Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Dress!



 Yes, a dress!  A completed project that I am actually pretty happy with.  I think this is a good way to start the new year.  And yes, I know it's technically cheating since I started this dress back in.... October.  But I am adding it to the Jungle January pool since that is the reason I finally finished it.  It had been sitting on my dress form for over a month now waiting on buttonholes and a hem.  But Jungle January peer pressured me in to finishing it :)


Like I said before, I started this project months ago.  And it started out differently in my head.  I planned on making a maxi shirt dress for a November wedding I attended.  I envisioned a floor length shirt dress made out of a slippery, flowy fabric.  So I browsed around online and ended up purchasing this army green leopard print rayon challis.  When it came, I was underwhelmed.  It kind of reminded me of camouflage.  I forged ahead with my plans anyway, cutting out the top half of a Lisette shirt dress pattern, Simplicity 2246, that I've made before (view C but with the long sleeves).   I planned on using my half circle skirt pattern for the bottom half of the dress, which I luckily did not cut out right away.  The Lisette pattern is an easy beginners version of a shirt dress.  The collar is one piece, which I think is a little strange, and there are no cuffs or sleeve plackets.  I knew I liked the fit, though, because I made a version last year.  That dress has been on constant rotation this fall.  It's not a super close fitting shirt dress.  I left a little bit ease in the waist and bust on purpose.  I made the original while I was still nursing baby Jane and I needed the ease then.  I've found after wearing that dress a lot this fall that I really like the extra ease.  It's an easy dress to wear all day.  I wear that one to work a lot.


I did the same shoulder adjustment where I took out all the excess ease.  Only I think I went to far this time.  There is an issue with the fit in the shoulders which doesn't seem to be apparent while looking at the dress, but I can feel it.  There is a tugging feeling.  I think I would leave a little bit of ease in next time around.   Also, the shoulder seam pulls off the ends of my shoulders which doesn't happen on my first version.  I did a collar stand by tracing from the one piece collar.  I didn't realize there was actually a separate collar stand pattern piece (d'oh!) until later so I can't comment on that.   It ended up huge.  I can actually flip the collar stand down and it looks almost like a full size collar.  As a side note, I've yet to sew a shirt collar that I haven't found too big.  Why do collars on sewing patterns always seem so large compared to rtw?  Or maybe I just prefer a smaller collar.


Somewhere along the way I lost interest in the project and I didn't finish it in time for the November wedding.  I think the fact that I didn't really love the fabric contributed to my stalling.  But I revisited it later on and decided to go with the gathered skirt from the actual pattern instead of a maxi skirt.  I lined the whole dress by cutting out the same pattern pieces from a solid drab green rayon challis and basting each piece together before sewing.  It makes for a really nice finish.  See dress guts below.  The whole dress feels very substantial and nice on.  Rayon challis is definitely not a cold weather fabric but it works in a double layer like this.  It's actually decently warm.  The skirt lining was hemmed separately but incorporated in to the placket.  Speaking of which, that placket is all sorts of messed up.  It's wavy and ripply and all over the place.  And my button spacing is not even.   I cannot get my one step buttonhole function to work if it is anywhere near another seam. Fortunately the print hides most of it.  I hope.


And now for the sleeves!  I am most pleased with the sleeves.  I was working on this dress when a post at Handmade by Carolyn describing a simple buttoned cuff came up in my reader.  It was the perfect solution.  The Lisette pattern doesn't include any sort of finish for the long sleeves.   Just a hem.  On the original dress I made, I did a sleeve facing which looks good rolled up.  On this dress, I did the simple buttoned cuff that Carolyn so kindly did a tutorial for and I love it.  So thank you, Carolyn!  I was lining the sleeves already so I didn't have to create a facing.  I just sewed the split and button hole and that was it.  I like how they look rolled up, too. 


All in all, I am pretty pleased with the finished product.  I know I'll get some everyday wear out of it at this length.  Although I still want to make a floor length shirt dress in a wispy fabric.  One day!





