Thursday, July 5, 2007

Patrones 253, #40 Philosophy Shirtdress

Another pattern from Patrones. I am addicted to this magazine's patterns! Thanks a lot, Cidell. The official pattern review is here and the web album is here.

I said it in the review and I'll say it again here: I was verrrrry doubtful about this dress as it was on the sewing machine. Usually I love the process of trying on a garment as it slowly goes from flat fabric, to cut out pieces, and on through the process of assembly. It's so fun to see it take shape and become real clothes. With this one, at every step I was afraid I should just cut my losses and abandon it. It did not look good until the only things left to do were buttonholes and hems. Then I started really liking it, and now I love it.

I never wear anything with a fully buttoned neck, partly because I think my collarbones are one of my good features and partly because I love to make and wear jewelry so I always wear a necklace (this dress gave me an excuse to fire up the torch and make the earrings to go with it). I think with the buttoned up placket, rounded collar, and wide belt the style is a little Gothic Lolita (here are some photos from flickr for examples), which is not normally my style and plus my age makes it kind of laughable, but I am drawn to all things costume-ish so I guess it's not that surprising that eventually I'd end up with something Gothic Lolita in my wardrobe. I will not be carrying a teddy bear while wearing it, but I cannot guarantee I won't carry a parasol. I got one last summer that I carried a few times, and was told I was fabulous while walking around in Logan Circle (a gay area of town). That's my stamp of approval. Actually, I think I get catcalled more by gay men than by straight men. Perhaps this is another piece to the puzzle of my singleness. Straight men do not appreciate my style.

So I'm sure you're sitting there going blah blah blah yadda yadda, let's get to the good stuff! So here's what's slapdash about this project: the tucks. I carefully chalk marked the tucks on the inside of the underlining. I considered thread tracing, as Cidell did for her eyelet dress. That lasted about 8 seconds and then I laughed and went back to chalking. I pinned the tucks as drafted, and it seemed it make the front too small, so I made them half as wide as drafted. The dress didn't have enough shape when the tucks were the same width all the way down, so I took them in a little around the bust (why not around the waist? It just didn't feel right. I think taking them in at the bust somehow makes it look bigger because they curve around it.) The slapdashedness comes in where I didn't take out the old stitching. So there are two rows of stitching where I took the tucks in. You can't see from even two feet away, so I figured eh, I'd save myself the work. Also this fabric is quite delicate and I didn't think it would take well to the seam ripper.

In fact, the delicateness of the fabric is my only grip. I don't know if it came like that or happened in the wash, but there are two large holes in the fabric near the hem in the front. They are each about the size of a quarter and the fabric has just disintegrated there. I didn't notice them in cutting and didn't have enough to recut the entire front. I patched them from the back with fusible interfacing, but after a few washes I think they will be out of control and ruin the dress. I am pretty upset about that. I guess I'll have to hand wash this one, not getting the hem area wet (and certainly not agitating it) if I can help it.


JenRed said...

It looks cute! I am assuming you can't cut some off the hem as it will then be too short - why not apply a wide strip of red or white plain fabric at the bottom to cover it? Or maybe a thinner less noticeable strip of ribbon?

Cidell said...

This post, is hilarious. And I love love love that dress. The tucker came in the mail today. Maybe I'll be able to figure it out.

Lori said...

Very cute dress, thanks for the entertaining post.

patsijean said...

Ok, here is what I would do if you do not want to add ribbon or a border (that kind of depends on where the holes are). This is not slapdash, but your dress is just too pretty to let it go.
Get out your freezer paper and cut 3 or 4 circles about 1/4" larger than the holes. Cut large squares of fabric and center them over each of the holes right side up and arrange them untill the dots line up. Lift one corner gently and place one of your freezer paper circles over each hole shiny side up and press with a dry iron to adhere the circles to each patch. Now, about 1/2" out from the edge of the circle, hand stitch a gathering thread; you can trim the bulk of the square at this time. Draw up the gathering stitches around the circle and using the tip of your iron, press around the edge of the circular patch. Trim the rest of the fabric to about 1/4" --this will cut off the gathering stitches too-- and press the entire circle, with steam from the underside and from the right side until flat. Use your clapper or a heavy book to help get it as flat as possible. All you have to do now is carefully pin the patch in place, use an invisible stitch, such as a ladder stitch, and stitch down from the right side. Now go inside and trim and whipstitch the edges to keep them from raveling. Press once more. If your fabric looks as if it needs it, you can then use a small paintbrush to paint a bit of seam sealant around repaired edges.

patsijean said...

Now, regarding you and Cidell being single. No big deal.. You two young women are just like I was at your age. Single, independent, responsible, but having all kinds of adventures, working, taking care of yourselves, with tons of friends and lots to do. Good things and unfortunately some bad things may happen, and you will make some mistakes, but you will grow with the experiences. You will probably be in love a time or two. Don't worry about the marriage thing; don't marry because you think you should be married by a certain age. Occasionaly I wondered about whether I would ever get married, and my best girlfriends and I wondered if we would have to live together when we got old. I have known my husband for about 27 years. We have been and item, he has lived with another (that lasted about 3 months, and we have been friends for 25 of those years. We have seen each other through troubles, and serious love affairs and heartbreak. CD and I became romantically involved again about 10 years ago, moved in and married about 3-1/2 years ago. I am almost 63 and would not have missed a minute of my single life. Getting married should not be the ultimate goal. Enjoying the life you have, doing good things, and being the best you can be should be.

julia said...

I love your dress. How far up are the holes? I'm agreeing with the suggestions to add a white band along the bottom - that would pick up on the belt very nicely. If you think that would change it too much, how about banding with the same fabric, or maybe taking a tuck enough to capture the holes for a faux band?

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Thank you for all the suggestions! Patsijean, I appreciate all the detail. What does the freezer paper do? Is it adhesive? Can I use parchment paper (don't have any freezer paper)?

I may do a band at the bottom if it becomes necessary. For now I like it as is, but it's good to have options if I have to change it.