, then restitched. I also confess that my stripe matching at the sides was nonexistent, I purposefully chose this tiny stripe so I would not have to match it. Way too difficult with a 1/8" stripe. Who is going to see it?
So now that this one is done I am sure there will be another. But I always say that and then never get around to it. However this one - maybe a brighter version, Girl Charlee has so many fantastic stripes.
Despite the photo showing me posing in the garden surrounded by daffodils and jasmine blooming in the background it is not quite sleeveless dress weather. Not for a weather wimp like me. Very soon I hope. Tomorrow is forecast to have some much needed rain, so I will put away the summer dresses for a bit longer.
Today's SunnyGal garden photo - it has to be the striped tulip, right? These are repeats from last year, hurray!
Happy spring weekend sewing, Beth