Monday, December 23, 2013

FO: On the Job Dress

"On The Job" Dress

Just the Facts:
Fabric:  about 2.5 yards each of quilting cotton and poly/cotton broadcloth from JoAnn's  $11.75
Notions:  Thread from stash, zipper
Pattern:  Simplicity 3673, View C 
Year:  1950s reprint
Time to Complete:  I stopped keeping track
First Worn:  December 9, 2013
Wear Again:  yes again and again and again
Total Cost:  $15.00 including the pattern 

This dress has actually been finished for a couple weeks.  I made two attempts at taking FO photos and I'm not really thrilled with either effort.  I am, however, totally in love with this dress.  I spent so much time making it exactly right.  I wanted pockets.  I added pockets.  I wanted a collar.  I made a collar.  I wanted sleeves.  Yup.  Got some sleeves.  I think with a couple-few more tweaks, this will be a great contender for a TNT dress pattern.

The fabric is navy with green geometric patterning.  It's circles and diamonds.  I thought the fabric was quite light and possibly sheer and wanted to underline it.  This created a fabric that I think is the perfect weight.  I wanted to line the fashion fabric with batiste, but couldn't find one in navy blue.  I went with the poly/cotton blend because I actually liked the hand for underlining.  

The skirt isn't twirlable as much as I try.  It's only a four gore skirt.  The waist shaping is achieved by sewing 6 darts per front and back.

I got one hand in my pocket and the other hand's in the other pocket.  Alanis would not be pleased with my rendition of her song.

I did move the bust gathers in a half inch and they ended up in the proper location on the boob line.  That is always a plus.  :) The pockets I put on this dress are my favorite so far.  They are completely invisible.  I used the pocket piece from Simplicity 2444 and pinned the pocket to the skirt front when I was holding the pattern pieces against myself.  Totally unscientific, but it worked.

This dress certainly gives the illusion I have actual curves.  I tend to think I'm quite celery-shaped.

I think this photo is accurate of the fabric color.  From a distance, the colors blend so nicely that it creates a lovely shade of teal.  

This is part of photo session take 2.  You have no idea how cold I was.  The frost had just melted off the ground.

See?  Cold.  I am showing off my fancy new gold shoes!  Off topic:  I bought a pair of black satin pumps from Dilliards years ago.  I love those shoes so much.  I went looking for another pair of shoes from the same company, but I wanted a nice neutral gold tone.  These are the perfect new shoes to go with my (almost) perfect new dress.

I used the cap sleeve from Simplicity 2444 as well.  Heavily modified, of course.  That's my style lately--modifying the crap out of things.  Let me explain how I modified the sleeves to fit my arms.

First I got a new piece of freezer paper.  I drew a slash line at the half way point.  Keep in mind that the back of the sleeve is longer.  That's why the line looks "off."

You can see here that I made myself some notes on the pattern piece.  I previously adjusted the armscye and the sleeve had to be adjusted by that much as well.  Actually, if you are mixing pattern pieces over different companies, it's a good idea to measure your armscye and sleeve cap to make sure they "match" before sewing them together.  Just like it sounds, I take a flexible tape measure and measure each pattern piece.  It is normal for the sleeve cap to be slightly larger (1/2" or so) because you ease the cap to the shoulder.

Anyway, back to the point.  I adjusted my armscye by 3/4", so I needed to add that much to my sleeve cap.  I put little marks on each side to reflect that adjustment.  Then I carefully spread my cut point until it matched the finished measurement I needed.  I ended up with a sleeve measuring 15.25" including the seam allowance.  I taped the slash down so it wouldn't move while I traced my old sleeve onto the clean sheet of paper.  I had to true up the bottom of the sleeve and mark the new grainlines and that's it.  Easy peasy.
Here's my new sleeve, nice and pretty.

Notes are good.  I will be making this S2444 eventually and I want to make sure I don't make more work for myself down the line.

My pretty pocket.  I cut both both pocket pieces out of the navy broadcloth.

I serged all my edges.  Don't they look lovely?

The dress zips up the back with a lapped zipper.  The way one sews in a lapped zipper requires one to baste the zipper opening closed first.  As I stitched further down the 22" zipper, the fabric biased more and more as I fed it through my machine.  I don't know how to keep that from happening again.  You can tell the lap is obviously biased, but I can't see back there, so whatevs.

I understitched my collar to keep the seam allowance down and to keep that nice collar stand.

As far as how it looks compared to the look I was going for?  I give myself an A-.  I missed some of the design details with this attempt, but the dress is a definite win overall.  What do you think?

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