Butterick 6182 dress in denim eyeletMay 28, 2017 / byBeth (SunnyGal Studio) / Categories : Feeds
Of course most summers include a mix of things worn but do you end up with one or two outfits that you want to wear to everything. Which then means you rack your brain to recall what you were wearing the last time you saw certain friends. Can you get away with wearing the same exact thing? Not the most important issue in the world but for us who sew our wardrobe then variety is part of the package.
Which means that my social circle should learn to distinguish between all my denim dresses, because soon there will be at least four. And all fairly distinct - especially this one, entirely due to this fantastic fabric.
This is a lightweight denim which is not exactly eyelet but I don't know what else to call it. It has lots of small holes which are a tiny bit frayed that give it a soft feel. Also it is tie-dyed? or somehow dyed with a variegated color so all in all an unusual fabric. That I found last summer at Stone Mountain in Berkeley. If you are quick it looks like they have it listed on their website here. They call the color a marbled bleach effect and that sounds right. Last summer I made a skirt out of this fabric for my friend Alice, see that here.
I've been trying to branch out and wear different silhouettes. The "unfitted" dress is one that I see on so many people - what is the right name for this style of dress? Meaning something without a defined waist, less fitted than other styles. Sometimes they are called sack dresses, or maybe a shift dress? or a cocoon dress? I guess it depends on if the column is straight, or perhaps A-line. And then the cocoon dresses often have a subtle narrowing at the hemline. Last year I tried a Burda style dress, (here's the post) and I didn't like that one, mostly due to fabric choice and maybe the shape.
But this one is more of an A-line shift style dress and feels really good to wear. And it has built in ventilation for our hot weather :).
Here's the dress form view so you can see the silhouette.
I did make a few changes to the pattern. Pockets! of course. A dress with this shape and utility needs pockets - and it is an easy thing to add. I have a pocket pattern piece of cardboard which I use for any pattern that doesn't have pockets, and sew them on the side seams about 1" below wherever the waistline is marked on the pattern. It works out well. If you are trying to figure out where to add pockets on a dress, try it on and put your hand where you would normally reach into a pocket, then mark the center of that spot with a pin. I think a pocket opening of about 4.5 - 5" seems about right, so place your pocket pieces centered over the pin and you should be good. To go with this fabric for the pockets I used some scraps of bemberg rayon lining in navy blue. Also I add a bit on the side seam, particularly of the back dress piece so the pocket lining will not show.
Good thing patterns have technical drawings and other info because based solely on that example of the orange top and brown skirt I would have passed this pattern by. Yuck - I just don't like brown very much or brown/orange combos. Looks good on very few people. (caveat - there are some who look very good in this color combo - I can think of a couple of redheads who can wear this and look very pretty).
Here's the technical drawing for this pattern. I bought it and made a skirt sample for my class at Hello Stitch, and ended up recommending it as one of the skirt patterns for the class. Interestingly enough so far everyone has chosen this skirt and it is really cute! The first week we were looking at the pattern and spoke about how the top had potential - and maybe even the dress. That's why I decided to sew it up, just for fun and to show people at the studio how it looked.
The dress/top has bands on the sleeve edges, which are kind of wide - around 2", I did cut them out and baste them on, but they seemed kind of wide and also felt a bit constricting. Actually they would feel better if cut on the bias which they are not. Anyway - I decided it made the sleeves too long, I liked it better with more of a cap sleeve look. So the sleeves are just double turned and stitched. The neckline has a bias cut binding.
The center dart is just about the only design feature on this and adds a bit of shaping. I figured that the darts need to match so I measured them to make sure I sewed the length of each dart equally. I hadn't so I went back to make sure they were.
But in this fabric they don't even show.
Changing up the shoes for a different look - not my fav with these coral clogs, I like it better with my slip on sneakers. And I do have to say that I get a faint impression of mid-50's housedress with this style. I guess it's important to maintain a 21st century attitude (with cell phone and coffee in hand at all times) in order to look modern.
That's the scoop on my latest denim obsession. Here's a sneak peek on my Instagram of the next denim in my sewing queue.
OK - gotta run. Last week I bought some more plants at the junior college horticultural department end of semester plant sale and they have been sitting on the front porch. I just have to find a good location.
Happy weekend sewing,
Today's garden photo, a rose that I thought was is called Lipstick but now I'm not sure. I'll have to look in my gardening binder - which sounds more organized that it is. Actually a 3-ring binder where I chuck in all the tags, labels, receipts and articles that go with stuff I buy or accumulate. Anyway what a color!
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I added an inside pocket, and made it as big as I could without interfering with the darts. It’s big enough for a phone.
I stuck a pin through the lining and leather where the tailor’s tack was (the tack was just in the lining), to mark the snap position on the leather. Then I used the washer as a template, and marked the position of the prongs with a pen (making sure it wouldn’t bleed through to the front!).
|Admire that lovely top stitching!|
How much adjustment do you do on a very simple pattern? Do you feel it’s worthwhile to make very small changes to get it just right or perhaps you sew up simple things as is and save your efforts for a special dress or coat.
This simple dress pattern is something that I choose as one of the suggestions for my Sew a Dress class at Hello Stitch in Berkeley. (scheduled again for Sun. July 30 – the first one was great fun. More details at the bottom of this post on all the upcoming classes). As it happens Craftsy asked me to write a longer post outlining all the steps to sew a simple dress, consequently I decided to sew up this pattern and get a lot of things done with one project. Plus I’ve been on a shift dress kick lately. They are such simple and pleasant things to wear. Since it was 107˚F in the SHADE here yesterday I would rather have worn a dress made of ice cubes but since that is not going to happen a shift dress it is.
