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Summer Dress Ready: Cashmerette Webster Top / Dress

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If you don’t recognize my glasses that’s because they are my progressive lens. I’ve had them for two years and finally broke down and started wearing more often because I enjoy being able to actually see 😭

It feels like a minute since I made a fun summer dress. I spent last year making jeans, tee shirts and outerwear. But, this year I needed something light for our summer vacation to California. I made the Webster Top first and really honestly fell in love with it. I immediately cut out the dress version in a butterfly rayon from Cotton + Steel. I love prints. I love butterflies. Well, I probably don’t like real life butterflies because they are bugs. But, I love them rendered in fabric (when they aren’t too lifelike).

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As stated in my Webster Top review, I didn’t pay for the pattern. I picked to up back in February when I was visiting Cashmertte enterprises. All opinions are my own. And, if my house were to catch on fire I would replace this pattern in a heartbeat.

I’m really happy to have a flowy summer dress where my bra straps don’t show! I love love love the neckline. The V is deep but doesn’t show cleavage. It’s beautifully flattering.

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I did make some alterations for fit for my body. But, since they are the same as I made for the Webster Top, I’m putting alterations at the end of this post. The only thing different is I shortened my skirt by 1.5″ so it would hit just above the knee.

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For sure this my new go to summer dress pattern. It really might be an unsung hero in the Cashmerette lineup.


Alertations

There is some video of it all (for the time being) on my Instagram page. If you go to my profile, under my name there’s a bubble that says “Webster Fit” or use the l

  1. The front shoulder seam were rolling forward on me. So, I lengthened the front between the shoulder and bust by 1″ and shortened the back the same amount.
  2. 1/2″ swayback adjustment. These patterns have a sway back. I just need more
  3. Protruding seat adjustment. This added some length over my bum at center back and some width at the back side seam only.
  4. 1/4″ sloping shoulder adjustment (for a total of 1/2″)
  5. This pattern is a very loose casual fit. So, I used the 14 E/F which matches my full bust measurement of 43 and graded to a 12 in the waist / hip area.
  6. The skirts was a little long on me so I shortened the hem band by 1.5″. I like a skirt that hits right above my knee.

I like that this pattern has an all-in-one-facing. That means no flipping out.

Posted in sewing

Burdastyle 2-2011 #118: Dior Dart Linen Dress

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I’d had my eye on this pattern since it came out back in February 2011. This year, I’m sewing from a plan. Well, I wrote up a list of all the patterns or fabric combos I wanted to make and this was at the top of my list.

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I’ve always liked the seaming in the front and the cut on sleeves. At the time, I also liked the boatneck. But, have come to realize that doesn’t work great on me. So, I lowered the neckline an inch.

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The dress isn’t your typical sack. The Dior darts and princess seams provide some visual interest and fit around the bust. And, I wanted something easy I could wear on vacation to California.

There’s a note on this pattern to see the color section of the magazine for tips on sewing “Kimono Sleeves”. If you have the US version of this magazine, said color section does not exist. Luckily, Ann is Belgium sent me photos of her French instructions. And, I have to say I needed them. I don’t read French, but the photos are really helpful. Not that I got mine looking good 😂.

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The problem with mine is I tried to be fancy and use different seam allowances for different parts. I think for the sleeves to go well, you need to use a consistent seam allowance on the undersleeve, front, back and side piece.

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Sizing: I made a 44 grading to a 50 at the thigh (outside of the pattern range). I also made a swayback, protruding seat and 1.5″ full bust adjustment. To make a FBA on the Dior Dart I used this helpful information from Nancy K and made a Y alteration.

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I ended up shortening the dress by 5″ to closer match the model. I think the cut line is marked incorrectly for the pattern and the first line (marked for a different model) is the correct hemline.

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That said, this is about one inch too short for me. Too short in part for comfort. But, also too short proportion wise. I think it would look best a little longer. I’ll still wear it though! But, next time will add a little length back.

