A dress almost in time for Easter.

Almost an Easter dress

Almost an Easter dress

I made another dress. If we need an excuse, let’s call it an Easter dress, though it wasn’t done in time for Easter, nor was it dress weather.

Butterick 5317

The pattern is Butterick 5317, which is reminiscent in silhouette to the Danielle Dress of yore. Or at least reminiscent of my version of it, which had an extra pleat in the front. Or maybe they’re only reminiscent in my head…  The skirt on this one is more full (more pleats). I must admit, although this style ticks a lot of my boxes—scoop neck! Empire waist! Just-above-knee-length!—the pleats had me a bit worried. That sudden release right at the waist seamed like it would be T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Which wasn’t enough to keep me from tackling this dress ind fairly-stiff cotton sheeting and sateen. Sensible, I am not always.

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Side zip (very short… long story) and piping. Did I mention I love piping?

There is no back seam, so I presume the pattern expects you to insert a side zip. You may presume, from my presumption, that I did not actually read the instructions. Probably this would’ve been a good idea, as it probably covered how to insert both the satisfyingly giant pockets and a side zip in the same seam. I know this can be done, but I’ve never done it, and didn’t feel up to the challenge of figuring it out myself. Or the challenge of reading, apparently. So I just made my zip really short, ending above the pocket bag, which is approximately level with the waist. This works because a) my waist is pretty big, and b) my fabrics, even the 100% cotton print, had quite a lot of give.

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Hem band. I was kinda surprised this wasn’t doubled. If I hadn’t decided to line the entire skirt, I would definitely double it.

I do love the hem band.

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Can you see the pleats here?

I made my usual suite of alterations—shortening both the straps and between underbust and waist. The strap thing may have been unnecessary, as it’s quite high under the arm, and while the waist does sit in a good spot, the “waist” on this dress is defined much more by where you release the pleats than by the slight shaping at the side-seam. Although I do think that slight shaping is quite helpful. After an initial try-on, I lengthened the stitching on all the pleats by about 4 cm, and I like it much better where it is now. I think it contains the poof nicely. I should add before I forget that the straps sit a bit wide, and I don’t have narrow shoulders. VBS chic is a real probability.

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I tried to get a shot that showed the pleats, but it was very hard. I guess that’s the goal?

I decided early on I wanted to line the skirt, not just the bodice. Not long after that, I realized that I would have to stitch the pleats in lining and top skirt as one, or languish in bulk forever. (Bulk at the waist is what we are trying to avoid here, peeps.) The way to do it, obviously, was to construct the cylinder of each skirt, sew them together at the hem, fold the lining to the inside, and then add the pleats. I did accomplish this, although there was definitely some head-scratching about the pockets and the zip.

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Hem.

I wrangled with myself about doing a swayback alteration, since there is no back seam and no waist-seam; I did in the end shave some off top and bottom at the raised waist seam, and there is very little tendency to wrinkle in the back, so I’ll call it a win, and the under-bust seam is more “level” than it would’ve been without.

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Back view, just like the front view.

Did I mention I went down a size? The pattern has a full 2″ of ease at the bust, which isn’t bad but is a touch more than I like for a fitted style. I think my down-sizing was successful in the fabrics I chose, stretch cotton sateen for the bodice and stretch poplin for the lining, but would’ve been uncomfortable in more stable fabrics. I did grade back up to a size 12 at the hips, although I suspect given the volume of the skirt in that area that it didn’t make a lick of difference.

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The pockets are large and functional, although somewhat hampered by my decision to sandwich them between the two layers of the skirt.

But those really are some excellent pockets.

I am content.

I am content.

I must admit, I’m kinda curious what the pattern would look like in a softer, flowing fabric; the example on the envelope  is very similar to mine, crisp and rather blocky. Which isn’t necessarily bad, especially with those pleats, but I think it just might be really lovely in a soft satin or something else equally evil to sew with. For now, though, I’ll just be happy if we can get weather that actually allows me to wear it outside!

