Sunday, 27 October 2013

Shirtdress to the Rescue

Hello, my name is Chloe and I have eighteen pairs of tights. 

And have not worn a dress or skirt in the fall or winter more than a handful of times in the past, oh, four or five years. Cue my latest creation, Simplicity 1755. This is a shirtdress with a few nice details: raglan sleeves, an in-seam opening at the centre front neck, and a nicely pleated skirt. And suitable for wearing with tights.

As my above tights admission may tell you, this shirtdress is a bit of a stretch for me, stylewise, but I loved the raglan sleeves and the collar, and decided to mix it up a bit. 

I also loved the small midriff band, which, as it turns out, was in my imagination. The pattern description "dress in two lengths and TIE BELT" was not enough for me. I think the technical drawing is a bit misleading as well, since it appears that underneath the belt is a waistband. Not so. However, I didn't let that stop me, and added the missing piece in myself. And I am so glad I did, as the waist/midriff band supports the skirt pleats really well. After shortening the bodice along the lengthen/shorten line, I used the bottom of that line as my seam line, and made the pattern piece into two separate pieces, the bodice and the midriff.

Don't be fooled. It's a belt!

The fabric is a lightweight cotton sateen, and handled really well. It also holds wrinkles well, which is a bit unfortunate. The bodice is lined with black bemberg I had on hand, and the dress closes at the centre back with an invisible zipper. Sidebar: I have never experienced such a tricky time putting one of these in! But the zipper tape seemed to be warped, and kept pushing my needle off course. I will definitely check the tapes more carefully next time.

The collar closes with tiny hooks and loops that keep it rolled over into place.

The sleeves have buttons and loops at the cuff.

Aside from adding the missing waistband, I followed the advice of someone on Pattern Review, and pleated the front bodice and lining together. Other than that, I found the instructions nice and clear. Oh, and I did not make the belt. No bows here.

One last pic - I feel a bit like a waitress from the forties, where is my apron?

Til next time...

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Simpler Sweater

Hello again internets! Here's a quick little project I finished up last week. It's a sweater, but of an entirely different kind than my last post.

Yes, it's a simple raglan sweater, made up of some really great knit I picked up at this year's Textile Museum sale. And I consider it a stash bust, since a trip to the sale is basically a stash build up exercise. You just have to get in there and pick things quickly, hoping that inspiration strikes later - this is pretty much the opposite of my usual fabric aquisition method. But, I digress.  Here's another photo.

I used a pattern from a friend's stash, Simplicity 8618, printed in 1978. I loved the raglan sleeves, but not the V-neck, so I swapped it out for a simple round neck instead. I added a contrasting band to the sleeve cuffs using the wrong side of the fabric, and left off the bottom band, since I didn't want to go full on sweatshirt with this project. It's almost entirely serger-sewn, with the exception of the hem. I used the trusty twin needle - I find the coverstitch on my serger more trouble than it's worth most of the time.

The pattern was printed with a whole sheet of sewing with knit tips - very cute.

The back is pretty much just like the front - told you it was simple!

Cuff close up. And a shot of my totally unintentional stripe matching at the raglan seam.

This fabric is so warm and cozy, perfect now that we are fully into fall. But it sheds like crazy - I looked like I'd been rolling around with a few cats by the time it was finished! I just hope the shedding slows down over time.

I've made myself a little list of fall/winter sewing plans, but I'm not sure I'll post it - this way only I will know how productive (or not!) I've been! And every post will be a surprise.

Til next time...