Showing posts from July, 2017

Pride dress 2017 edition

This is my (hopefully) first entry for the Hack It! contest over at The Monthly Stitch.

So, the rainbow dress I made for Pride in 2015 is a little too baggy on me now, so I decided that I needed a new one.  Instead of just repeating what I did before, I decided to try something different.

I sketched out what I was hoping to achieve.

I decided to use the Seamwork Mesa for my starting pattern.  I've made it twice before and I knew it fit pretty well.  I did go down a size from my previous ones and I think it's even a better fit now.  I compared the front and the back of the dress pattern and decided that they were close enough in size/shape that I'd be ok just making two fronts and sewing them together, which made this hack much easier.  So first I printed out the dress front piece twice and taped them together to make a full piece.

You can see above that I sketched in the lines for the rainbow pieces.  I did a combination of eyeballing and measuring to get them to roughly appear even.  I then colored in the stripes to help keep which piece goes with which color fabric once I started cutting out the pieces.

I then cut each piece apart and added seam allowances.  I even added actual notches like a good seamstress!  As you may have noticed in the photo above, I messed up my rainbow coloring.  Luckily, I figured it out while I was still adding the seam allowances and fixed the colors with some permanent markers over my colored pencil.

The fabrics I used all happen to be in my ginormous stash.  I have a bunch of nylon/lycra active wear fabrics that I pick up on sale from Fabric Mart and Fashion Fabrics Club whenever I can so that I am able to make a ballroom gown on a moment's notice, if I were to so choose to do so.

Since I made the decision to just make two front pieces and sew them together, I was able to just cut a double layer of each color.

I then just sewed each half of the main dress together and cut one red and one yellow sleeve and sewed it all together.  I would have liked to split the sleeve into yellow and green like in my sketch, but I was doing this the day before I needed to wear the dress, so I got a little lazy.

And the back is just a mirrored image of the front.

And here we are on the Link light rail, heading down to Seattle Pride.

I didn't take all that many photos of the actual parade, but I did get particularly misty eyed when I saw Wizards of the Coast walking, so I had to grab a photo.  I had just left a couple weeks before and had been in a lot of the planning meetings for their first ever appearance in the parade.  I'm so proud to have been a part of that company.

After the parade, we had dinner downtown with the kids and then the hubby and I went to see Romy and Michele the Musical.  He managed to get a couple not terrible shots of me on the streets of Seattle.

You can see a little of the stripe matching on the side.

In front of the show poster that is cut off and obscured.  haha.

I'm quite proud of this dress and I'll be happy to wear it again next year and I might even decide to just wear it around because it's a pretty awesome dress.  I also plan on reusing the pattern for a striped version, possibly in Seahawks colors.

Indie Dress!!

It's Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch.  So that means contests!  Week 1 is dresses, which I am always up for.

Seamwork Arden
However, I have been struggling with what to make lately.  I have so many choices that sometimes thinking about all the pattern options and fabric selection ends up giving me decision anxiety.  I end up procrastinating by sketching and touching all my fabrics and I end up wasting all the time I had to sew!  I actually had another Seamwork pattern in mind to make for this contest, but in looking for two fabrics to go together, I decided that this lovely orange and navy paisley lawn needed to be featured in its own dress.  So, I picked the Seamwork Arden because it had a retro feel to it that I thought fit the fabric nicely.

I had hoped to make the entire dress out of the lawn, but I only had 3 yards and couldn't squeeze the entire thing out of it, and I happened to have some navy cotton lawn in my stash that matched perfectly.  So, it all worked out.

I made a straight size 16, which I chose due to my bust measurement.  The waist and hips of the dress are flowy, so I wasn't concerned about those measurements.  Plus, I was too lazy to do an FBA.

I made the long sleeves originally, but after attaching them, I realized they were slightly too short for my long monkey arms and also, the point of this dress was really to have a lightweight cotton dress to wear during our little Seattle heatwave.  So, I ended up chopping the sleeves off and added navy cuffs.  I definitely like the look of the long sleeves of the pattern, so it was a bit tough cutting them off, but I'm happy to have a nice, cool summer dress.  But if I make this pattern again, I'll probably keep the long sleeves and just add about an inch to their length.

My other adjustment is that I added in seam pockets!  I really do need pockets in all of my dresses.  Or at least one pocket for my phone.  And what's the point of sewing my own clothes if I can't customize them to be exactly what *I* want?

I made a small fit modification of taking in the two center front darts to add a little more shaping and to not tent quite as straight down.  I'm not 100% sure I sewed the darts correctly in the first place since I'm terrible about actually marking my fabric pieces.  But I took each of those darts approximately 1/2" deeper at the waist line, tapering out to nothing at the top and a few inches from the bottom of the darts.

Overall, I really like the look of this dress.  I hate sewing darts and this dress has 4 very long darts in the front and 4 in the back.  There is a bonus modification that uses gathers instead of darts that I might try in the future, but I like this dress enough that I might just be willing to deal with the darts.  I also didn't really know how much I'd like the bow, since I'm a little worried about adding extra bulk to my already busty figure.  But I actually really think it's very flattering, so I'm definitely glad I took the chance on this dress.

I have plans for each of the 4 Indie Pattern Month contests, but I'm already almost done with my project for week 3 (Hack it!) so I'll definitely finish at least one more.  Are you planning on entering anything for the contests this year?  I'd love to hear what you are willing to share (or tease) about your entries!