(Also, I feel like I should add, the dress is navy, not black.  I was attempting to kick my black-and-white-with-occasional-red kick. Probably this is futile, especially when I keep choosing colours that read as black half the time…)

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Once more with feeling!

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I made another version of Kwik Sew 717, this one with absolutely no lace. Plain jane, pure function. I think I’m almost done with the slips. Almost. Although there’s still a couple of patterns I’d like to try and Funnygrrl sent me some great skin-tone fabric it’d be awesome to use. Cuz she’s awesome that way. Especially her latest post on body image and negative self talk.

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There isn’t much to say about it. I made a slight small-bust adjustment, removing about half a cm from the width of each cup, and shaving about the same amount off the bottom. I should’ve left out the two funny little darts and kept the gathers, but I didn’t think about this until after the darts were cut and sewn. So the cups aren’t as pretty as they might be otherwise. They do seem to fit better than the first ones, at least sans bra.

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I used the shell hem, top and bottom. I might be getting good at it.

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The first slip I had lengthened about four inches; this one I made the original length, just for variety. I didn’t need to take in the side seams on this one. Maybe because the fabric is less stretchy than the lace, maybe because the cups fit better so I didn’t feel the need to pull it as tight to get “fit”. You can still see some puckering on the side seam—I didn’t stretch quite enough, I guess, while sewing them. The Rocketeer is a workhorse, but she may have a few tension issues. Probably a machine spa day would be in order…

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And you get arty modeled photos because that’s the only filter that didn’t show anything under the slip. Not great but better than dressform pics. I hope.

Happy eggs ‘n bunnies day! We’re off to the farm to enjoy “spring,” which in the last few days has included about four inches of snow and freezing rain, which I think is actually worse than a full-blown blizzard. But hopefully we’ve turned a corner now. Because I have springy dresses to wear with my slip, dammit!

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A slip before breakfast

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I am definitely on a roll. Or perhaps just avoiding other, less fun, projects. Regardless of the reasons, I got up last Sunday, and cut out two more slips from my nylon tricot, finishing one before breakfast.

In my defense, it was a half-slip, and a rather late breakfast.

A half slip is sorta like diet food, I think. All the right elements seem to be there, yet somehow the good stuff is missing. This slip doesn’t exactly make me wriggle with delight, nor does it ooze demure sexiness.

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This is another early Kwik Sew pattern, if you can call a trapezoid with a slight curve over the hip a pattern. I had a bit of a scare when I opened the envelope (I’m very lax about checking through my vintage patterns—I’ve only had one or two severe disappointments, so I don’t feel very motivated to improve my care)—what came out first was a Sew-Knit-n-Stretch girls’ slip pattern and instructions (actually a pattern I also have… I will have to check and see if it has its contents.) Fortunately, KS204 was tucked inside, too. There’s lots of room—it takes up about as much space as a couple of sheets of looselesaf.

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It had been cut to size small, which was fine for me, at least about the hips. Around the waist, well, the pattern sizing is for a 25 1/5″ waist. I haven’t had one of those since I was 15. I added a bit, although it turned out it probably wasn’t necessary. Though the amount of ease seems about right throughout, so maybe it was a good idea.

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The lace is (yet another) stretch-lace from my stash. It’s one I’ve been coddling for years, because I absolutely adore it—and after looking at lace pretty much non-stop for the last few weeks (ok, whenever I was sewing, which once you subtract work and a modicum of family time, is not much), I have to say I really, really, really like this motif even more than I thought I did. Anyway, I’d been thinking I was saving it for the hem of a cami or tee, but when I was digging around for lace for this project, I realized that the elastic is getting that feel. The one where you’re afraid to stretch it because it may not go back again. So I opted to use it for something where the elasticity isn’t key. (And, if it becomes completely misshapen and gross when the elastic dies, I’ve only wasted a few square feet of material. And at least this way I can enjoy it for a short while.)

