Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekend Project

This dress has been brewing for a while now. I found the black and white striped fabric at Karlin's, my local store, and while I wasn't sure exactly what it wanted to be, I knew I wanted to mix it with another print. I bought a half yard of a black and white geometric at the time, but that has ended up in the scrap box because I've cut up and am recycling an old red-and-white gingham Gap sundress that I wore to death in the early 90s.

Lots of good times in that dress, but alas, it no longer zips. And there's nothing wrong with the zipper; it's called contents under pressure, and we don't want an incident, now, do we?

I decided that it should be a shirtdress, but which one? Burda has been loaded with good shirt dress patterns lately, but I wasn't feeling the urge to muslin anything; I wanted to jump right in. So I chose Vogue 8352. I've made this dress before (or 1 1/2 times, because the second version, my Loaves & Fishes dress, had a different skirt). The shaped bodice is very slimming, it's got a good collar, and the 3/4 length sleeves with cuffs gave me another opportunity to play with contrast fabric.

My plan for the weekend is to finish the dress, but thus far, the bodice is constructed, the collar is attached (under-collar in gingham), the sleeves/cuffs are constructed (outer cuff in horizontal stripe, reverse in gingham) but still need to be inserted, and the skirt is done, but not attached. I'm still debating pleats v. gathers, but I think pleats, which is the same version I did before) will be more interesting with the stripe. I'm afraid the gathers will be a little bulky - this fabric is a touch beefier than it looks and I don't want to feel bulk around my already-widest area.

Further use of the contrast: I made a one-inch wide strip and it will be attached as the button placket on the underside. The buttons, as well, are red and dome-shaped. They look like jellybeans.  I'm debating whether or not to make the buttonholes in red, but I'm doing white topstitching elsewhere, so probably not. I tried red topstitching, but a single thread of red disappeared into the black and then looked strange on the narrow white stripes. Two strands of red thread looked too thick. I think it's one of those instances where topstitching thread might beat out two strands of regular, but how many of us keep red topstitching thread around? I'm not even sure if my local store carries it.

If the rain ever stops, I want to get into the garden this weekend and clean up some of the damage. We're so waterlogged that two of my older roses actually tipped over and pulled out of the ground. I tied them back to the fence and dug deeper holes and replanted them. Fingers crossed. Normally I have really good drainage back there but right now there's standing water all over the yard. And it's not warm, either. I've really had enough. Spring can come any time. Being Philadelphia, when spring finally does come, it will be followed in about 10 days time by August, but I'll take it. I'm rained out. Both 55 gallon rain barrels are full , the excess buckets are full, and I probably won't need to water for a month anyway.

So I'll probably get to spend a lot of time in the sewing room this weekend. Lily the sewing room cat missed me last weekend and is demanding her fair share of room time (and access to her private food bowl). It's good to be a cat in my house.


KC said...

"Contents under pressure"! LOL
I like the red & white check with the black & white stripe--looks very sharp!

Anonymous said...

I too am making a shirt dress, they are definitely going to be popular this summer. I like the stripes with the gingham. I posted a little a fun little sewing survey on my blog. Come take it if you have a minute :)

Anonymous said...

Your witty humor is fun to read! Love what you're doing with the dress and that you are recycling fabric from an old dress. Thanks for taking the time to post.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Karen, I love the combination of the black/white stripe and the red gingham...tooo kewl! Are you going to make samples of the buttonholes first in the red thread and the white or black thread to see which one plays together best?! Hope you have a good time in the sewing room this weekend because I can't wait to see this finished!