Tuesday, May 28, 2013

project sewn: signature style

The last challenge! I've made it to the top three of Project Sewn and I can't thank you all enough for voting for my looks and being true sweetheartz. I hope that the whole series has inspired some of you to sew more for yourselves or start creating in general, as that's what it's intended to do. What has been your favorite theme so far?

The guideline for this week's theme "Signature Style" was: "Design a look for yourself that is all you---your look, your style, what you love to make and wear." Perfect. I love making and wearing things that I love to make and wear. 

As you probably know, I kinda only wear dresses and skirts (see here, here and here for evidence). Casual dresses mostly, made in solids, stripes/plaids or geometric prints. Feminine silhouettes but nothing frilly. No embellishments, no ruffles, no ric rac. Pink is limited. Kinda preppy and modest, but also kinda cool (maybe?). Fitted waistline required, fitted skirts discouraged (less so lately, though). Must be beltable. Must pair well with a cardigan or cropped jacket. If it's not neutral, it's probably blue, red, or something in that color family. Must be able to be cut, sewn and finished in about a week or else I'll get bored. If it's not office-appropriate (i.e. knee-ish--length and cardiganable), it must be appropriate for my low-key social life that involves going to a lot of ethnic restaurants, drinking beer at microbreweries, sitting in my friends' living rooms, and walking around parks or whatever.

I've never written out my style requirements before, but it's easier to do now that I've made it most the way through my first Me-Made-May. Seeing the weekly collections of photos and hearing the feedback in the comments gives me a better understanding of what kind of clothes I most like to wear and how other people interpret my style. 

This dress seems to hits all my key style points. I love it, anyway, so that says something. Is it epic enough for a Project Sewn finale? Maybe not, but it's going to get worn and enjoyed a helluva lot. I started with Vogue 8665, a pattern I made recently in red ponte knit. I chopped it at the waistline and added a quarter-ish circle skirt. For more stripey fun, I added a 3" thick band of horizontal stripes at the hem. I was worried about how the straight grain of the band would interact with the off-grain circleness of the skirt, but it didn't freak out too much and actually added some needed structure and weight. It swings like a bell when I wear it.

The fabric is pinstripe chambray from the Michael Levine online fabric store (found here). It's labeled as black and white, but altogether it looks gray, of course, which is exactly what I wanted. Gray looks great with yellow belts, and red belts, black belts, and even brown belts. I think I'm set.

I lowered the back neckline by a few inches because the only matching zipper I had wasn't long enough otherwise. It probably would have been fine as is since the skirt is full, but I do like the look of the lower back.

I used a regular zipper but decided to hand-pick it instead of fiddling with trying to get straight machine stitches all the way around. The little hand stitches sank into the fabric so they're basically invisible, even if the zipper itself is not.

I didn't re-read the pattern instructions so I don't remember how it has you finish the neckline and armholes, but bias tape made the most sense to me. Of course I used red bias tape. Of course!

So that's my final look! If you're feelin' it, please head over to Project Sewn and vote. This is my final solicitation for votes, I promise.

Thanks everyone!