Sunday, September 29, 2013

tribal / cord

My general approach to cold-weather apparel includes wearing normal summery dresses with additional layers. I've never really been the type to keep two separate wardrobes that replace each other every six months. The foundation pieces in my "winter clothes storage" include one sweater knit dress and a couple cord and wool skirts. My tights and cardigans, however, are overflowing.

I made this dress in (cringe) "tribal print" rayon a few months ago. It's a basic sleeveless dress with a high elastic waist that I made from the under layer of the Burdastyle Double Layer Dress PDF pattern from 6/2013. I didn't think the style of the dress was blog-worthy but I've probably worn it once every weekend since I made it. The fabric is interesting and goes with black AND brown, which I obviously love to mix. It's rare for JoAnn's to carry rayon prints, but I'm always happy when I find them because it's one of my favorite fabrics to sew and wear.

The dress truly is nothing special. The neckline and armholes are finished with bias tape facings. It has a machine-stitched narrow hem. Done and done. And I'm obsessed with it.

These days I'm starting to prefer wearing light jackets instead of cardigans, I guess because they're edgier (?) and feel more weekend-appropriate. I've had a thrifted khaki jacket for awhile that was stained and starting to rip in the elbows. I decided it was time for a new one, so I bought some khaki corduroy to recreate a similar style.

I did this by seam-ripping an old Target jacket and using those pieces as the pattern. I was able to make a broad back adjustment, which I've finally accepted as something I need to do on most fitted garments with sleeves. In the original jacket, I wasn't able to even hug anyone. Wah! Now I will hug everything and everyone. I think there's a misconception that a well-fitting garment needs to be flush against the skin from all angles. Don't forget (like I have for years) that your arms move forward and upward, but not backward, so even if a jacket looks puffy in the back by the armscye when you're standing straight, it's necessary for comfortable driving/hugging/cooking/child-holding/dancing/pool-playing/Swiffering/etc.

I don't love the cuff openings on this thing, as they gape open when the cuffs are buttoned. I think I need to study other ready-to-wear jackets to see how the cuffs are made. 

This corduroy is pretty thin and SUPER wrinkly. The elbow areas of this jacket look like a constant hot mess no matter what. My recommendation: if you're going to make a jacket using the remains of a cheap old Target jacket, use nicer fabric and NICER BUTTONS or else your handmade garment will end up looking like a cheap old Target jacket. Does anyone know where to buy higher-quality corduroy?

Still, though, I'ma wear the hell out of this outfit, even if autumnal corduroy mixed with tribal print rayon is a bit of a seasonal disconnect. Try and stop me.

What's first on your fall sewing list?