Wednesday, April 17, 2013

wrapped up in dotz

The days get warmer and my hems get longer. Bye tights, bye thighs. Hello, inner schoolmarm. It's for the best, really. And we all know how brutal the office A/C can be. What's the deal with that, man.

I decided I needed some more office-appropriate garments to incorporate into my springy wardrobe. I have exhausted my two Beignet skirts and other winter-weights, so I'm starting to feel that "what-the-haaiiiil-do-I-wear" anxiety every morning now. Jersey wrap dress time was nigh. I sit on my bum at a computer all day (doing valiant non-profit work and saving lives, of course), so I welcome the opportunity to look "professional"-ish while feeling like I'm in a fancy bathrobe.

The pattern is probably the second pattern I purchased after deciding to start sewing again in 2011. It's Butterick 5546, one of those easy "See & Sew" patterns that sits on display on the back wall of JoAnn's -- I guess to try to lure in the nonchalant passersby. I did make this pattern when I first bought it, also in a jersey, pre-blog, pre-serger, pre-knowledge of ANYTHING, and I accidentally reversed the direction of the wrap and have snapped a bunch of the stitches because my zig zag tension was way too tight. Anyway, here's Round Deux. All I did this time was lengthen it three inches. Gee, I realize I haven't made a new pattern in awhile -- I'm on total repeat mode these days. 

My hair is covering the detail at the shoulders, so here's a shot of my mannequin's cleavage -- I mean, the dress' pleats:

One of the ties slips through the dress side seam from the inside to be wrapped around the waist:

The jersey fabric is perfect in every way: richly-hued (more maroon than the orangey-ness in the detail shots), whimsical, springy and drapey. It was sent to me as a thank you from Amy Alan for reviewing her Craftsy class (oh, did you forget? You can STILL get 50% off her Beginner Serging class through this link here). It's like she knew that maroon was one of the three serger thread colors I already owned. Brilliant much? And because of her class, I knew how to overlock this fabric perfectly. Well, uh, as perfect as I am patient.

On the selvedge of the fabric it says "Matchmaster Prints by Antex of California Pattern." I googled Antex of California and it seems like it's a knitting mill that's actually in California. I just hope upon hope that that means this fabric was actually milled in the USA, though I guess it's possible it was just printed here? Amy said she bought the fabric at Mill End in Portland, which used to be a fabric mill in the early 20th century. If my assumptions about this fabric are correct, it would mean that my dress was resourced and made (almost) ENTIRELY in the United States, which would make me unbelievably chuffed... and mean I was one step closer to completing one of my sewing goals for 2013. Talk about cheap labor, though. No one paid me squat.

I had planned to talk more about my coverstitch machine in this post since I used it to hem all angles of this entire dress, but I still feel like I need to be more prepared to give a proper overview of the machine's functionality. To the one person who cares (Lisa G), I swear I'm working on it!

Speaking of goals for 2013, I had also hoped to participate in Me-Made-May for the first time. And sure enough, I'm feeling ready! So I officially pledge...

I, Andrea of foursquarewalls, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavor to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013.

Who's with me?! OK, better get sewing.