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While there was not much to the pattern (one piece cut on the fold, identical for front and back), the instructions were nice to have, if only so I didn’t have to actually think about anything. I determined I had enough of the lace to surround the bottom and do a nice “slit” piece up the side; I spent probably more time arranging the lace to get the motifs to match up, as best they could (not being symmetrical) across the top of the slip. The pattern suggested cutting the lace; of course, I wanted to try and trim around my motifs. Which only sorta works since they aren’t symmetrical, but I think I managed to get close enough. Although the sharp, symmetrical top might’ve been more striking.

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I have to admit, my first thought on trying it on was “…. eh.” Not exactly sexy. Give me a full slip any day. And it sits at my natural waist, which is never a good look for me. But I think it will have a place in my wardrobe, and once the clothes are on top the little hints of lace are as much fun as any regular slip.

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Your Grandma’s Slip

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Kwik Sew 717

So if Butterick 6031 is not your grandma’s slip, Kwik Sew 717 totally is. Or at least, your mom’s. Ok, my mom’s. “Designed for knit and stretch fabric, nylon tricot” as the pattern proclaims. I eventually settled on this one out of the several stash contenders for my ivory “vintage” slip. However, I was also determined to use the 2m of lovely wide stretch lace I got at the same time, rather than just making the pattern up as-is. I think I like the result, but it definitely added another layer of complexity to a project that already had plenty of unknowns. First I decided I wanted to use my lace for the cups. This required some piecing, since the cups are one-piece and I wanted the scalloped edge of the lace to follow both the upper edges of the cups. I wouldn’t say I’ve done a lot of lace piecing, but I did a wee bit on Gertie’s slip (and more last summer, by hand), so I felt comfy stretching myself just a little bit more.

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Lace piecing, with a narrow zig-zag stitch.

I cut chunks of lace long enough to overlap at the right angle and cover as much of the pattern-piece as possible. I pinned them in place at the correct angle so the scalloped edge would follow the top edges of the cup pattern piece. I put some tissue paper underneath for added stability, and then zig-zag stitched across the pieces, starting at the top point, to join them.   I quite like it, lining up the pieces and zig-zagging along the edge of this motif or that—it’s kind of like a maze, finding your way across the fabric to where you’d like to end up. Excpept for the part where, on my first cup, I did an awesome job of following the outline of a rose which, it turned out, was on the side of the zig-zag that needed to be trimmed off, leaving some distinctly nonsensical and not-terribly-invisible zig-zags. I contemplated re-doing it, but at this stage in construction I wasn’t sure if I was even going to end up with a wearable garment, never mind a pretty one, and also THIS THING IS TOTALLY SEE-THROUGH NO ONE BUT ME AND OSIRIS IS EVER GOING TO SEE IT. Well, and now half the internet, but y’know.

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See my awesome nonsense zigzag?

I made skinny self-straps, as suggested by the pattern. Oh, and they instructed you to use the bobby-pin method for turning! ACE!

With a bit of alteration, I figured I could make the upper back piece out of lace as well. The slip has an odd back with a curved seam partway down—interesting, and it gave me the opportunity to do some swayback altering, so that was nice, but it’s a bit random, especially since it’s not like the upper back piece is terribly fitted. But it looked nice out of lace.

The fit of the cups was interesting. There are two small darts on either side of a gathered portion along the top. And the sizing is about right for me in a bra (it takes a bit of padding to bring me up to standard pattern bust size), but the shape fits actually much better “au natural.” I do think the sizing would be better in the fashion fabric—the lace is pretty stretchy. A little too stretchy, really, but again. Experimentation and learning.

Back view, with lace panel

Back view, with lace panel

Anyway, once I had the cups pieced and the back cut, I still had quite a bit of lace left over, so I thought it would be a great idea to add a wide lace panel down the front. Gorgeous, right? 20140331-205742.jpg   Well, yes. Aside from the bit where the lace stretched more than the nylon and despite all my careful pinning there’s a bit of puckering that just won’t go away. And the width of the panel seems to alter the drape of the skirt, which isn’t entirely awesome. I’m hoping that the gorgeousness of the lace itself will carry it.