This dress doesn’t photographs in a ‘flattering’ way. But, honestly, it’s comfortable, I love the color, I like how it fits and love it. I want to make it up again in a plaid I’ve had in my stash for YEARS and I’ll add a few inches back to the hemline.Yellow Dior-6

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Posted in sewing

Whatever Lola Wants: Victory Patterns 1005, Lola Sweatshirt Dress

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Four years after many a cute sewist made up the Lola dress from Victory Patterns I decided I needed a new sweatshirt dress in my wardrobe. I’ve made several before from the Italian magazine La Mia Boutique (consistently in navy and grey also 😄 #neverchange). It is in fact one of three outfits that a very fancy couple I know pointed as one of their favorites.

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For this pattern I made my regular round of adjustments. I sewed a 12 at the bodice grading to a 16 at the hip. I made a 3/4″ FBA using a princess seam method and a swayback adjustment using my old faithful method.

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I also lengthened the sleeves by 5″. I like 3/4″ but I thought this length a bit awkward.  I would make a deeper swayback adjustment next time… I suspect I did my usual 1″.

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I’m really glad I photographed this four months after making it. Because, it appears I put the pockets in at different heights at the front! I have worn this dress two dozen times and only noticed today while editing pictures!  The pockets gape/sag and I read many a review where the excess ease was removed. But, I actually like it. There isn’t much that will make my hip and thighs look slimmer. So, I’m embraced the structural look and went with it. But, it appears that the lower placed pocket does sag more.

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I know some women sized down for a more fitted look. But, I kind of like the causal looseness around my midsection. I could probably take an inch or so out if I wanted.

Issues: No mention of how much stretch the fabric should have or is drafted for. I also cut according to the layout. But, my crosswise grain had more stretch and maybe I should have / could have gone with that if I knew what it was drafted for.

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I ended up making two of these in a row after having finished my Cascade Duffle Coat and a wooly bomber jacket for Jordan. Why did I made two right in a row? Because after alterations it’s an easy sew. I needed winter clothes and why not? I’ve become chaste in middle age. Instead of sewing ALL THE THINGS I’d rather save some time and make several of one garment. It’s a really cute dress and I can see myself making more next winter.

** I used my phone as the remote for these photos and could actually see myself instead of guessing with the remote function. Photos took half the time and I liked 90% of them vs tossing 75%. And, I haven’t moved. These are at my office :-D.

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Grainline Farrow Dress

My first Grainline Studio project was the Linden Sweatshirt (unblogged) back in the spring. I was generally underwhelmed by it on me and questioned if a Grainline pattern could even work on my figure. So, imagine my shock and awe that the Grainline Farrow Dress is my fall favorite. Why would I go back a pattern line that I doubted? Well, I picked the Farrow Dress to teach a sewing class at a new studio in town (Domesticity). It has set in sleeves, facings and an optional lining. There are some good techniques and skills to teach. But, of course I needed to make it first and I’m glad I did.

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I picked this turquoise and red wool from my stash. I love red, white and blue color combos. Especially this icy Scandinavian version. When I finished the dress though, I realized it was a little Supergirl and I am TOTALLY here for it.

Now, on to the garment!

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Reviews I initially read said the sleeves were very narrow. And, when compared to my arm measurement there was less than one inch of ease for me in the size 16. I added an additional inch and was ready to go.

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I also made a 3/4″ FBA to the size 16 pattern I measured into. I did not use the Grainline FBA alteration technique. Instead, I removed the skirt at the waistline, made my alterations, added a dart and took out the added width from the side seam. I never rotate my darts out btw. I have tatas and they need darts. I didn’t want anymore volume down the center front of the dress. But, I do think that modification would be great if you carried more weight in the middle. The dress does hang from my bust. But, I don’t have awkward drag lines. And, I don’t think it’s too tent-like from the front because it appears smooth without draglines. It is for sure not a formfitting dress.

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I decided to add a lining that is on the bodice only as per the Grainline suggested draft for a lining.

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I also lowered the neckline by around three inches because my neck is too short for a  jewel neckline which meant an small redraft of the facing.

