dress

Ikat Hearts and Bluebonnet Fields

Last spring I was told how beautiful Texas was in springtime and that flowers would be blooming all over.  I saw a few, but I wasn’t really all that impressed.  Well, this year, the bluebonnets and other wild flowers are truly in full bloom.  Whether I’m just getting out and about more, or the flowers are putting on a better show this year, I don’t know, but I set out to photograph my new dress in a field of bluebonnets.  It seemed like the Texan thing to do.

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After scouting a location, driving there and dragging along my husband to play photographer, you can imagine my great disappointment when the camera battery died just as I finished snapping a few test photos.  It has an amazing battery that lasts forever, and as a result I hardly ever charge it.  Whoops.  Didn’t even think about it, but it’s surely been quite some time since it was charged.  So much for capturing the flowers in great detail; iPhone to the rescue.
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This dress is Simplicity 2147.  I had two yards of this cotton ikat fabric (only 45″ wide), and I searched high and low for a dress pattern that would work with it.  To help conserve fabric, I paired it with a chambray (cotton/linen, I think) for the yoke.

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I cut out a size 16 and then recut the yoke in a 14 when I confirmed that the shoulders were too wide for me.  I also pinched out a half inch at the center back neck line on the yoke to get a better fit.  It lies flat now, and the fit is comfortable.  The dress is gathered into the yoke instead of pleated, and I also added some width to the lower portion of the dress, so it’s a bit more roomy and swingy than the original pattern design.

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My husband confirmed my suspicions that this dress is a total “moo-moo” style, and I’m gonna be wearing it belted until it gets so hot that I no longer care what I look like.
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The ikat fabric looks like sketchy little hearts.  It is light and flowy; the weave is a little on the loose side, feeling almost like linen.  I was determined it would be a summer dress, and I’m pleased with the outcome.  The pattern is an easy make with no closures and a loose fit.  I did line the yoke to get a clean finish; the pattern directions use bias tape to finish the armholes and neckline, and the bottom edge of the yoke is overlocked.  I don’t think lining the yoke took any more effort, and to me it looks and feels so much better.  Oh!  Almost forgot, I also added at least 4″ in length.  The dress is called a “mini,” and I think the original hem length would have been mid-thigh on me; not my style.

Well, these aren’t quite the photos I imagined, but at least I managed a blog post!  Here are a couple more of the “family” for your enjoyment.
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Sweet Shirtdress

I believe it’s been at least a couple months since I’ve sewn any garments for myself, and I’m so glad I took a break to make myself a shirtdress.  Thanks to Idle Fancy’s sewing challenge, I made McCall’s 6696, and I love it.
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I honestly haven’t sewn very many Big Four sewing patterns; looking back, it seems I’ve stuck to independent pattern companies and vintage patterns.  And also BurdaStyle.  I really loved those instant download pdfs from Burda when I was first getting back into sewing.  Anyway, I am quite pleased with this McCall’s pattern.   This is the first pattern I’ve used where you can select your cup size and the corresponding bodice pattern piece.  It worked out quite well for me.

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I did make two adjustments right out of the gate: I shortened the bodice 1″ and cut off the sleeve cap ease.  I don’t like easing sleeves in, and why should I?  I contemplated raising the armscye as well but decided to try it out as is first.

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I feel the fit is quite good.  The dress is comfortable and I can move freely.  I will probably raise the armscye for future versions, but I’m pleased I can indeed move well enough as the dress is now.

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I’m a little wrinkled in these photos because I was out running errands, and as you can see, I’m wearing slippers.  It turns out I don’t have much selection in winter footwear.  I’m a jeans and boots kind of gal in winter, and I have flats in red and maroon because those colors go great with blue jeans too.

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So now I’m curious, what do you all wear on your feet with a dress in winter?  I need some suggestions, stat!

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Chris was a dear and took my photos so that I didn’t have to mess with the tripod today.  And that meant my hands were free to bring Lucy and one of my clutches.

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I was excited to see, after finishing this navy blue clutch, that it matched with this plaid fabric.  And that is truly why I finished this dress when I did–something to go with my new favorite purse.  For those who may not know, I’ve been sewing leather of late, and that’s why I haven’t been sewing clothes.   You can check out some of my other purses in my etsy shop.

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I hope to blog a little more about sewing leather and purses in the next couple months, so if that interests you at all, keep an eye out, or better yet, let me know in the comments.