I was planning on doing a big post about my batik adventures this week, but that will have to wait. I don't want to miss out on the shirt dress party.
So, you'll notice that my shirt dress looks a tiny bit different than the envelope-- namely a placket that extends all the way down the front. I wish I could say I planned it all along but I didn't. It was a bit of luck that it all worked out in the end and I have a wearable dress because I CUT A SIZE TOO SMALL.
Has anyone else ever done that? I apparently was distracted during the prep stage. Well, actually, I normally cut one size when I make tops and things that are loosely fitted and one size up when I make bottoms and dresses, especially dresses with fitted waists. And I cut the smaller of the two sizes. When I say cut I mean I actually cut the pattern tissue. I know all the pattern tracers out there are snickering right now. But I really, really hate tracing patterns. Unless it is something truly special. For a .99 cent pattern I figure it's not a big deal. Um, except for situations like this.
Luckily I made a muslin. Thank goodness I made a muslin because I figured out it was too small before I cut my pretty green linen/rayon blend. I've read differing opinions on this pattern running either too big or too small. I've read comments about having way too much ease, but I did not find that was the case at all. In fact, when I read the finished waist measurement on the pattern tissue (after I had cut it out- doh) it listed the ease as only two and half inches. In my experiences with Simplicity patterns so far, this is out of the ordinary. Usually I find that the ease built in to their patterns is somewhere upwards of three or four inches. Anyway. That's a long winded way of saying that this pattern is very fitted through the waist. Again, I can only speak from my limited sewing experiences so take that for what it's worth. Someone more experienced would have probably checked the ease before they cut out the pattern. Or traced it.
When I figured out it wasn't going to fit through the waist (I would have been able to wear it, but sitting down would have been uncomfortable) I decided to let out the pleats at the front. The back seemed ok. The shoulders fit nicely. I determined that I could make smaller pleats to add width to the bottom of the bodice, but then I would also have to add some width to the skirt pieces. Then a light bulb went off and I thought about adding a placket down the front of the skirt. That way I could cut the front skirt pieces with a facing and fold whatever was leftover in for the placket. And it worked. And I didn't need to add a zipper because I made the placket totally functional. Can I get a woot woot for no zipper? I did have to add a hook and eye at the waist seam, but it's all very flat and secure.
In the end, I scratched the pleats completely and just gathered where the pleats are supposed to be. As a result, I don't have as much blouse-y-ness as the pattern calls for. The jury is still out on whether this is a good thing. I've seen the blouse-y-ness look really good on some. I think my little bit of errant gathering looks a little odd.
When I signed up to do Sunni's sew along, my main goal was to fit the back of this dress really well and hopefully find a solution to my back fitting woes. After the initial fiasco of cutting out too small a size, that went out the window. I did make some changes during my muslin stage. I did a square shoulder adjustment and then lowered the back neckline 3/4 " before I even cut out my muslin. That seems to be pretty standard for me. I shortened the back waist length about 1/2". And I slashed and spread the sleeve to add about 3/4" of width for my, erm, bulging biceps. I think the sleeve alteration made the most difference. Look what I can do.
Total uninhibited arm movement! Woo hoo! This is necessary for a dress that I plan to wear to work. I bend over, sit, squat, reach, etc. all day long.
I decided to make the under collar and back facing blue because I can do that if I want to. That's what I love most about sewing my own clothes. And I used blue thread for the buttonholes and hem. Again, because I can :)- I originally had some blue plastic buttons picked out but I wasn't happy with them. I found these pretty square mother of pearl buttons at the fabric store and I love them. I think they are perfect for this dress.
All in all, I really enjoyed the sew along. I love making myself do things differently and learning new techniques. I think it helps me grow and keeps me out of a sewing rut. My favorite tip I learned was about using the back facing to attach the collar. I made a coat that was put together that way and I remember thinking that it was genius then.
I got another haircut in case you were wondering. Can you tell I'm feeling pretty sassy in my new dress?
Thanks so much, Sunni, for all your hard work. I'm not sure anyone, myself included, realizes how much time and effort goes in to organizing a sew along and putting together all those posts. Just know that it is appreciated! Muchas gracias!
