Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Denim Dress

I'm quite pleased with how this dress turned out, although I will admit it's a little bit frumpy. This was completely sewn on a whim.  I bought the pattern, McCalls 7115 at a recent pattern sale and the cheap denim at the same time.  Then I washed the fabric and cut it out the same night.  I'm not really sure what possessed me since the pattern cover is really not all that exciting.  The cover shows the romper view.  I'm not big on rompers.  I may eat my words one day, but I'm definitely not convinced at this point.  I do like a good long jumpsuit on other people. Anyway, I digress.


I think I was swayed by the view with the button tab sleeves and pockets, although I ended up using the shorter sleeve.   I instantly pictured it in denim and thought it would be the perfect back-to-school dress.  The pattern calls for fabrics with more drape but I forged ahead anyway.  I did use a lighter weight denim.  I think the bolt said it was 6 ounces.




Pattern Description: Pull-on romper and pullover dresses have dropped waist, mock bands (done as a facing), gathers and a front button closure.  All have a cut on kimono sleeve and two views have a split for a cold shoulder look.


Pattern Sizing:  After looking at the finished measurements, I cut a medium and I thought the fit was pretty darn good.  But really, there is not a whole lot to fit.  For reference, I typically cut a 14 in big 4 patterns.  My bust measurement is a 14 but my waist and hip are usually a 16.  Plenty of ease in the bottom half of this pattern, though.

Fabric Used: A 6 ounce denim.  Super cheap.  Hoping it will last a while, though, since I really like the end result.


Alterations/Deviations:  I made a few.  I did not attempt any sort of muslin since I was using such cheap fabric.  When I looked at the bodice and back shoulder line, I thought to myself that there was no way that this angle would work on anyone.  But I shushed that little voice and went ahead and sewed it together, including stitching down the facing with a triple stitch.  Those shoulder seams did exactly what I thought they would do.  They stuck straight up on either side of my neck.  So I have an honest question about the way the shoulder seam is drafted on this pattern- does a shoulder seam with such a sharp angle work on anyone?  I really am curious.  I unpicked all that triple stitching, marked my shoulder point (about four inches over from the neckline, fyi) and then straightened out the angle of the shoulder seam.   See my shoddy photo below where I tried to illustrate what I did.  Granted my shoulders do sit really straight out from neck and I have straightened shoulder seams many times before.  But I still can't see that slope working on anyone.  This made the back neckline sit almost straight across in between my shoulders.  Which weirdly seems to work.  Once I made that change, everything else fit decently well.  I added inseam pockets on the skirt before attaching to the bodice.  Best addition ever.  I also didn't cut open my button holes.  The dress slips right on over my head and I was worried about the quality of the denim.  So I just sewed the buttons on through both layers.  This is the dress I showed on Instagram with the red buttonholes.  I thought the plain denim needed something so I did the buttonholes in red thread.  I wore this on the first day of school with a pair of red shoes.  I also serged the insides with rainbow serger thread.  Just because.


Likes/Dislikes:  I surprisingly really love the dropped waist.  It's not super dropped or anything, but just low enough.  And I love that it is not tight around the waistline either.  I like the ease in this dress.  It's easy to wear.  It is definitely not a dress that you wear to feel svelte.  But I like that about it.  I love the cut on sleeve.  I did raise the opening by a half inch to lessen any bra showing but that was easy to do.  And I love it in denim.  I think this pattern is missing out by not including denim on it's recommended fabrics.  My sewing is not quite on par but it's good enough for a first go.  My buttonhole placement wanders a bit and my hem is not great.  I made the teeniest little baby hem I could to preserve some length.  This is the length that pattern calls for and I could do with one more inch.  There are some strange wrinkles around the armhole but I'm guessing that is most likely due to using a crisper fabric with a cut on sleeve.  Could be a fit issue.


Conclusion:  Great, easy pullover dress.  Perfect for teaching.  In fact, I love this dress so much that I've already made another and I'm adapting a blouse version.  Coming soon!




27 comments:

  1. I love this! I think it looks crisp and neat and comfortable - without looking like 'oh well, at least it looks comfortable'. I love the simple neckline placket and the buttons.

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  2. I don't think that neck as drafted would work on anyone bar a champion swimmer or weightlifter with neck muscles that put ours to shame. I lived through the drop waist in the '80's (and loved it) so I don't do it now but it looks super on you and comfy to boot.

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  3. Oh that is a super cute dress! I love the drop waist.

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  4. I love this and am so glad to see it made up exactly as I intended when I bought the pattern. Might jump to the front of my sewing queue now

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  5. As soon as I saw the photo I thought what a cute, everyday type of dress. I can't wear drop waists because I am too short, but my taller daughter wears this type of dress a lot and it looks great. She also wears them with a long cardi, boots and tights - so being denim I think it's idea for crossing the seasons x

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    1. Yes, I bet it will be perfect for fall with tights and boots. Good idea!

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  6. This dress is great. I don't think that it looks frumpy at all. It looks like it stepped from the pages of one of the Japanese pattern books. I like it in a denim and I think that it will get better with age as the fabric softens. Lovely. Xx

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  7. Cute dress and it is nicely sewn! BTW Have you thought of putting a bit of length on the front tapering to the sides - to even out the tilt that can be seen in the side photos?

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    1. You know, I knew there was something weird about the front hem. I see it now in these photos, It makes sense that if I took away from the shoulders ( over an inch!) that I need to add it back in somewhere. It even makes the side seams pull forward. Would you add to the center front bodice, tapering to the side seams? I think that's where it curves up. Or add to the skirt?

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  8. This is so cute! I love it in the denim, perfect fabric choice. Would also be great in linen, I bet. I really am loving the loose waist dress trend that's happening; so much more practical for every day wear. And yeah, that shoulder line wouldn't work on anyone!

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    1. Yes, linen! That might need to happen.

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  9. PERFECT, and especially paired with those good god almighty shoes!

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    1. They are dansko's, if you can believe it! I love them.

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  10. This looks really cute on you. Love the red button holes :-)

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  11. Yum, looks like a dream dress. My shoulders are also remarkably square so I'm biased, but that angle looks ridiculous!

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  12. Perfect denim dress. I love the faux banding! Looks great.

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  13. I like this so much! Reminds me of something What Katie Sews would make, and she always looks stylish! Way to ignore the fabric recommendations!! :)

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  14. This looks awesomely relaxed and reminds me a little of a baseball shirt, probably because of the top stitched facing

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    1. Yes, it does have a baseball vibe! I knew there was something uniform like about it.

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  16. I really love it! looks pretty and comfortable, and a fabulous back to school dress. You look great in blue too :)

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  17. I think the dress suits you and looks like a perfect fit. It look cool and comfortable!

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  18. I really like this - and I agree, light weight denim should be on the recommended fabric list. I love the bodice shape and the drop-waist is cool. I also wonder if the angled shoulder seam works better in a drapier fabric, but who knows? I love the bodice shape on this one!

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  19. I love this! It's really gorgeous! I have the romper version cut out in a ridiculous pineapple print, but I haven't been able to make time to sew it and now it seems like summer is over here. :( I have no idea why I bought the patter, either, as I've never worn a romper before and generally don't like dropped waists on me. It's an experiment! Yours looks so cute!

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