Slip front, imperfect drape

Slip front, imperfect drape, also not positioned on the dress-form terribly well.

Oh, wait. NO ONE’S GOING TO SEE THIS. This is the thing, every time I hit a snag or a problem with this piece, this kept occurring to me. Even if this is the most barely-wearable of wearable muslins, it’ll probably be a usable wardrobe staple. I should maybe also mention that I really struggled with the side-seams for this piece—they kept puckering. Eventually (the third time I redid them!) I stretched the hell out of the nylon tricot while I was sewing and that seemed to do it. The opposite problem of what I’m used to with knits. I should perhaps clarify here that I made this slip entirely on the standard sewing machine (going retro, natch). I used a narrow, short zig-zag (1.5 length, 3 width, if you’re interested) for pretty much everything. The Rocketeer’s manual recommended this, and also topstitching with the zig-zag after as a neat finish on lingerie. Then I trimmed any seam-allowances down to pretty much nothing. We’ll see how that holds up, anyway—it certainly looks nice for now. I wasn’t surprised, being a Kwik Sew, that the seam-allowances on the cups were only 1/4″, but I was a bit startled that the side-seam allowances were only 1/8″. That’s, like, barely there. Seriously. So no trimming was necessary down the sides. (This turned out to be a good thing, since I cut them off and re-sewed three times. I only lost a teeny bit each time.)

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Pieced lace scallop along the hem.

I did a little more lace-piecing along the bottom of the lace strip, to get a nice bottom edge. Stretch lace is not the easiest for this kind of piecing, I think—I could’ve had a bit more tension on my pieced in bit. But, it looks pretty nice, and I don’t know how else I could’ve finished the edge.

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Shell hem.

I played with a couple of hemming ideas—I had originally gotten a “matching,” somewhat narrower lace for the hem, but once I got it home it became obvious that it was much less shiny and much more white than my main lace. Not right. The pattern suggests a lettuce-edge (which is just a tight overcasting zig-zag while stretching the fabric), but I couldn’t get it to work without my fabric scooting to the side, so that wasn’t in the cards. So I settled for a shell hem, once I had looked up the settings on the Rocketeer and played with the stitch length. This fabric is absolutely made for a hem like this, I have to say. I’ve never had such a nice, even result. It’s a bit low-key compared to the crazy lace, but I think it works. OH AND NO ONE WILL SEE IT.

 

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Random detail closeup. You can see my topstitched seamline.

So really, this slip was a learning experience, more than anything else. Practice with techniques and fabrics I haven’t used much. Fun, and weirdly low-key BECAUSE NO ONE WILL SEE IT. I actually want to do it all over again, right away, without the lace, just to see how that compares. And because I’m not entirely convinced the lace will work really well for under the white dresses. Being see-through ‘n all. And without all the fussing with lace-piecing, I think this would be a really quick, easy make.

 

Vogue 8912

I think slips might be a bit addictive, though. Aside from wanting to do this one all over again, I really want to try Vogue 8219 now, but it’s for a bias woven, and while I have a bit of ivory charmeuse kicking around somewhere, I don’t really think it’s enough. I love those seam-lines, though…

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Gertie Slip

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Gertie’s Slip Pattern—Butterick 6031

So I wanted to make a slip. OK, frankly, I’ve needed a new one for a few months now. The beat-up old blue storebought one I have (which I’ve had longer than  I’ve had my husband, having purchased it in the golden age of vintage shopping, aka the 90s) broke a strap not long after Christmas, and I’ve just been pinning it in place for lack of a better option. Because if one wants to wear a dress, in the winter, in Canada, a slip goes a surprisingly long way towards making a ridiculously-not-warm-enough outfit just borderline wearable. Especially when it facilitates the wearing of thermal tights. And I really, really, really wanted to make Gertie’s new slip pattern, because, well, ERMAGERDCUTE. Confession: I really really wanted to make it just exactly like the cover, in black with cream lace. Although I knew I needed a light-coloured slip, badly, too.