Beautiful color and beautiful dress. Glad you were able to salvage it into something that looks great! The buttons are perfect.ReplyDelete
I love this! I think the placket is great, zippers in shirt dresses are weird... If I hadn't already cut mine out I would add one to it!ReplyDelete
Gorgeous! I really love that colour green. I have been wanting to make a dress that colour for a while but I am waiting till after the baby is born to make on. Unfortunately, the style of dresses I really love (50s fitted waist) don't work well for pregnancy.ReplyDelete
What a serendipitous mistake. I love this, it's absolutely gorgeous!ReplyDelete
I like your new arty header.ReplyDelete
Your dress is great. I greatly admire the flexibility permissiveness of the sleeve and the terrific shape of your dress. The colour is amazing on you.
Your comment before inspired me to change up the blog a little!
You look great, hair and dress and all. I like your dress a lot, the colors suits you very well.ReplyDelete
Super cute! Love the color and the buttons.ReplyDelete
I love your dress! A kelly green shirt dress is a wonderful idea! I also think you are a genius for adding the button placket down the CF of the skirt. I mean, whats a shirt dress without the buttons?! Also high-five for the zipper omission. You are wise beyond your years.ReplyDelete
Dress is absolutely gorgeous, love the square buttons, they really set it off. Love the colour too. I would be feeling pretty sassy if I had made that too.ReplyDelete
Great! I like it on you without all the ease, and the placket all the way down is great!ReplyDelete
fantastic colour!! love the sleeves too. thanks for sharing. and v. cute hair :)ReplyDelete
Beautiful! Great solution with the placket! When you lower your back neckline, are you making a horizontal tuck across the back, shortening the shoulder seams, or just dropping/redrawing the neckline? If it's the latter, doesn't that change the length of the collar seam? Sorry for so many questions :) I think I might need to do this too and not sure what the best tack would be.ReplyDelete
Now before I answer this question, here's my disclaimer: I am a total amateur when it comes to fitting. Everything I've done is only through trial and error and fixing mistakes along the way. I have Fit for Real People which I look through quite often, but I rarely feel that I am doing something "by the book" if you know what I mean. I make stuff up and if it works, it works.Delete
Short answer: I drop and redraw the neckline. But it doesn't change the neckline very much because...
Long answer: I have trouble with the back bodice being too long through the shoulders and the waist. So when I do a square shoulder adjustment, I don't add to the shoulder- I take away. I lower the point at the neck along the shoulder seam to straighten out the line of the shoulder. Maybe I shouldn't call it a square shoulder adjustment since it's not really. It's a made-up straight shoulder adjustment. Anyway, when I do that I've actually lowered points of the neckline where the front and back meet, so truthfully lowering the neckline is actually putting it back the way it was initially. Technically, I need to drop and redraw it some to fix the first alteration I made. I don't find that it changes the the length of the collar seam at all. I made no change to this collar. But I DO drop and redraw the neckline of a back facing, if there is one, so it matches the neckline of the bodice.
I probably just hurt more than helped. And I advertised my hillbilly alteration style to the world ;)
Aah! Interesting! I have FFRP too, and always end up taking length out of the back bodice as well - I'm just another hillbilly trying to figure my own stuff out - thanks for the input!Delete
Very nice! I love your contrast pops of color.ReplyDelete
This is lovely - it looks very vintage (in a good way of course!)ReplyDelete
Your dress is beautiful!! Now I am craving a dress in exactly this colour, with blue accents too, of course. I just love your artist's feel for colour, it is so inspiring :) And you are right, the buttons are perfect for the dress.ReplyDelete
If you want to avoid having to put in a hook and eye at the waistband for next time; custom measure and mark your buttons/buttonholes to fit your own figure as follows: make sure you have buttons/buttonholes at the two "key" spots; that is, one just below the bustline and one right at the waistband. Then measure and space the other buttonholes evenly between these points, and beyond :) The higher one is just below the bustline rather than right on it because there will be visible strain on a button situated exactly level with the widest point of one's bust; slightly lower allows the button/hole to relax a little so there is no gaping of the placket between the buttons; this is a much more flattering look. Not that your dress has any gaping, it does not! but just giving some info that I have learnt myself over the years :)) I'm a bit surprised if this info was not in the sewalong, it should have been.
