Simplicity 3559: Holey hot mess

Holey (not to be confused with holy): defined as having holes.

Hot mess: defined as a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, but maintains an attractiveness.

This holey hot mess of green Irish linen is my second version of Simplicity 3559. It could have been a simple and quick make if I’d: (1) kept notes on fitting the first time around and (2) paid attention when overlocking the edges so as to not cut a hole in the fabric.

Oh well. You win some, you lose some.  It’ll definitely get worn this summer regardless.

Pattern: Simplicity 3559
Modifications: Removed sleeves, turned under fabric on armholes to finish, shortened for length (as always)
Fabric: Vintage pure Irish linen in emerald green

My first version of this dress is below.  Thankfully this new one fits a bit better.

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Vogue 7642: Looks can be deceiving

I was tempted to spend 2016 making only pajamas, but I have a wedding to attend later this month that requires a semi-formal dress. While I’m sure I have something suitable to wear in my closet, I wanted to use one of my fancier vintage patterns. Then, almost as if on cue, my lovely and generous friend, Jane, gave me this stunning dupioni silk in deep iridescent turquoise.

It turns out that Vogue 7642 was not the best pattern for this fabric (the gathers along the entire waist would be best with a drapier fabric) but I made some adjustments and am pretty happy with how this turned out.

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It looks like a pretty straight-forward and simple make. This is a classic case of looks being deceiving. I used 5 different fabrics when making this dress.

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I eliminated the gathers along the hips and back and replaced them with large box pleats. Not ideal, nor perfectly executed, but a huge improvement.

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I inserted bra cups since this is very very low cut.

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Fully-lined in grass-green Si Bonne lining. Silky smooth against my skin. Stitched in mostly by hand.

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Satin-lined pockets hidden in the front seams.

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I’ll likely wear it with this pin since I am not a huge fan of necklaces.

Pattern: Vintage Vogue 7642
Modifications: Took up by 1″ at shoulders, shortened waist band height, shortened skirt length, replaced gathers along waist/skirt seams on sides and back with large box pleats
Fabrics: Dupioni silk gifted to e by my friend, Jane, the upper bodice and skirt are underlined with organza, the waist band is underlined with cotton organdy for additional stiffness, pockets are in satin

McCall’s 7279: Post Camp Workroom Social work

Just an ordinary dress for work on the outside; not so much on the inside.

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Perfect for a job in financial services…

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My first dress collar, I think.

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A close to perfectly inserted invisible zipper. I’m loving my Bernina foot 25.

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A burst of color

McCall’s 7279 (by Palmer/Pletsch) in grey herringbone wool with a black cotton collar. I have no idea what the lining fabric is made of. And frankly, with colors and a pattern like that, I don’t care.

I spent a weekend earlier this month at Workroom Social sewing camp learning a new-to-me fitting method. (You modify the tissue pattern to fit your body and then skip the muslin phase.)  It worked quite well for this dress, which fits better than many other dresses I’ve made. Added bonus, I was fitted by the lovely Melissa Watson, one of the women who designed the pattern.

 

Simplicity 1301 – My 25th handmade dress

This is Simplicity 1301 in a floral Cotton/Lycra blend with short Ambiance rayon lining. I will definitely make this pattern again. I love the bateau neckline, slim fitting bodice, lack of a waist seam, and the slits on each side at the hem.

This dress has just two primary pieces – the front and back – which would make you think it’d be super-fast and easy to make, but it’s fitted with fourteen (!) darts: one on the front and back of each shoulder, two bust darts, and eight contour darts around the waist.

The wide bateau neckline makes the waist look smaller and balances the hips a bit.

The wide bateau neckline makes the waist look smaller and balances the hips a bit.

❤️

❤️

Unfortunately, due to a minor cutting mishap (I moved the zip from the side to the back and initially forgot to add a seam allowance), I didn't have enough fabric to attempt matching the pattern.

Unfortunately, due to a minor cutting mishap (I moved the zip from the side to the back and initially forgot to add a seam allowance), I didn’t have enough fabric to attempt matching the pattern.