Well, Fabricland had absolutely no plain, black, slippery, stretchy knit fabric. They did have the old-fashioned nylon knit (the stuff your grandma’s slips were made of. Ok, the stuff my dying blue slip is made of), but I didn’t think that would work for this particular pattern (I think I was right, by the way.) So instead I walked out with some ERMAGERDCUTE nylon swimsuit fabric, and half a metric ton of black stretch lace. And some ivory old-fashiong lingerie knit, but that’s another story.

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So, you may have noticed how Gertie’s selling kits for her slip? That’s SUCH A GOOD IDEA. Because figuring out everything you need from the bloody teeny text on the back of the envelope is not. easy. I read it fifteen times and still missed half of it. Like the 1/2″ lace for making the front half of the straps. It turned out all right because I found a really nice lingerie elastic I wanted to use for the whole straps, but still.  I did remember the strap-sliders kit. I messed up on the lace pretty badly, but we’ll get to that.

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Once I cut everything out, I decided to start with the briefs, since that seemed a little simpler (and easier to recut if I really screwed it up.) Which, by the way, I did. I wasn’t paying too much attention when I grabbed my lace—I knew it called for a couple of different widths, and just grabbed one wider and one narrower that I liked.

Tanit-Isis Fail.

The wider lace was about 2″ wide. The pattern called for 1.5″. That 1/2″ is a big deal, as you can see above. On the left—great. On the right, um, not quite such a good look. Yes, I sat and picked that out. A frickin’ teeny little zigzag in swimsuit fabric. Did I want to kill myself? Only a little. On the plus side, once I had it all fixed, they fit like a dream; I did lower the front rise about an inch (a personal preference, I think), but the rear coverage was just right.

(PS, any of you who remember my last attempt at lace-trimmed undies, remember how wide I found the crotch after? You will not have that problem with this pattern. Teeniest little skinny crotch ever. Very comfy, although I wouldn’t recommend wearing pads with these. Also, the crotch-liner piece ends up pretty funny looking. Yeah, I also forgot to buy any cotton jersey for that. Fortunately I’m a fabric hoarder stasher and have enough white cotton knit bits kicking around for a small army of undies.)

 

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I like Gertie’s option for using lace for the front of the straps (though I wouldn’t use a stretch lace, and I’m not sure this is specified, and the rest of the lace in the pattern has to be stretch), but I have been lusting after this lingerie elastic since it came in to my local Fabricland last fall sometime. You can just about see, in the photo above, the cool shiny/not shiny designs on it. I like. And clear plastic sliders and rings, because that’s really all Fabricland has. Silver would’ve been perfect.

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Figuring out how to thread a slider for an adjustable strap always takes me a few tries and a lot of looking at an existing bra for reference. I started by sewing the rings on the back (opposite of how Gertie’s instructions have you do them, solely because I didn’t have the ornamental separate front portion of my strap.) But, I managed to get them on and the fancy side facing out. Also, starting at the back makes it much easier to get the strap length right when fitting on yourself. Although that’s not nearly as important for adjustable straps like these, anyway. I sewed my straps in two places, at the top of the lace and where the lace joins the main fabric.

I did the vast majority of the construction (everything but the side-seams) on my regular sewing machine using a zig-zag. The only thing I don’t like is the black zig on the white fabric on the inside—kinda highlights every little inconsistency in stretching, stitch-speed, and trimming. I considered using a white bobbin thread, but that might have shown on the outside unless I fiddled with the tension, in which case the black would still have shown on the inside. So I am sucking up the black. I won’t give a flying anything once I’m wearing it.