I have the crappiest buttonhole function on my machine and it WILL NOT make buttonholes unless the fabric is completely flat underneath the presser foot. So there was no way it was going to make a buttonhole too close to the waist seam. I put those two in first, as close to the waist as possible. It's extremely frustrating. My old non-computerized machine makes the best buttonholes, wherever you want them to go. I probably should bring it out when I'm putting in lots of buttons.Delete
But thanks for the info! I like to place my own buttonholes instead of using the guide they include in patterns. It's nice to know where to start. There was some info in the sew along on placing the button holes but I skipped over it because of issues with my machine.
Wowzer! It's a truly dreamy dress and I wished I'd got that pattern, your version is pretty darn perfect....colour and style and no zip...fab. It sounds like youve really embraced all the tips and fitting opportunities in the sewalong, and with great effect. Really love it, well done youReplyDelete
What a great dress! And that colour looks amazing on you. I say it's a huge succes!ReplyDelete
Your dress is beautiful. The colour looks fabulous on you, and I love the hidden pop of blue under the collar. You'd never know you had such problems with making this!ReplyDelete
This dress is great - and well done for saving it! Love the colour and the pop of blue on the collar facing / buttonholes. Love this dressReplyDelete
Love the colour! Love the haircut! Love that you can stick your arms up! Really, what's not to love?ReplyDelete
Very nice! I love this colour on you, and the blue undercollar is awesome!ReplyDelete
And your haircut is beautiful :)
Your dress is lovely! The colour, the fit, and the solution for the smaller size :) looking at the 'original' technical drawing, I think I like your version better.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, it's gorgeous!! I love the colour, the blue under-collar and buttonholes, and the square buttons. The fit is fantastic, and your hair is lovely! :)ReplyDelete
Love it-that colour suits you. And it passes the acid test (looks as good on a real human as on the mannequin) with flying colours.ReplyDelete
I love it, especially with the placket going all the way down.ReplyDelete
This just beautiful. I LOVE the colour!ReplyDelete
oh lovely, i was wondering if this could work with this pattern, to extend the buttons to the bottom! Looks lovely. The green looks great on you!ReplyDelete
Oh wow! I've just found your blog through the sew along and I'm so glad I did! Your dress is beautiful!ReplyDelete
Love the color, the fit, the functional placket (which is pretty genius!), the buttons, the contrast undercollar, and that you can raise your arms. I need that trick for my biceps. Ha.ReplyDelete
Ooooh--so cute! I really love the blue under collar. And I agree with you about the ease. Mine also ended up just a smidge too tight around the waist and at the top of the skirt. Your solution was pretty brilliant though!ReplyDelete
This looks wonderful and the colour is gorgeous.ReplyDelete
This dress is beautiful, I love the way it looks with the buttons going all the way down the skirt.ReplyDelete
I think it has been said now many times but your dress is terrific - the colours really suit you and the dress is gorgeous .ReplyDelete
Oh,it looks beautiful! I love the colour and really like the reduced blousiness on you. Also, those buttons look great!ReplyDelete
Hurrah for uninhibited arm movement! This dress is so much fun - the color, the buttons, the blue undercollar. The fit and shape really suit you, I think.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous lady, gorgeous dress!!ReplyDelete
Liza; I sure hope I did not offend you with my comment, that was certainly not my intention! I LOVE your dress, just like I love everything you have created! Sometimes a well-meant comment comes across as preacher-ly, I'm really sorry it sounded like that!ReplyDelete
That's a truly great dress. I love that shade of green and the blue accents are just right.ReplyDelete
Lovely job on this! That long row of square buttons totally works. Love the contrast undercollar and buttonholes!ReplyDelete
Snazzy looking dress! Very nicely done.ReplyDelete
I love your dress. The color(s) are great!ReplyDelete
I love the color and fit. Your details are darling, too. You make really, really great pieces.ReplyDelete
I ADORE this version! You look amazing in this green color! What a fantastic dress! Love the hair cut too! You look like a million! Thanks so much for participating! xoxo, SunniReplyDelete
What a beautiful colour! And your hair cut is very cute and sassy. Love your shoes, too, BTW.ReplyDelete