Friday, May 4, 2012

blue check dress

Once upon a time there was a king size fitted sheet that was crumpled in a pile on the floor.

Then, it lived happily ever after on my body. Le fin.

Hey, more blue. More checks. More blue checks.

Is this intentional? Maybe. I don't know. I didn't even sign up for Colette's "spring wardrobe palette challenge" but I keep buying blue fabric and making blue things. So, just to make it official, here's my wardrobe palette inspiration board:

blue man group

Bleu-tiful. I made this blue-checked dress two weeks ago, but was kinda reluctant to post it around the same time as my blue-checked pajama pants, but I won't have any other final product to show you for awhile. My trip to Pennsylvania last week meant approximately six non-sewing days, which is torture for someone with a crafty addiction, as I'm sure you all know (...right?). My sewing machine nearly suffocated under its little plastic dust-repellent cover, something I admit I rarely use when I'm sewing daily. It grunted at me when I finally switched it on. Needy much?

I've made this pattern before -- Simplicity 2177. It's a pattern that is easy to pass over, and I don't blame you for that since it looks totally boring on l'envelope. Of course, it's their fault for covering up the only interesting part of the dress --the front bodice with the two bias-cut pieces and triangle inset-- on the model. Sewing Commandment 1: Thou shalt not judge a pattern by its Big 4 envelope cover styling.

I like the dress I made with the pattern last time (darkly pictured above and blogged about here), but I think I cut the hem too short for how stiff the fabric is. It's great for standing still and holding a beer at parties while gloating, "Yeah, I made this dress for like four whole dollars, so what?", but it's completely indecent to sit down in, and I was emotionally scarred by my past experience of having to creep in slow motion through the grocery store so the skirt wouldn't ride up too much with normal leg movement. But since I like it otherwise, I wanted a second chance to make a more wearable version.

Belt's a-slidin'. For this version I kept the skirt a little longer and lined it in something slippery so I can grocery shop at my regular speed (aka as fast as possible - I hate grocery shopping). I left off the facings and bias tape and just did the ole serge-and-turn method on the neckline and armholes. It's my preferred lazy-man technique. I also used an invisible zipper instead of a lapped zipper, and tapered in the side seams of the bodice a bit more.

I tried my damndest to make the bust darts so they wouldn't be so, uh, pokey. STILL, they're a bit prominent. I think the angle of them, too, draws your eye to risque places, which I'm not really a fan of doing. Ohhhh well.

This dress pattern has major back neckline gaping issues (more than usual for me). I've finally learned that I can properly eliminate that problem by simply creating two neckline darts, rather than improperly removing fabric from the upper back area. I've taken in fabric there in some blouses before and lemme just say, I look totally crazy when trying to blow dry my hair in those things due to the restricted arm movement. I don't know why most patterns omit neckline darts nowadays, because all humans have a curve from their necks to their backs even with good posture, right?

Okay. Mr. (or Mrs.) Skeleton confirms it. Good to know I'm not a lone hunchback in a cruel straightback world.

Please forgive & forget the enormous gap at the top of the zipper below the hook & eye. I forgot I had already finished the neckline when I attached the zipper, so there was no more seam allowance to turn over atop it. Oopsie doopsie. One day I'll sew a perfect garment and you'll be like, "Wow. That's a perfectly sewn garment" and I'll be like, "Thanks" and you'll be like, "It shows true dedication that you've been a sewing blogger for 56 years just to reach this point." And I'll try to take that as a compliment.

So, until then, we will all just have to deal with my zipper gappage and indecent headlight darts and bodice drag lines and serged-and-turned armholes and mismatching polyester skirt linings and such. Here's to improvement!

What color are you currently obsessed with? Anyone else on a blue kick?