 

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Fortunately, the way the pattern is designed lets you swap in pretty much whatever width of lace you like, because you apply the lace then trim away the fabric behind. I had to get more of my “narrow” lace (because that was working much better for most of the pattern), but I was still able to use the wider lace in a couple of places—under the bust and along the hem. I will note—there are a lot of different seam allowances in this pattern—none, 1/4″, 5/8,” and I think maybe a 3/8″ as well. I forgot to double-check and sewed my front cup pieces together with a 1/4″ seam allowance that should’ve been 5/8″. So my top front was too wide for my bottom front. Not figuring out what was going on until after, I just eased this in and went with it (which is easy with such a stretchy fabric), but it means my straps and darts fall just a little wider than they should. Not a big deal for me, but if you had narrow or sloping shoulders I bet it would not be great.

Lace finishing

I had a lot of fun piecing the lace for this. It’s very basic. Overlap the lace in the shape you want. Zig-zag it down. Trim off the bits you don’t want on either side. (Optional: follow the pattern of the lace so your zig-zag almost disappears).

I didn’t do much to tweak the pattern, other than my reckless use of inappropriate lace. I made a slight shortening adjustment to the length between underbust and waist. I didn’t even attempt a swayback alteration on the back (it would essentially have ended up being a wedge taken off the top of the back piece anyway). I did grade out to a size 14 for the back skirt, because I often find the side-seams trend to the back for me (this is another side-effect of swayback, more than the actual size of my butt), and this did help a lot with the problem. To the extent that it is a problem, anyway.

Slip: back view, with lace.

Slip: back view, with lace. If you wanted to continue the lace panel on the back, you could just mark where the front lace would match up with it, sew the lace on top, and trim away the slip fabric behind it.

I really did want to add lace across the upper back, however. As drafted the pattern is kinda coffin-clothes, with all the lace (except at the hem) on the front. I just  removed the seam-allowance from the top of the back piece, placed and zig-zagged down the lace, and removed the fabric from behind. Now, stretch-lace does not make the sturdiest of finishes, as we’ve discussed before, which I’m sure is why Gertie didn’t put it all across the back. For a modicum of extra elasticity, I added some clear elastic right at the join of the lace to the back piece. I also chose to live dangerously and skip the really-skinny elastic supporting the edge of the stretch lace in the front. Probably not a good idea for the longevity of my slip, but I can always add it in later, when I learn the error of my ways. So I tell myself.

 

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So, can I just say, I love this pattern just as much as I thought I would have? In particular, it’s drafted with the perfect amount of negative ease! (For my fabric, anyway.) As I said, I made my usual size 12, and I put it on, fully expecting to have to take in the side-seams (as one normally does with Big 4 knit patterns). NOPE! PERFECT! Snug through bust, easy skimming through the hips. YAAAAY!

It looks better on me

It looks better on me

And if I do say so myself, it looks considerably cuter on me than on my dress-form. The only problem is, it may be too cute to put clothes over top of. In which case I suppose I’ve made myself a new nightie, not a slip. I guess I might just have to make another…

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That 70s Dress: Cream & Red edition

Because I am creative with titles.

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This isn’t the dress I wanted to make. That is, I figured I would make this other dress: (yes, just exactly like the envelope) but I couldn’t find the pattern. It’s around somewhere. >_<

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So, fall back. Simplicity 7806 from 1976. Equally cute, and almost as high on the (admittedly rather dusty) “must make” list. The fabric is deep stash, an ivory-coloured stretch suiting bought from a thrift store in my first year of blogging. (I just totally missed my fourth blogiversary last week, by the way.)

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I think it looks kinda Regency. Which is pretty fun, actually. The pattern is a size 10, a size smaller than I usually make. Since my fabric has a fair bit of stretch (although I didn’t notice until after I had cut it out that there was a lot more stretch lengthwise than widthwise… headdesk), I figured it would be workable. I made my usual bodice-petiting and swayback alterations, and added some extra width on the side-seams of the skirt. I love these 70s A-line skirts, but they need to skim, not cling, and last time I made a size 10 there was, ah, clinging.

