That last post was slightly serious - even though I am very happy with that blue dress - so it's time to switch gears and indulge in something frivolous, a completely unnecessary floral frock. Say that 5 times fast. I like that word frock, it seems to be used mostly by Australians as far as I can tell. Do you say that in the UK? Here is the US we only have the word "dress" for this garment. Maybe frock will catch on. It sounds quaint to me, like something from a movie set in the 20's or 30's. Although Frocktails - that is something I can get behind. Perhaps I should organize for the bay area. Anyone interested?
But this post is all about me, and my birthday. Aaagh, how narcissistic that sounds. but after all a sewing blog is sometimes a bit narcissistic - or at least self indulgent, filled with photos of one's self modeling the latest creations. I do admire the people who can make their photos very interesting, sadly I am not one of them, and have to hope that I can get some shots that are at a minimum in focus and the garment is visible. But for my birthday I am usually on vacation so the background is at least improved:)
I have mentioned my pattern love for this one before and decided to make a version for myself, as I have sewn this pattern at least 10 times but never once made it for me. It is Butterick 5455 which is sadly OOP. I have mentioned before that I think this is a stellar pattern, looks good on lots of figures, has pockets! and a very pretty neckline front and back. Here is my previous post with a number of versions pictured.
Front and back on the dress form. I mentioned in my previous post that this is a sleeveless dress which is designed as a sleeveless dress. One of my pet peeves is patterns which have sleeved and sleeveless versions, when you take off the sleeves I find the armhole and shoulder to be a bit clunky which this pattern avoids.
The fabric is a remnant that I found at Stone Mountain earlier this summer. I actually bought it as my sister mentioned wanting a ponte dresses, then I found a dress in her size on sale in just her colors (navy blue and white) My sis and I have a challenge of finding things for each other on the super sale rack. She started it years ago and now we hunt for some perfect item with a price limit of $ 10 in summer and $ 15 in winter. Anything is fair game from exercise wear to tops, dresses, pants and even shoes. You would be surprised how fun it is to shop for someone else with no pressure, with just the potential to find something perfect. I think we are even so far (sisterly competition of course :).
I am not the biggest fan of ponte and the colors might be too bright for some - although not for me. Turquoise and coral in one print, how could I resist?
I didn't really try to match anything however now I see that the print kind of flows across the back skirt. so yay! and eek I need to get to the gym after this vacation - great meals going right to my hips. Oh well, that's what vacations are for.
How about a little inside view and some fitting info?
I made a size 12 which is my typical Vogue/Butterick/McCalls size and this dress is well proportioned so I would not say there is any excessive ease. I always cut things out with a 1 inch side seam allowance at the hip and then fit it as I go on the body, to create just the right fit and hip curve. This metal ruler is something I've had for ages and so useful for long curved seams. And Frixon pens.
I don't usually take fitting photos in the mirror but I was working on this one and realized it would illustrate one of my fitting mantras which is "pinch an inch". Reading other blogs and feedback on pattern fit I think the preference is very close fitting garments but I prefer a slight difference between the body and the garment measurements makes it so much more pleasant to wear, and actually hangs better on the figure, with no drag lines or pulling. So this dress is fitted but I can "pinch an inch" at the side seam, meaning that it might measure about 2 inches more than my measurement. Of course with knits you can have less ease but with a woven that 2 inches in circumference is really necessary.
and ignore my messy floor - plus my footwear :) those are my sewing clogs. Never step on a pin with those on my feet.
Other fit adjustments, I added a bit of length in the upper part of the bodice, about 1 inch at the center.
The yellow line marks where the pattern piece would have been without the addition. Look at the above photo and imagine if I had not added that front bodice length, the seam would have been too high and bisecting at an awkward spot. Interestingly I didn't need to shorten the back bodice which I typically do. I also took it up at the shoulder seam about an extra 1/2 inch which is also typical.
Inside view, lined the bodice with a white poly lining and left the skirt unlined. It's kind of hard to see but the hem mark is thread traced. Once I decide on the hem I usually run a thread trade along the fold and then I can unpin and finish the dress without having pins come out or losing the hem place. It takes a couple of minutes but actually makes the garment easier to handle for the last few steps.
So that's the scoop on this year's birthday dress. The weather has been great despite the state being in the path of 3 hurricanes in a row - which all have taken a turn and moved their direction away from the islands. A little more rain than usual, and very hot and humid. But the alternative could have been a lot worse! And we are all saying that it will seem extra brown and dry when we get home to drought stricken California.
Beach day tomorrow and then dinner at one of my favorite restaurants - what a perfect way to spend a birthday.