I love the invisible zipper foot on my Bernina.

I love the invisible zipper foot on my Bernina.

I used fabric remnants from my last dress (my second Deer & Doe Belladone) as facings that I hand stitched to the lining.

I used fabric remnants from my last dress (my second Deer & Doe Belladone) as facings that I hand stitched to the lining.

I had to improvise a bit on the inside along the slits since I was unhappy with the pattern design. I chose to use bright yellow bias tape to conceal the overlooked (aka: ugly) fabric edge.

I had to improvise a bit on the inside along the slits since I was unhappy with the pattern design. I chose to use bright yellow bias tape to conceal the overlooked (aka: ugly) fabric edge.

Pattern (Size 16; Bust 34) mods that I remember:

  • Moved the zip from the side seam to the back.
  • Removed 1.25″ in length from center back and faded to 0″ at side seams.
  • Lengthened the bust darts by 1/2″ each
  • Deepened the outer back contour darts by 1/4″ each
  • Removed 5/8″ from top of back seam fading to 0″ about 8″ down
  • Removed 6″ from skirt length and moved the marking for the side slits up accordingly.

Taylorski, aka Belladone #2

Meet Taylorski, my second Deer & Doe Belladone dress, made specifically for a very special event this weekend – the celebration of the wedding of my wonderful friends Mike Taylor and Scott Jarworski.

There’s a 50/50 chance that, like most wedding dresses, this will only get worn once: It’s mostly white; I’m a light weight; I’m told there will be not one, but two signature cocktails; there will be gobs of tasty food to balance on small plates while sipping said cocktails; and did I mention I’m a light weight? Oh well. It’ll be worth it.

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I added that band at the bottom to tie in with the waist. It was more difficult to do than you’d think.

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Stripes are tough to photograph. Sorry for all the wrinkles.

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Pocket and side seam matching.

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Bottom band and side seam matching.

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The prettiest hem tape ever!

Pattern: Deer & Doe Belladone dress

Fabric: Vintage cotton, only 34″ wide (which forced me to add a center seam in the front skirt)

Cheers! And congratulations, again, Mike & Scott.

Simplicity 5996: My favorite make to date

When I started this dress last Saturday, I had no idea that two old Cynthia Rowley shower curtains (gifted to me by my sister, Emilie) plus my favorite dress pattern (modified Simplicity 5996) would turn out looking a bit like a vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress, but I’m glad it did. I’m not a huge fan of her style, but I’m very happy with how this dress turned out.

 

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I love the stripe down the center front. I don’t love the placement of the ferns just below the waist line or that the pattern at the shoulders is off a bit, but it was unavoidable and I’ll get over it.

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A very invisible back zip and perfectly matched pattern at the waist seam.

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Pattern matching at the front waist seam — not too bad.

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Pattern matching on the front bodice princess seam.

There’s just one problem: I tore a few holes in the lining when it got caught in the zipper earlier today. The result is not pretty, and if I wear this before I come up with a way to fix the issue, there’s a decent chance the zip will get stuck again and I’ll need to be cut out of it.

 

Anne Adams 4710: Where is my lint roller!?!?

Top three lessons learned while sewing this dress (Anne Adams 4710-A in vintage semi-sheer black cotton with textured stripes and a full Bemberg lining):

1) Horizontal stripes can be your friend, if used wisely, but they’re a bitch to match across seams and zippers, so plan accordingly (hence the vertical stripes on the side insets and back).
2) Black dresses are, in my opinion, a bit boring but they hide many sins – from poor diet and exercise habits to super-sloppy hand stitching.
3) Every garment, like most people, goes through an ugly phase. Keep working on it and you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised. 

Oh, and I’m going to need more lint rollers.

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Another lesson, black is tough to photograph. You can sort of see that the fabric is a bit sheer along the hemline in this pic.

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I tried matching stripes between the front and side inset pieces and had moderate success.

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Each stripe is actually a long thin fold in the fabric. I have no idea how they made it and have never seen anything like it.

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Anne Adams is a mail-order only pattern company. This dress pattern is from 1966, I think.