I love reading blogs - although lately I have been so busy (and then sick) so I have been a little slack - now I have been busy catching up - on both reading and sewing.
The blogs I subscribe to meet many different needs for me. Some are for inspiration, some I just love looking at the beautiful well made clothes the author / sewist produces, some are to learn techniques, some tickle my funny bone and start my day with a smile, some are at about the same place in their journey as me, some fill many of the above at the same time. I have a handful of favourites - and they are favourites for different reasons.
One of my favourites is Diary of a Sewing Fanatic - for several reasons. Carolyn is no doubt a fantastic sewist and shows many great techniques on her blog. One of the reasons that Carolyn is a favourite is that her style is SOOOOOOOO my style (or my wanna be style!!!). Often I look at something that a sewist has made and I love it on them but know that I would not be able to wear it or it is not my style. Everything I have seen on Carolyn's blog would hang nicely in my wardrobe. I have even rushed to the keyboard and ordered the same fabric because I
And so starts my journey ..... no no no - not to turn myself into Carolyn (get Single White Female out of your mind!!!) but to create my own trusty dress pattern.
I started with McCalls 2401
This is an EASY shift / sheath (what is the difference??) with 3 neck lines and the 4 sleeve options. It has front and back darts (which I left out - need a waist to show a waist!!!) and bust darts (which I definitely left in - made much bigger and way lower and did an FBA). I also had to make the whole pattern much bigger as it only goes up to a size 22 and I am one or two ahem ahem sizes larger.
Here is the end result of step one in this journey. I used the bateau neckline choice but turned it into scoop as I need a lower neckline to compensate for the lower bust line.
I am happy for a first go - but it still needs work.
In enlarging the pattern I added a cm to the middle of the pattern which would have added 2 cm to the middle when cut on fold. This unfortunately made the middle of the dress too big and caused gaping at the neckline. I fixed this by adding 2 neck darts before putting on the binding. I also made the armholes too big - see gapoisis on armholes and too wide neckline.
I used the same fabric for the neck and armholes binding using the stitch in the ditch method. Unfortunately the fabric I used (which I do love) has minimum stretch so had a bit of trouble with the binding. I only used the binding because the armholes were a little low so to fold over would have made them even lower. I also added a little length and a bit of flair to the skirt taking it away from a straight skirt which makes me look a little more top heavy.
I would always wear sleeveless dresses / tops with a shrug or jacket.
This is how I would wear it:
The fabric is from Vogue Fabrics America - well priced but shipping to AUS is a killer!
I am happy to have a wearable muslin (with the addition of a shrug or jacket). I did my first back slit and am happy with it (baby steps baby steps).
I must say that I was a little concerned at how a shift / sheath would look on me - I am used to princess seamed dresses that nip in and flair out and a shift type dress that I purchased a couple of years ago (and never wore) looks atrocious on me. I guess all shift shapes are not the same. Is it even a shift / sheath if I added a bit of flair?
All in all it is very comfy to wear. I may do myself some weekend versions.
Anyway - for the moment I shall call this my tried and has potential pattern (TNHP). I shall make the changes to the pattern and then I am going to make it again in the fabric that I purchased to copy the Carolyn dress. (stalking again)
BTW - I have read many times that you shouldn't use "overlocker" thread on the needles when doing hems on the coverstich machine. Now I have a combined overlocker and coverstitch machine and was painstakingly changing the needle cotton when I finished overlocking and started hemming.
As this was just going to be a muslin I thought - blow it - I am not going to change the cotton from the cones to the Gutermann..... and lo and behold ..... looks good to me. Can anyone tell me why I shouldn't be using overlocker cones.... Do you use overlocker cones when doing coverstitch hems?