Tuesday, June 6, 2017

More Sleeves!

These are some serious sleeves, again!  I guess it really is 'the year of the sleeve.'  Or am I behind a year?  I usually am.  Anyway, I made this dress back in April for Easter.  I actually took photos then, too, but have not even thought about blogging until now. Why now, do you ask?  Schools out!  Glorious free time!  Woo hoo!  Today was my last workday for the next nine weeks.  I love summer!! 

Pattern Description:  McCalls 7385.  I made view C but with the awesome circular flutter sleeves.  I've had this pattern for a while.  I have seen a few sleeveless versions but not any with the big sleeves.  I now see why the giant sleeves are only on the shirt view, though.  A whole lotta fabric went in to this dress.  Five yards.  Yes, five!  I lined the sleeves and bodice.  And while I like the end result just fine, I do feel like I'm being swallowed up by all that fabric.  

Pattern Sizing:  6-22.  I made a 14 but I do believe I nipped it in a bit.  It's been while since I made it, so it's hard to remember everything I did.

Fabric Used:  A rayon challis, I believe this is from Gertie's line of fabrics at Joann's.  I really, really tried to shop my stash but didn't have anything spring-y for Easter.  So I went to Joann's just to browse and this electric blue floral print jumped out at me.  It's not a style I would typically go for but I think it works with the dress.  And I felt nice and bright and springlike when I wore it.  I am a little concerned about the longevity of the fabric.  I had a lot of trouble with warping and stretching out while I was sewing. I guess that means the weave is looser.  It's nice and swishy, though.  On the downside, you really can't see any of my seam lines in this busy print.

Likes/Dislikes:  I like the lines of this pattern.  The gathering on the side is nice and I like that it doesn't continue across the center front.  I like the raised waist.  It hits me at my smallest measurement.  I also like the split neck.  I do have a little bit of pulling at the split towards my shoulders.  Typical issue for me.  I think I squared the shoulders some, but can't remember.  I usually do.  The split neck should be lined in the pattern instruction but it's not.  It stays open and you would see the wrong side of the fabric all the time.  Luckily I read a couple of reviews of the pattern, including Carolyn's, so I planned ahead and lined the whole bodice- front, back and side pieces.  The original instructions have you line just the side front and back to get a clean edge on the armholes. 

Alterations/Deviations:  Like I said above, I lined the whole bodice.  I used all the same pattern pieces, cutting the center front at the waistline.  I also self-lined the sleeves.  I put one sleeve on as a single layer but didn't like seeing the wrong side of the fabric.  So I cut two sets of sleeves and stitched together at the hem before sewing them to the armscye.  Those sleeve pieces are fabric eaters!  Saved me from having to hem that giant circle, though.   I added interfacing to some areas on the bodice after the fact as I was sewing.  The pattern doesn't call for any interfacing, but I think you need some if you are using a floppy fabric like rayon challis.  I interfaced the front edges of the split (shell and lining) and around the neckline.  Like I said before, I was having some trouble with warping and this was my solution.  I added side seam pockets, too.  I love shoving my hands in my pockets.   The finished dress was also pretty short.  You probably can't tell, but I used my last little scrap of fabric to add a hem band to the bottom of the skirt.  For length, but also to add a little bit of weight to the skirt.  With all the lining on the bodice and sleeves, the dress is pretty top heavy.  I probably should have lined the whole dress in a lining fabric, minus the front neck split.

Conclusion:  I enjoyed wearing my new dress.  I like the cut of the dress even if it gets overshadowed by those massive sleeves.  I'd love to make the maxi version this summer though sleeveless for sure.  The front slit on the maxi view is calling my name.  If I make those big sleeves again, I'll stick with just a top version.