Friday, August 15, 2014

Things I've Sewn Lately: Deer and Doe Robe Belladone

Bonjour, Robe Belladone!

Believe it or not, one of my undergraduate degrees (yes, I'm insane and I have two) is in French. So of course I love Deer and Doe patterns. They have instruction books in French and English and it's really neat to look through the French ones.

This dress is an unlined sundress with a cutout back detail and was a lot of fun to sew up!

I will say, though, that fun does not always equal perfection. If I make this dress a second time there are several things I'd change.

For one, the dress is SHORT. Really short. This is the absolute longest skirt for the largest size done with a very narrow hem and while it's not indecent, let's just say that I am constantly worried about bending over, if you know what I mean.

Also, the back opening gapped horribly on me. Luckily, I was able to unpick, cut out some of the fabric (I just eyeballed it after I made Greg pin it) and made it work. I added a small loop of fabric to the center back there to hide the unsightly join in the bias tape that appeared.

Similarly, the waist is very high. Now, I love a good high waist, it's true. But this one has slash pockets that are pretty much unusable. I'd definitely lower it and/or omit the pockets.

The pleats I made were supposed to be going the other direction, but I thought they'd look better this way on me. (They do.)

Also, there is no way I could think of to line this dress. I know some folks have managed it, and I bow down to them. But I could not figure out a way that didn't make me want to tear my hair out. So this pattern sat on the shelf for a while as I pondered my options, since most of my sundress fabric requires lining.

Happily, I managed to find the perfect fabric for an unlined sundress. This is a quilting cotton I bought when Charlotte was destashing. It's a bit stiff, but I like the way it holds its shape.

I did a double line of top stitching everywhere just 'cause. This was the first dress I sewed on my new machine (I know, blogging out of order!) and I wanted an excuse to show off the lovely top-stitching. And that zipper! Can we all take a minute to just enjoy that super invisible invisible zipper? The Pfaff zipper foot is the best tool in my sewing room at the moment.

I also flipped all the bias tape to the inside, rather than leaving it exposed. I made matching bias tape, but I nearly always prefer the look of having it flipped to the inside when I use it for bindings.

While there are lots of things I'd change about this dress, I definitely wear it a ton. It looks nice with my chocolate brown hand-knit sweater, which is a bonus for sure. Not a high recommendation, but if you like the detail at the back, then it's definitely worth a try!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Things I've Sewn Lately: Seersucker New Look 6266

I love sleeveless button-up blouses. It's easy to wear them with a cardigan (no need to worry about stuffing your sleeves into your sweater) and they look nice and summery. 

And you can never go wrong with seersucker -- just ask the U.S. Congress.

The pattern for this blouse is New Look 6266. 

I tend to sew New Look more than any other major pattern brand. The looks are pretty simple, the patterns are cheap even if they aren't on sale and the block fits me fairly well. 

For this one, I cut my standard 8 at the top graded to a 10 at the bottom. 

The construction was very easy -- though I have some experience making button-up shirts, which is always helpful. After making three Archers this past winter, I can do a collar and collar stand in my sleep.

The armholes are bound with bias tape I made from some soft white quilting cotton.

The stripe is super small, so I didn't work too hard at matching, though I did match up the shoulder panel just for fun (I'm such a nerd.)

The pattern features a nice slit up the side for wearing ease, which makes it very comfortable to sit down in.

I serged all the exposed seams with white thread and for the hem, I just did a simple turned-under narrow hem.

The fabric for this shirt was a remnant AK Fabrics that I picked up at Male Pattern Boldness Day last August. There was about a yard and a half left, which they gave me for the price of half a yard.

I am really happy with this shirt and I'm sure I'll make the pattern again. It's a great staple. I wore it to work last week with my navy circle skirt and my Myrna sweater -- I love it when my handmades mix and match easily!