I have had this fabric in my stash for a good 5 or 6 years. It’s a cotton batik that I bought in Hawaii, quite a large amount (5 yards) and just never found a use for it. Slightly heavy as a lot of batiks are, so not really good for most dresses plus the vertical stripe had me stumped. I think I found the perfect style for it that uses the stripe best. Plus I can wear my stripes navy blue espadrille sandals – double win.
Here’s the pattern envelope, with a sneak peek of a subsequent version of this dress. Which everyone has gone wild for on my Instagram teases, embroidered denim must be the thing this summer. The envelope says D0569 but all the pattern pieces say New Look 6500 so I’m calling it that. I really like New Look patterns, they come up with some super cute dresses and tops, plus they include all sizes in one envelope and cost $ 3.99 all the time.
Onward to my adjustments: I sewed this dress for the Craftsy post, not as a wearable but as a “photograph-able” item, i.e. something that would really show in the step-by-step tutorial but I had no intention of wearing it. It was actually quite a pleasure to just sew up a dress with no changes, I sewed the size 12 and went from there.
Here is the version I sewed for Craftsy, in a quilting cotton that I had in my stash, I think a remainder from a project I did for someone on Etsy ages ago. And I really loathe this color of green so don’t even tell me that you like this dress on me 🙂 Plus for the most part sewing/wearing garments with quilting cotton is a bit NO for me. With some exceptions they always look a bit off: too wrinkly, too juvenile, too unsophisticated to claim my interest.
But I include the photo of me wearing this one to show the neckline fit. That neckline was choking me – I don’t like that high round neckline and when you move your head forward it’s so uncomfortable. Good shoe match thought, right?
Back to the blue and white batik version. Can you see the difference in the neckline? It is so much more comfortable for me in the second version. I wanted to figure out exactly how much to open the neck so I made a version of just the top half of the dress in swedish tracing paper – and every time I use that I remember that is has absolutely no give. While it seems like a good idea because you can sew it – putting it on is not so easy. I did put a zipper so I could actually try it on – which worked in the end but it was kind of shredded. However it was good enough to slice and dice a bit, figuring out how I wanted the final neckline to be shaped.
I cut out the batik version based on my new neckline, and basted it together at the shoulder seams to see if I liked the neckline. It still seemed a bit too high for my preference and also I like the armholes to be more cut in at the shoulder in a sleeveless dress. So instead of cutting more off the edges of the dress I made a one piece facing for front and back, and then used tracing paper to mark a seam line. At the neck I took away a further 5/8″ (total seam allowance now 1.25″) and then on the armholes I think I sewed it at around 7/8″ which makes the armhole a bit bigger all around. You have to be careful that it doesn’t make the armhole too low but this dress had a very tight armhole so there was plenty of room.
On my next version of this dress (the embroidered chambray fabric) I’ll show how I make the one piece facing plus this upcoming version is lined so it incorporates facing and lining together.
The original New Look pattern had separate neck and armhole facings which works ok, not my preference but not as horrible as some make it out to be. But there’s a better way. Another option for these simple summer dresses is bias binding but I wanted to show the traditional or basic type of dress sewing.
But we are not done yet! In fact this adjustment should have come up first in my writing but I only remembered to take this picture a few minutes and include it. The bust dart on this dress is both large and high. I measured it on the pattern piece and could see that it needed to be lower so I did that before I did anything else, just a straightforward shift downward about 3/4″. The bust dart is kind of larger than it would be had there been other darts (vertical waist darts) or other shaping. Trying it on it made the dart a bit too pointy – not my favorite look. So I reduced the width of the dart.
On the tracing paper on the left you can see the faint outline of the original dart, too high. The second placement, lower but too big, and then the final version in the purple dotted line, just right. I sound like Goldilocks don’t I but if you’re going to do adjustments you might as well go all the way until you like the fit.
Back and side view, you can barely see the dart but that is the ideal, at least for me. Since the side seams were not even in length I split the difference at the top of the seam at the armhole and sliced off about 3/8″ off the side back at that point. Worked out fine.
So that’s chapter one on my summer shift dress extravaganza. I have some more complex things in line for my sewing table but not sure what order I will sew them.
Here’s the link to that Craftsy post: The Complete Beginners Guide to Sewing a Dress.
Update on classes at Hello Stitch Studio on Berkeley. The Fit Lab was great – we are going to schedule this class again soon. In July we are repeating Saturday classes for sewing Skirts, Tunic Tops, and a new on starting on Wed 7/26 in the evening is a Button-front shirt class. All these classes are two sessions scheduled a week apart so not a long term time commitment and you will get a project done (or nearly) and learn some new and useful techniques. The Dress class is an all-day one on Sun. 7/30. FYI: I’ve found parking to be surprisingly easy around the studio and it is no more than a 10 minute walk from the Berkeley Bart station so really convenient to get to.
This was yesterday afternoon. Survival mode with an iced coffee. thankfully lots cooler today (ha ha only mid 90’s˚F).
Happy weekend sewing,
today’s garden photo, this white daisy just looks so calm and cool, even in this heat!read more
Surprise Watercolor Drawings are a fun way to paint! Kids can make their creations, give them to a friend, and watch as their friend uncovers the magic drawing using watercolor paint! We’ve partnered with Imperial Sugar to bring you this fun activity, featuring sugar glue that you can make at home! Surprise Watercolor Drawings…read more