Monday, July 7, 2014

FO: "Air of Houndstooth"

"Air of Houndstooth"

Just the Facts:
Fabric: 2 yards of Michael Miller houndstooth fabric and 1/2 yard lining $16
Notions: Thread and zipper from stash $2
Pattern: New Look 6020, $1
Year: 2011
Time to Complete:  about 10 hours including drafting pocket pieces
First Worn:  July 2, 2014
Wear Again:  yes!
Total Cost: $19

This is the latest addition to my wardrobe:  New Look 6020.  I keep going back to this pattern for ModCloth's Air of fill-in-the-blank dress looks.  It was high time (get it?--high) I make one for myself.  If you remember, I first spotted the Michael Miller fabric about a year ago and I was bummed only had a yard in stock.  I ordered that yard (turned out to be 26" or so) and made a carryall tote and a pair of slippers with it.  When it came back in stock, I placed an order for 3 more yards faster than you can say "the devil wears a blue thong."

These photos suck. It is forever too freaking bright in my yard (and no rain for weeks, what?) to take good pictures. My attempts at color-correction made the fabric look grainy. I think grainy is the lesser of the two evils, so there you have it.

For my dress, I chose bodice View D with the bodice back of A/B. 

I also spent a fair amount of time figuring out and drafting the pattern pockets.  A girl's gotta have a place to keep her rocks and hair clips yaknow.  A tutorial is forthcoming for that.

I did a lapped side zipper with a hook and eye at the top.  I'm not crazy with how the zip turned out.  I don't know why I haven't been able to master the lap yet.  I keep trying!

I added a fully-lined bodice instead of the facings, but I ended up inserting the lining backwards.  I should have left the shoulder seams for last and hand-sewed those up and I sewed the shoulders first.  I had to make and use bias tape around the armholes because of this.  I am SO PLEASED with how my bias tape turned out this time.  It was largely wonk-free.  The biggest issue I had with the bias tape was that I sewed it on before sewing in the zipper and I had to unpick my gawgeous bias tape finish (which I had trimmed before stitching in the ditch on the right side d'oh!) in order to cover my zipper tape up.  That was a huge issue.  I pledge to never make that mistake again.  Ugh.

What I don't love about the bias tape is how it doesn't lay flat against my shoulders.  It sticks up like "Nobody puts bias tape in the corner.  I always dance the last show of the season."  Not sure if this would still happen if I used the facings?  Look at the left shoulder.  So much poking out.  Dislike.

The bodice front fit really well straight out of the package.  I used the size 8 (smallest size), which I now know is the size I need to get the proper shoulder fit.  I figured I would need to take in 1/4"-1/2" on the princess bust seams, but didn't need to after all. 

I spent a lot of time trying to fix the bodice back for C/D and not loving the way it was coming out, so I threw that idea out and tried the V back. This one actually works fairly well.  I took it in about 1/4" per seam to tighten things up back there.  I don't have issues with the shoulders falling down on me like I typically would with the low front/low back combination.  I think it's because there is more structure on both sides.  I will embrace the sway back adjustment next time I make this dress.  I always seem to have low back wrinkles and it's because my butt makes the fabric gather up there instead of being nice and smooth.  #FWP  The other issue I have with this bodice back is that it doesn't quite fit my right shoulder.  You can probably tell in the photo that my right shoulder is a bit lower than the left one.  I got issues.  That leg is a touch shorter and throws the proportions off just so.  I need to revisit Kathleen Cheetam's Craftsy class to figure out how to make the adjustments I need.

Have a close-up of the fabric.

The neckline isn't a severe as I would like it to be.  I would prefer the notch to be more pronounced and for the neckline to be a bit lower.  I ended up taking the shoulders in 1/2" at the shoulder seam and that brought the neckline up higher. 

Here I am looking pissed at the camera.  I am forever fighting a losing battle between myself, the sun, and my camera.  Anywho.  The skirt has a fair amount of body to it.  It isn't a good twirly skirt, but I'm also not pulling any Marilyn Monroe's when I walk into meetings.

See what I mean about the neckline not being very pronounced?  The notched sweetheart is there, it just isn't so obvious.

I decided to try something different for the hem treatment.  The skirt was still pretty long even after chopping 4" off the pattern piece.  I did a single 1 1/4" fold for the hem and used a zig-zag stitch all around right on the serged edge.  I *love* it!

Car selfie.

I'm pretty chuffed with how well all my seams lined up on this.  


  1. You just continue to be adorable and I'm so jealous of your mad sewing skills. I can't sew for crap (which is partly compounded by the fact that I don't own a sewing machine).

    1. Thanks! I keep getting better and better at this sewing thing. You should see some of the first garments I made--barely wearable.