Anyway, I got the waist in the right place, but arguably it might’ve been better had I taken less height out of the yoke (which is a single piece that wraps from front to back—now that I’ve made it it’s pretty simple but I was having a hard time visualizing how to alter it beforehand) and more height between bust and waist. Although I think I like where the underbust seam sits, even if it technically is a bit high. It’s hard to say with that curved seam, though—it feels perfect in the middle, high at the sides. But if it were perfect at the sides, it would probably seem too low in the middle? It’s a funny shape, anyway.

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I paid a bit more attention to fitting the back than I sometimes do; I wound up taking in the back waist by over an inch on each side of the zipper. It clings fairly well, now, and then skims, although the bottoms of those darts could probably use a bit of fussing over. Hard to say—this fabric is heavy on the polyester, and while it presses fairly well, it does love to pucker.

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I got lazy gave the blind hem stitch on the Rocketeer a try. As with everything on this damn machine, you have to look up the settings—intuitive it is not—but once I figured out the recommended setup it was pretty easy. Although not particularly invisible in this fabric. Except in the places I completely missed the hem. /sigh Wel, it was fast. I love how the manual assures us that the blind stitch is “comparable to hand-finishing.” The hand hem is the gold standard. As it should be. ;)

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In this photo you can see (maybe) the main fit issue with this dress—pulling across the shoulder. When I saw this my first thought was “I overdid the petiting,” which is certainly possible, but I think actually this is a problem of either a) my size 12 shoulders in a size 10 shoulder-piece, or b) that I didn’t bother with a square shoulder adjustment. I generally try to avoid them in these sort of cap-sleeve styles, especially since I couldn’t really visualize how to do one, but now that I have it finished I think cutting a slash along the shoulder line of the yoke (once I determined where the shoulder line should be) and then adding in a wedge at the outer edge, narrowing to nothing at the neck, would’ve been just what the doctor ordered.

Overall, I’d say this was the perfect fabric for this dress—drapey, with lots of polyester ;). The spandex may not be period, but the pattern does suggest lightweight knits as an option. I used the piping to finish the upper central neckline and back; below you can see my overlocked edges, and the hand-finished interior of the yoke. Overlocking anywhere near the red piping may turn out to have been a really bad idea, as that stuff frays like (words I won’t say on blog). Fray Check was my friend. I didn’t notice the problem so much on the Butterflied dress, where I used the same piping, but then that was more short, straight seams and it all ended up lined anyway. I don’t think I did much grading of seams, which I had to do lots of here.

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The biggest problem I have is that, being white (ok, ivory), my fabric isn’t, um, quite as opaque as another colour in the same weight would be. I think a white or nude slip is going to be in order before this one leaves the house. Which is too bad, because it really deserves better than headless bathroom selfies. And I will be really pissed with myself if I’ve made another dress I can’t wear, just for lack of proper undergarments.

Of course, now I need more cream stretch suiting, for when that original pattern turns up…

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The Jeggings That Could Not Be Photographed

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Ok, actually some of the close ups turned out really nice. But anything like a full body shot (or half body, since it’s a lazy Sunday and neither hair nor makeup happened) ? Black blob. Sorry.

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So the pattern is Burda 6926—JEGGINGS. I wanted jeggings to go with my scrunchy top. I can’t quite articulate why, since I’ve lived thirty-mumble years already without jeggings and gotten by quite well (arguably I need another pair or three of REAL jeans, but I’m not sure these will really fill that slot)… but anyway. The fabric and the pattern both hit me at just the right time.

