Monday, September 10, 2012

red plaid lumberjane dress

No trees were harmed in the making of this dress. 

Maybe. I do wonder what'd I'd discover if I were to trace the whole life of the fabric I buy, just to see what resources and labor are actually exploited -- er, used -- in the process, and where they come from. Who's up for some documentary film-making and weepy liberal guilt? Oh, don't tempt me.

Anyway. I've been yearning for a plaid shirtdress (shirt dress? shirt-dress?) for awhile now but I wanted to wait until autumn. You know, logging season, when lumberjanes typically stalk the woodlands in their pleated skirts and discount synthetic boots. I was too excited after buying this fabric, though, that I got right to it even though it's early September and not yet chilly. Plaid is so aesthetically pleasing, especially in a vibrant color, don'tcha think? This is some plain ole cotton typically reserved for quilters. Try as you might, adorable red plaid, you can't hide from these grubby apparel-making hands. I shall dart you.

I used the same pattern I used the last time I made myself something plaid: the Lisette Traveler Dress, Simplicity 2246. This time I used mostly View C, but with View A's sleeves and a skirt that is pleated instead of gathered, straightened a bit from the dramatic A-line, and shortened. Shortened by 5+ inches! This sassy lumberjane just wants to flash a lil' bit of her opaque tights, you know?

But don't worry! I realize there are supposed to be two more buttons sewn on at the bottom. I won't wear it in public like this; I'm not that sassy. I only had six of the same black button when I needed eight, but I'm saving my notions trek til next weekend. Driving is boring. Might as well hit a McCall's and Vogue pattern sale while I'm in suburbia.

My inspiration was these two dresses, both from ModCloth (quelle surprise). I liked the idea of a shirtdress that buttons all the way down, with a defined waist and slightly fuller skirt (...quelle surprise). I decided to pleat it like my Kelly skirts because it's familiar.

1 - Rockwell Frock (sold out)

One day I would like to try using snaps instead of buttons on a garment, like these. I bet my Masters student homework-swamped boyfriend would love for me to have another loud sewing tool to use while he reads post-colonial literary theory in the next room.

I've reviewed this pattern before (flannel shirt here), and I still stand by it after sewing a different view. It's great! It's quite intuitive and comes together neatly and relatively easily. There's no back yoke/facing or cuffs with plackets. The collar and collar stand are one whole piece instead of separate.

This time I made one size smaller (10 instead of 12) and it fits much nicer, especially with the extra shaping darts in the front and back bodices on View C. I also cut the button placket on the bias so that saved me some time with the whole plaid-matching thing. Speaking of saving time, I used permanent fusible tape to attach the front patch pockets, with some stitching in the top corners to secure them. I did try to topstitch them all the way around, but it's just too severe of a curve for my awkward handling and limited patience. Hey, I'm free to pick my stitchery battles.

Whoa, sunset. I promise this dress is red and black, not neon pink-orange.

So who else is sewing for the new season yet? Oh yeah, did you know that September is National Sewing Month? Whatever that means. I always sew like a maniac, regardless of the month. I only knew about this because the Simplicity website is having a $3.99 pattern sale to celebrate. Maybe you should all buy the Travelers Dress pattern so we can be plaid-clad forest frolickers together this month, eh? Neh?