I started it on an impulse, did not plan it to death, and am finding myself rather pleased with the results. As Gillian noted recently, quick, impulsive creating sometimes pans out well and other times it falls flat. In this case, I think it worked in my favor. Not planning this project out too much helped me enjoy the sewing process on this simply constructed dress, kept me from stressing about working with plaid for the first time, and boosted my morale a bit, too.
|McCall 9735 - view C|
I used the plaid fabric, some navy bias tape, and McCall 9735 all from my recent estate sale haul. Now, I technically made this dress in April (with my Ginger and my Easter Egg blouse, that makes 3 finished pieces for the month...yay!), even though I'm debuting it in May.
|Here she is! (the collar looks rather uneven in this photo, but I promise it's just an illusion.|
Let's get down to some details about this dress, shall we?
I opted for version C -- SLEEVELESS! (I'm still pretty much over set-in sleeves) I think this will make it a good casual summer dress that can easily be paired with one of my ever-present cardigans. Now, speaking of the sleevelessness of this baby, at the last minute I decided to use bias tape to finish the armholes instead of just as armhole facing. I'd even cut out the actual armhole facings with the pattern pieces, but now they're hanging out in my scrap basket - oh, well. The way I did the bias tape kind of extended the edge of the armhole over onto the shoulder a bit, so they're verging on cap sleeves of sorts, which I actually like.
I did end up using the neck facing pieces, but not as facings! I combined the front and back pieces to create a little collar and faced the inner neckline with more bias tape.
|Bias tape bound armholes.|
As soon as I'd decided to make this pattern, I knew I wanted a belt involved, or else I'd just feel like a frumpy, plaid blob. Instead of opting for the exact belt option in the pattern, complete with buckle and eyelets, I just used a strip of fabric to make a little sash/tie. This helped eliminate the baggy tent-like aspect the pattern design, sans belt, had going on.
|From the back - the belt/waist tie definitely helps give this dress some shape.|
I was inspired by the soft, lightweight, linen-y feel of the plaid and wanted a casual warm weather dress (I haven't switched out my winter wardrobe, since the weather here has been all over the place. All my spring/summer clothes are still hiding in a bin). I love how comfortable this dress is. Part of that is due to the loose fit, though I'm considering making a couple of darts/tucks in the front bodice near the waist to keep it from looking super blousey on top - at the same time, though, I don't really care! like it anyway.
|Might eliminate some extra bulk in bodice with more darts or tucks.|
Now, about working with plaid...matching up the stripes in this project wasn't totally horrible, but I'd still call it a fail, mainly because I just couldn't really be bothered to care. If I'd been really trying, I'd say I did my best, but...I didn't. I did work to at least acknowledge the placement of stripes when I was aligning the pattern pieces on the fabric before cutting, but I didn't match anything along the seams. The bust darts plus the long french(?) darts combined to kind of make plaid-matching impossible, or at least not worth it for me. I came close, but then failed at matching the plaids at the center back zip, but, like I said, I'm not sweating it! I've noticed it's not terribly uncommon for inexpensive RTW garments to not bother with matching plaids and prints at seams, so for this quick project, I don't mind and don't expect to get any weird looks when parading around in my somewhat miss-matched plaid creation - or at least not due to my lack of matching stripes.
|Is it even possible to match plaids on side seams of an A-line skirt??|
Also of note for this project, I was finally able to install an invisible zipper with my regular zipper foot and not have it look totally bunchy, blatant/un-invisible, and gross! yay.
I promise I'll do an official fashion show with this dress and my Ginger(s) - I'm hoping to have a denim one in the works very soon - once I can get some photos of me actually wearing them.
Also, up next, I'm going to be picking one or two of these dress patterns from my stash to make so I can have a pretty new dress (or dresses!) to wear to the two back-to-back weddings I'll be attending this summer. What do you think? I've numbered them one through four, so feel free to vote on which one or two you think I should make!
|As always, please excuse the crappy photo! Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the vintage McCall pattern. :)|