Monday, July 24, 2017

Simplicity 1595 emergency recital dress

She looks carefree here, but a week ago, all was not calm as she realized that her piano recital was in a week and SHE DIDN'T HAVE A WHITE DRESS! It was urgent, especially as we spent the three days prior to her recital out of town, which gave me 2 days to sew it. That child...
Being a mom of small kids, I don't actually have a lot of white in my stash, but I had this bit of white seersucker shot with metallic silver that is quite suitable for angel wear. It also fit into my Stashbusting theme of deep stash, as it's at least 6 years old. Win-win.
Since I was quite short on time, I chose Simplicity 1595, as it is a pullover style with no zippers or lining or anything complex. The neckline and sleeves are gathered with elastic and the skirt and bodice are gathered into the waistband.
In back, there is a waist tie for shaping that is sewn into the waistband at the side seams. The skirt is nice and full and has a sweet little ruffle at the hem.
At the recital, she added a halo and wings to complete her angel look. If you'd like to see her piece, there's a video here.
Unfortunately, since I was a bit rushed, the fit isn't as perfect as I might have liked. The neckline is far too wide, and Myra reports that the waistband is itchy, so we had to add a tank top underneath. You can see the tank peeking out on her shoulder. It actually gives the impression of a square neckline, so I kind of like it.
At first, Myra wasn't thrilled with it, but in the end, it was just right for her recital. Yay for a last minute sewing win!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ottobre 03/2014-35 dress

After I finished cutting out my last dress, I had about a yard of fabric left over. I don't really use ITY much in small pieces, but I thought Myra might like a dress to match mine, so I went hunting for a pattern with similar features, particularly the gathering in the bodice and skirt.
After a perusal of my Ottobre collection, I found this dress from the 03/2014 issue. I love the style lines. It's a really nice echo of my dress, with the bodice gathers and waistband, but with a more youthful feel.
Ottobre suggested woven fabrics for it, but it works well in this lightweight knit with very few changes. I omitted the zipper, and rather than gathering the neckline with traditional gathering stitches, I used clear elastic so that the neckline would have sufficient stretch and recovery for the dress to go over Myra's head.
And of course, I added pockets. Dresses need pockets.
The design of the dress is fairly straightforward. The bodice gathers into the neckline binding and into the waistband at center front and center back.The skirt is full and gathered evenly around the waistband. Since the design is intended for wovens, the waistband has some ease in a knit.
I used my coverstitch binder to do the neckline and armholes. The pattern includes a pattern piece for bias binding, which I used to measure the elastic for the neckline. Myra loves her new dress and says she understands now why I like to wear dresses every day. They're so comfortable! Now to go hide my ITY stash before she claims it all...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Simplicity 3678 maxi

Hey look! It's me! I know y'all, I haven't been around much, and the few things I've sewn for me have been boring necessities. But I finally made myself something new and somewhat frivolous! Actually not at all because ITY maxi dresses are my summer uniform, so this will get worn all the time. But I digress - the dress!
This is Simplicity 3678, which I've made before (here). This is the first time I've tried this style bodice though, and I have to say, I'm pretty thrilled with it. During the maaaaannnnnyyyy years I was nursing my babies, I wore only wrap/surplice bodice dresses for easy nursing access, and I sort of got into a rut. But my last baby weaned 4 years ago, so it's well past time for some variety!
So, let's chat about this bodice. The neckband is shaped and faced. The pattern called for a self-fabric facing with fusible interfacing. Y'all know I'm incapable or following a pattern... I decided to try something out and instead used powernet for my facing pieces. I love how it turned out! The facing is nice and stable, but still stretchy and comfortable. Not to mention lightweight! Definitely going to do this in the future for knit facings.
The back bodice is straighforward, but the pattern uses this back for both bodices, so it was drafted without the neckband. Annoying but minor. I drafted one for it. The skirt back has a bit of gathering, if you've some fluff you'd like to minimize, but not enough to look juvenile or emphasize anything you'd rather not.
For the sleeve, I used the cap sleeve from another view. I like this sleeve a lot. It's double layered, so no hemming. It did require a tiny bit of altering to fit into this armscye, so if you're sleeve swapping with this pattern, be sure to check.
For fit, I added some length to the bodice in order to fake an FBA. Since the bodice is ruched, there is plenty of space horizontally, but I did need a couple of inches of length to cover the girls. I added length throughout the area of gathering and then tapered off around to the back, which didn't require any alterations for me. Obviously I also added significant length to the skirt to make it a maxi. After it was done, I actually went back and forth about the length, even polling the interwebs for length opinions. It was hotly contested! In the end, y'all liked the maxi just a little bit better, and given my maxi bias, that's what I went with. After all, I can always cut it shorter if it makes me crazy!
The final, critical alteration - pockets! Seriously, why else do we sew but to have well fitting clothes with POCKETS! Get with the program, Simplicity and put pocket pieces in your patterns. Seriously though, how hard is that?!
Final verdict? I love it! Maxi dresses are my favorite. I don't know why I questioned it. But maybe I should make another one in a knee length...