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So, let’s start with fit. I could tell from the photo (or guessed from the photo) that the front rise was going to be excessively high, but I figured I like a bit more coverage in the back so I’ll leave that. I cut the front pattern piece along the lengthen/shorten line and hinged it down, pretty much as far as I could without obliterating the fly. You can see the wedge taken out towards the top of the picture above. This is not really the best way to make this alteration, but I was feeling too lazy to attempt to do it “properly”, which would involve tracing the front with the pocket-yoke in place, adjusting the rise, and then removing the pocket-yoke again and adding all those seam allowances. I figured this would get me into the right ballpark. I also measured the inseam (going for the longer version), which was around 29″ (actually probably a bit less since I don’t think I subtracted hem). Now, leggings don’t need as much inseam as regular pants, and skinnies don’t need as much as flares if they’re stopping at the ankle (though I will admit that I love that excess-fabric-scrunched-up-at-the-ankle look Tyo always gets, with the same kind of envy that I once had for people who got to walk on the backs of their flares). But 29″ is not quite flood-pants length, plus these are contoured both above and below the knee. So I added 3cm at each lengthen-shorten line, coming to a total of 6 cm, just over 2″. 31″ is in the right ballpark for me, at least for leggings.

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I should mention before I get ahead of myself, there are no front pockets in these jeggings. There is a separate pocket yoke piece, which you just sew to the front and topstitch down. A little silly, but it gives you the look. It would be easy enough to add pockets to them, but I think the outline of the bags would probably show through.

In the picture above, you can see a blue chalked line running and inch or so below the waist. When I got to try-on stage, I had good (barely) coverage in the back—a bit of a dip there, actually—a little high in the front, and REALLY high at the sides. Which is a really weird look, by the way. I put them on, pinned the elastic around my hips where I wanted the waistband to be, and chalked out my changes. Unfortunately, this cut off most of my “pockets”. Not a practical problem for this pair, but not quite the visual I’d been hoping for.

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As you can see, not much pocket. I didn’t do much topstitching on the waistband, nor did I add a decorative button as the pattern suggested. Really, this bit isn’t going to fool anyone—nor, frankly, is it likely to be seen at all since I’m well past my crop-tops phase. /sigh.

I do think I did pretty well on the topstitching—topstitching a fly is extra easy when there’s no actual zipper underneath to work around!

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Although, I completely failed at getting my topstitching to go the right way front-to-back. Fortunately, no one else should ever be looking at my crotch like this.

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Which brings us to the back. There is no yoke, which I guess is fine for jeggings? It certainly speeds up the sewing. It made positioning the pockets a little odd, though (what, you say I could’ve used the pocket placement from the pattern? Heresy!)

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I quite like the size of the pockets, though. I opted for plain, mostly since I don’t trust the straight topstitching to hold up over time on this stretchy fabric.

Speaking of which, I determined on testing that my fabric had about 25% stretch crosswise and 50% lengthwise. Weird! So I cut them on the cross-grain, to get maximum stretch going around me. Then I wound up having to take in the jeans at the side-seams by a good 1/2″ (so a total of 2″ around) each. So maybe 25% stretch would’ve been fine. Anyway, 25% stretch is well within the capacity of normal stretch-denims, so you could maybe even try this pattern with regular denim, not just a denim knit like this. Although I feel like the waistband would be a bit weird. I dunno.

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This is the better of the two hems. ;) Nearly perfect! I was trying to do the construction on my Grandma’s machine and the topstitching on my White, since a) Grandma’s machine already had a bobbin wound in the right thread, and b) last time I did topstitching on Grandma’s machine, it pitched fits and had terrible tension issues (I also didn’t have a topstitching needle, which doubtless contributed to the problem. This time, I have a whole package). Well, the White wasn’t too in love with the topstitching, either, so finally when I was fighting with the last hem I switched over to Grandma’s machine and it was—well, not exactly a breeze, but about a jillion times better. And no tension issues. So maybe it was all in the needle.

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Anyway, weirdnesses aside, I think they will serve. (See, we even tried outdoor photos! Also, do you see that wet pavement? Spring is coming! And, yes, the house next door is ridiculously close to ours.

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