34 comments:

  1. Starting the year with a bang! The dress looks fabulous. It really fits well, especially around the shoulders. That print will be fun to accessorize!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a gorgeous dress!!! It hangs beautifully and I love how you've given it long sleeves ( I have this pattern and you've got me thinking now!!) perfect jungle January wear, I think you look fierce!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. beautiful! fabric looks delicous, and i love how the dress looks modern and classic at the same time! i bet you'll wear this one a lot

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, I love this! It looks fantastic on you and that fabric is gorgeous. I'd love to find some of it for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks great! I like the easy flowiness of it. Plus I bet that print hides all manner of coffee drips and art class messes! :) Nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love it!! You have made a seriously unstuffy shirtdress!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely! So glad you started the year on such a high note. I do like the sleeves - thanks for pointing me in the direction of a tutorial! I've been staying away from rayon challis this winter, but I like the idea of making it work with a double layer. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is cute! Great piece for the January Jungle parade - I'm sure you will work out the last fitting issue before you make this again.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is the ideal casual shirtdress. It looks great. Mess up? What mess up?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gorgeous!! I love this on you - so glad you persevered and finished it! That simple button cuff is so elegant!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good for you starting the year off with a big hit! It looks great. An aside - I hate my one step buttonhole for same reasons. I have been advised to get a vintage Singer buttonholer and am seriously considering it. As soon as I find out what one is :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard the same thing. I actually have an easier time making buttonholes on my old machine. It's non computerized. I think that's the main issue.

      Delete
  12. This looks great! I've been thinking about a long sleeve shirtdress lately, and yours is just so awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That is a great dress! I always wonder about sewing pattern collars too. Haven't met one yet that isn't enormous.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a lovely dress. The fabric is great and it is such a classic look. I have trouble with buttonholes too but you certainly can't see anything wrong with yours. I think sometimes we can be supercritical of our own makes and only see them for their flaws. Well I can anyway. ;) xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your dress is beautiful Liza Jane! and you look fabulous in it. It must be so nice and warm with that lining too. Your buttoned cuffs look great, much nicer than mine! and thanks for mentioning it. I'm glad you liked it enough to give it a go :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooo - this dress looks great, as do you!! Well done for persevering with it, it was definitely worth it!
    Oh, and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ooh! This looks great! It's very chic! The buttoned cuff is a great touch, but I really, really like how it looks rolled up with a bit of the lining fabric peeking out. So cool!

    I hear you about collars always seeming too big in sewing patterns! I don't understand it! The two collared Grainline patterns are the only ones that haven't felt that way to me (in fact, when I was sewing up the Archer, I felt like the collar was tiny, probably because others are so big. It looks totally normal all sewn up).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good to know about the Archer collar. I may have to give that pattern a try. I only read good things about it!

      Delete
  18. Ooo! Your dress is gorgeous, I love the sleeves cuffs.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think this looks awesome!! I'm sure you will get lots of wear out of it, and I love those cuffs!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anything animal print is a winner with me! Lovely start to the year. A floor length sheer version would be wicked.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Looks great, I like the sleeve finish

    ReplyDelete
  22. Looks awesome! A great start to the year and I love how a challenge can help motivate!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ack! So cute! This is a great style on you. I've been dreaming of shirt dresses for a while now, and this one is helping me formulate my plan more. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This dress is so pretty on you! I haven't made a shirt dress yet, but now even more I am tempted to do so. I have yet to be totally 100% happy with any buttonhole I have on a machine and I have had a few machines now. Seems no matter what I have an issue depending on fabric type or placement. Your cuffs look flawless. Thanks for discussing how you lined the dress. Lining always throws me.

    ReplyDelete
  25. you n me both on the floor length dream!

    i agree with philippa, BIG hit start to 2015. i love the saturation of the dark hues and that print!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great dress. I really like those buttoned cuffs, but I have to admit I really like the way it looks when you roll up your sleeves.
    Hooray for dresses that bang..I mean, go bang...Oh you know what I mean! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love this! So cute with tights and boots! (I just bought some new boots so I can do the whole tights, boots, dress thing for our usually mild winter) Great solution for the cuffs and, I look forward to seeing your flowy floor length dress!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ooh, nice, I really like the sleeve finish! I also always stall when it comes to button holes...

    ReplyDelete