Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ready for Summer!

I'm so ready for summer! Well, kind of... I don't have enough dresses for the summer yet, but I will soon! In the meantime, meet my new dress!

I so so so love the silhouette of this dress. It's so vintage looking! Must make more fitted bodice and half circle skirt dresses!

The dress was supposed to be a t-shirt dress, based off a the pattern in my first post, but after some pattern alterations, it didn't look so good. I made the back scooped like the front, but because the scoop is so wide, the sleeves were falling off. This is a problem that can be "remedied" with a horizontal band across the back. But I think this looks tacky, so instead, I got rid of the sleeves and lowered the armscye. Unfortunately, i didn't lower it enough, as it's kind of tight, but bearable. Sigh, bearable. 

The skirt pattern was taken from Vogue 8184. I made the dress once for a wedding, but I always use the skirt pattern for other projects.  I think this type of skirt is the most flattering for my body. It hides my full belly and doesn't make me look boob-less! Pencil skirts are horrible for my figure, as it hugs my stomach, drawing attention away from my already tiny bust (less than an A, y'all) and making me look like I'm pregnant. Which is not a bad state to be in, or course, but I do not want to look perpetually pregnant... 

This fabric is from Girl Charlee and the print is so cute. It's just a tiny floral pattern, but so summer-appropriate. Can you tell that I can't wait for the summer yet?! 

The skirt is a little short for my taste, so I should either lengthen it by an inch or two, or lengthen the bodice, because I look a little disproportionate in these shots. I love the fit in the bodice though. No swayback problem, yay! It looks perfectly fitted (except for the few wrinkles in the front which are no big deal), and like a woven dress from far away.

I finally fixed the tension on my serger with the help of Timesaving Sewing, which I got from the school book sale we have every month (or is it every academic quarter?). When I found it, my serger kept changing the tension regardless of the tension I set for each thread, so when I saw the section on fixing thread tension, I snatched it up. It was $5 ($1 more than on Amazon), so pretty good deal! I also used the steps on sewing side-seam pockets, which I guess I have always been doing wrong, but now they look great and truly invisible. 

 I follow so many bloggers who create beautiful, retro day dresses, and they're so inspirational; I want to make all of them! But where will I get the chance to even where one? I'm a college student who rarely goes out to fancy places. Knit dresses are what's most practical for my lifestyle right now. 

 Seriously, ugh, why is the armhole so restrictive?? I lowered it by 3/4", but I guess with the bias binding, it shortened the opening and made it tighter. Do you think it'll stretch out? Or is the benefit of a bias bound opening that it won't stretch out? Please be no! I slipstitched the bias binding (could that be the tightness problem?), because I didn't like the line of topstitching my machine made, as it made the binding flat and look "homemade." 

The skirt is lined with a poly knit that my mom keeps buying. I don't really like it, because it's hard to cut on grain and serges badly. It doesn't wrinkle though, so I'll grant it that...

I brought the pockets up to 1.5" below the waist, which is much better than the awkward 4" below the waist pockets I usually (mistakenly) make. However, with a circle skirt, it might be better to attach the pockets with the waistband, so that my hips don't end up looking wider than normal when the pockets are bunched up. 

In conclusion, does my hair look silly? I cut my bangs a little too short yesterday, but it should work out in a week. Hope I won't end up looking stupid to my friends!


  1. Cute dress! I'm pretty sure I just bought the same print for a top for my sister. Your hair looks cute and really trendy! Plus bangs grow so fast that they'll probably feel like they're the right length in a few days.

    1. I forgot to link the fabric at first; updated now! It's called "Coral Pink Rosy Floral Cotton Jersey Blend Knit Fabric."

      Thanks! I've just gotta style them so that they don't blow away in an unsightly mess, haha.

  2. Ahhh fitting issues! We all have them. I have the same problem with arm holes and am constantly needing to make them lower than a pattern does, I was starting to think it was just me! If it's a dress you love and are planning to wear alot then maybe you should unpick your binding and make your sleeve lower. Even though it's bearable, you probably won't end up wearing it as much because you know it's uncomfortable. As annoying as it is! Good luck :)

  3. It's a darling little casual dress, and your hair is cute! I agree with Jen, maybe it would be worth the time to lower the armscye. I've found that if the armholes are too tight on something, I won't wear it because it's difficult to do anything when you feel so restricted.

  4. Man, I feel like I just went through some of these same struggles! I made a short-sleeved top, but the neckline was too wide and slipping off, so I used a smaller binding to gather up the neckline, but then it pulled my armscyes too tight, so I ended up cutting out the sleeves and making it into a tank! Argh. Good to know I'm not alone. The cut of your dress is adorable--I've got to try the quarter circle skirt! Great look.

    1. Actually, the armholes don't feel so restrictive anymore! Or maybe I'm just getting used to it. Either way, I'm glad I don't have to alter it now. Perhaps the same will result with your top. :)

      It's more flow-y than a quarter circle skirt. So if you decide to draft your own and want the same look, try for something closer to a 3/4 circle skirt.