Saturday, July 13, 2019

The denim dress...

Ok, just for grins, here's what I started with.  The pattern is for a shirtdress, with a copyright date of 2001.  Um, Yeah.  2001.  It's been in the stash a while.  But I have always liked the lines of it, so when I was looking for a pattern to use for my denim shirt dress, it was the one I ultimately pulled.  

Here are the pattern pieces I had to work with:


There were optional fisheye darts in the front and back; the sleeve length options were full length, elbow length or sleeveless.

I cut the dress off at the 'lengthen/shorten' line, which ended up being right at my knees...pretty close to the length I wanted to end with.  The first muslin showed that I needed to move the bust shaping down about an inch, and shorten the dart considerably as the point wrapped way too far past where it should.  And I needed to give myself just a pinch more ease.

Because it was going to be a wide, fairly short dart, I decided to rotate that puppy to a princess seam.

I will add that this is the first time I have tried this, and I did learn a lot.

I had to lengthen the center front section...and this was after it had already been lengthened once for a full bust adjustment.  I thought that was odd, but walking the seam after I closed the dart clearly showed that I was going to have to lengthen it.  Also, the top buttonhole was pretty much at full bust level, so I moved the collar shaping up about an inch and a half.

Wouldn't you know, the next muslin showed that the bust shaping was now about an inch too low.  So I moved that back up to where it started, basically.

Hind sight...maybe I used the wrong pivot point?  I might should have researched that a bit more.  I didn't put the sleeves on the first muslin since I was just checking bust dart placement and girth, but the second muslin showed that there was too much ease in the sleeve cap; the sleeve had to be slightly gathered to fit the armsceye (not shown at all in those lovely smooth sleeves on the pattern photo...).  So I shaved down some of the curve, and cut a bit of the length off the front underarm so that it matched the dress (not sure if the mismatch was my fault or the patterns at that point).

And, of  course, I added an inseam pocket.  I also eliminated the front facing and just cut the center front pieces twice so I could sew the facing into the princess seam. Plus, I wanted a shirt tail hem, with the back slightly longer than the front, so I curved the hemlines accordingly.

However, I was somewhat short on fabric and I had to shorten those curves a bit from my original plan just to get it to fit on the fabric.

Here  are the pattern pieces I ended up with:


The fabric was an indigo blue cotton/lycocel from JoAnn's.  Not at all cheap, either, at about twelve and a half bucks a yard.  But I'd bought it for one thing and ended up using something else for that project, so it was available.   I was disappointed to see that it wasn't square; I tore both ends for a straight edge and when the fabric was laid out with the ends even there were terrible ripples down the fold.   I had to offset the selvege ends by about 2" to eliminate that rippling.  So I am attributing any wonkiness in the hang to that little issue. 

I had to change up the sewing order considerably; I sewed the CF and CB together at the shoulder seams; added the collar and put the facing on and pressed it well; basted together the raw edges on the CF seamline.  Then I put the pockets on the side front...putting on the facing piece, then the pocket so the pocket opening is finished off and the pocket becomes the sideseam. Then I sewed the side front/side back together at the shoulder seams, then sewed the sides to the centers.  Then I did the side seams and inserted the sleeves.  Hem, button holes and buttons.

Sounds simple, eh? LOL. 

 The dress, emphasis on the added pocket:


 The June outfit, bracelet, earrings, shoes and bag as well:



The bust shaping still feels a shade low to me.  Not enough to really worry about, but I'll probably adjust it if I make up the pattern again.   The sleeves bind a bit if I raise my arms, but that is just something I ALWAYS deal with on woven garments.  I haven't yet figured out the magic combination of ease here and fitting there to keep that from happening.

And you can't tell about the shaped hem at all; it's just not pronounced enough to show, although it does look just  a wee bit longer in the back if you look close.  

These pics were taken very late last night, after birthday festivities, so it is a bit rumpled.  But it was very comfortable to wear.  I expect to wear it at least a few times this summer.

2 comments:

  1. Very nice dress fits you well. This was on PR some time ago about sleeve range of motion - might help. https://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingDiscussions/topic/96159

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  2. Wow! Thanks for the link! The Threads video in the discussion is really good; I've bookmarked that. I'm surprised, though, that she didn't talk about shoulder length; a shoulder that's too long will drop the sleeve too low and restrict movement, too. But I think the 'add to the bottom' idea will help a lot.

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