Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Miss Scar(Char)let

This is one of my all-time favorite dresses. It wins on so many fronts for me. It's a perfect shade of red. It's spinny. The neckline is dramatic. It has sleeves. It has pockets. So many good things. 

Construction Notes 

I combined the bodice of one of Gertie's patterns, Butterick 5814, with the sleeves from an old Simplicity pattern (9025, I wanted 3/4 length sleeves and luckily, lovely Laura Mae of Lilacs and Lace had done this with her version of the dress as well. So, I ripped off her great idea.) I also forwent Gertie's lovely pencil skirt with drape and instead opted for my old standby: The circle skirt with pockets. 

Boy, I'm glad I did. Look at that deliciously drapey, spinny action. 

The fabric is some weird polyester twill that FEELS amazing, and drapes beautifully, but is a real pain to work with. Hemming was a niiiiiightmare, and it gets iron shine very easily. Oy vey.


Regrets: Looking at the photos, I feel like I should have tailored the sleeves more, but, they're comfy as they are, so I'm not too upset about it. 

I also didn't quiiiite do my pleats properly; I just sewed them into the seam and then let them live free instead of tacking them down a little ways, which makes for a little bit of puffing out in the front of the bodice. 

I also think I maybe should have put the bows on the sleeves that I drew in my original sketch, but, I can always add those. =]  

Pattern Thoughts: The size 10 of Butterick 5814 was a little big, so I took it in a pretty even amount all the way down the sides. The sleeves on Simplicity 9025 are sort of a rigamarole to make--they've got a shoulder curve that is REALLY curvy, and I had to tone it down a lot so as not to look like a linebacker. 

Styling & Shoot: 

Photos, as ever, by the inimitable Dyann Diercks Photography, taken at the Emporium Kitchen in the Elizabeth Hotel

 Dress: Materials bought at JoAnn Fabrics 
Shoes: Poetic License (but found these bad boys for $20 on Poshmark!)
Fox Brooch: MJ's Uptown Antiques 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Feathers, Lace, and Impracticality: A Dressing Gown's Tale

 I get a lot of joy out of things that are beautiful, but are first and foremost practical--pretty things that I have a need for in my day-to-day life (Paperblanks planners, my Laredo lace-up boots, and dresses with pockets are some examples.) Feathered dressing gowns do not fit that criteria, yet somehow, I have still absolutely always NEEDED to have one.

I've wanted one for ages (I've been drooling over Catherine D'Lish's collection along with the rest of the internet) and it finally occurred to me last spring that I should just get on with it and make one already.

Construction Notes

Armed with Vogue 7254 and three yards of All That Glitters stretch lace from JoAnn Fabrics, I went for it. The pattern was perfect for using the scalloped edges of the fabric as the front edges of the robe. (You have to cut them all out, though, as they have several inches of mesh around them.)

I added some fabric to the width of the skirt to improve its twirling capabilities, but it was not without consequence. The extra weight on such stretchy fabric affected the construction--the waistline was pulled down past my hips, so I had to cut a few inches off the length of the bodice to compensate. 

I also didn't like how the pattern's cape sleeves looked on me, so I turned 'em into regular sleeves. 


Regrets: NO RAGRETZ except maybe I should add another layer of feathers? I always feel like there's never enough. 

Pattern Thoughts: Vogue 7254 is well-put together and easy to understand, but ultimately I made so many alterations for my own preferences that I don't have much to say about the pattern itself!

Styling & Shoot: 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Snow White in Sensible Flannel

I've been eyeing Vogue 9265 for a while, waiting for patterns to go on sale at my local Joann Fabrics. They finally did, along with all of their flannel. I wasn't particularly shopping for flannel, but I saw this beautiful, richly colored print and decided I had to make a flannel dress.

Now, it's rather prone to linty-ness. And to sticking to my tights. BUT MAN, is it cozy.

Construction Notes

I made some alterations to the bodice--I wanted a bit more of a sweetheart neckline than a scoop neck, so I eyeballed the cut and then used my tape measure to even things up (someday, this "eyeball it first" method is probably gonna lead to some unfortunate results, but until then...)
Once I got the lining sewn in, the neckline was a little big (in my experience, Vogue patterns are almost always weirdly large in random places, but I did go crazy with those alterations, so it is likely that I am to blame in this instance.) Rather than go back and re-do, I hand-sewed in some little tucks at the center and the sides.

I used contrasting yellow cotton for the lining and pockets. 


Regrets: I wish I'd made the skirt a little fuller, and the sleeves slightly longer. 

Pattern Thoughts: This dress went together really easily, and the size 10 required only minor fitting, just at the sides--no tampering with the princess seam lines necessary!
I wish the sleeves were about 2 inches longer, as the elastic likes to catch above my elbow and the solidness of the flannel makes that into a weeeeird shape. It would probably not be an issue with a lighter, more drapey fabric. 

Styling & Shoot 

Photos by my lovely friend Dyann of Dyann Diercks Photography in some golden Colorado woodlands.

Dress: Materials bought at Joann Fabrics
Navy tights: TJ Maxx (Fleece lined and 4 dollars, y'all!)
Boots: Salvation Army (NYC)
Velvet Hair Ribbon: MJ Trimming (NYC)