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If I were to make this again I would go down do a 14. The 16 just had way more ease than I wanted for my figure. I took this in at the side seams about 1.5″ from the bust down and even more tapering from the hip to hem.

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I made no adjustments to length and made my hem with a blind hem stitch. I think the color blocking is great for showing off the interesting seam lines. And, it’s a great Thanksgiving and Christmas dress. It’s also nice to have something sleeved for work this winter.

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There are really nicely integrated pockets on the Farrow. But, those pockets are also a fabric hog. I stabilized both my pockets and all the diagonal (and bias) seams by alternating between silk organza and seam binding. I was experimenting a bit since this was a class garment.

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I’m going to be really blunt here. Originally, I was sure this dress wasn’t for me. Usually,  anything without a defined waist is gonna be a waste of my time. But, with my easy modifications for fit, it’s a really fun, interesting and comfortable work dress. I’m planning on making a short sleeve version in the summer from some yellow linen in my stash. And, I think I would really love a cream one too.

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That said, it works really well on some figures. One of my students has a really straight figure and out of the envelope it was BRILLIANT on her. I suspect this is the ideal body type for this style pattern.

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After teaching one class with this dress I actually nixed it from my lineup. It’s got such great details. But, the pockets alone take up a ton of table space and most of the first night of a two-night class. So, we’ll be making the Hadley Top from Grainline going forward. Review of that one coming soon.

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70s Style Knit Shirtdress: Burdastyle 4/2011 #108

I recently told Jordan with great pride that I hadn’t purchased any fabric in 2017. His reply, “That’s only five months.” Bubble burst.  I haven’t bought for a few reasons. The main one being I have more fabric than I can sew in my current lifetime. And, I was losing track of the fabrics I loved and the projects I’ve always wanted to make. In addition, we are going to sell and buy a new home in the next two years and before we do so I’d like to get my stash down to…. visible.

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Anywho, one such project that’s floated in the back of my mind for years is a graphic jersey shirtdress. Two years ago I saw wonderful 70s style knit shirt dresses at the Halston exhibit at FIT and promised myself I’d make a knit shirtdress ‘soon’. This pattern from the April 2011 Burdastyle (and still available for download) is JUST the look I was going for.

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My  poly jersey fabric came from Jomar in Philadelphia some time ago. I originally thought a 70s style wrap dress. But, I knew it would be GREAT as a shirt dress. I contemplated snaps  rather than buttons to keep the print uninterrupted. But, found these buttons in my stash. To make the buttonholes, I used a light tricot jersey in the facing and front band. Then, I also used tear away stabilizer. I’ve seen knit buttons wonky in RTW and wanted to make mine as neat as possible.

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I legit think I haven’t sewn a stand collar in years. I’d rate this one a 7/10 and am glad I won’t ever button this at the neck. I used instructions from the Better Homes and Garden Sewing Book and my Bunka Garment Design Textbook: Blouses and Dresses. Because Burda sure wasn’t giving me detailed instruction on sewing a stand collar! Next time I’ll be using my David Paige Coffin Shirtmaking book.

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I’ve avoided using this print for a while because I don’t trust my print matching skills. For this dress, I focused on a straight horizontal line at the front and back and decided to let the rest do what it do.

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The pattern itself is drafted for a woven. So, I sized down one to a 42 at the top and 44 through the thighs. If I make this up in a woven, I’ll just add to the seam allowances. I think the fit is spot on and will make for a great fitted shirt too. I have a second version I’m working on in a silk jersey that has less stretch and is gonna be a snug one!

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I made a 1 inch FBA. I usually make a larger FBA in BWOF. But, I’ve been sewing a 40 up top for a while. This time, I finally used my upper bust measurement rather than my underbust and I’m really happy with the fit (if not the increase in size!).

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Overall I lurv it. And, it reinforces my goal to sew somewhat from a plan this summer and focus on what I have. As for that plan… it involves more red,white and blue and shirtdresses 😀

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