50’s style dress? or Keebler elf doppelganger

I’m sure some of you all have discovered Kollabora by now, its a newer website that is sort of a Pinterest for sewing, craft and knitting projects. I’d tell you to follow me on there but I haven’t posted anything, not sure if I’ll ever get around to that. Anyhow I found this amazing 50’s style dress made by Allyson at By a Thin Thread and I basically became obsessed, the side scallops, the flared skirt, the jungle green cotton… gah! I had to make it myself, an exact replica of course. I hunted down the pattern on etsy, Butterick 5772  circa 1951. It buttons down the sides with scallops and flares at the hem

The assembly of this dress was interesting… I made scallops when I sewed up the Colette Meringue skirt but the technique used was completely different. Here’s a picture of my meringue skirt, I wasn’t too crazy with how it turned out so I never got around to blogging it.

The scallops on the Meringue were actually cut into the pattern and you invert them with the facing and press. I had some trouble getting mine to look more rounded and less pointy at the ends, I think cutting the pieces more defined and prominent would have remedied the problem. For the Butterick dress the pattern istructed to interface the sides, draw the scallops onto the dress, sew through the line drawing and then cut them out around the stitching. At that point you invert the scallops and press them in place. Seems a little counter intuitive but surprisingly I found that this technique worked very well and my scallops looked way better than the skirt did. I’m sure the interfacing stablized them and helped out too, but still.

I ended up removing two scallops off the bottom (I am a shrimp afterall) and the bust was way huge, I took in the darts and sides a lot, and probably could take them in even more to be honest. The buttonholes and buttons themselves were definitely time consuming as you can imagine. I think I should have saved all this time and worked on something more practical because as soon as I put the dress on my husband started laughing and said “You look like a Keebler elf!”  At first I was offended but then the more I looked at it I realized, yeah he’s kind of right. Maybe its the neckline, or (obviously) the green, or maybe I need to ditch the belt but the overall effect definitely has that Keebler feel to it. Maybe I should wear the dress to the grocery and carry around a tray of cookies and be the Keebler sampler lady. I wonder how much that gig would pay?

See the resemblance? eh… oh well c’est la vie. I did like how the scallops turned out, button placement might be a little off but an easy fix.

I did enjoy the process of making this dress and learning some new-old techniques, it was rather interesting. But probably won’t attempt this one again, at least not for a while. For now I am on to go eat some softbatch cookies 😉

 

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Simplicity “Lisette” 2245 top in green

This Lisette pattern has been in my stash for a while now so today after finishing up some long overdue projects I decided to knock this bad boy out as well. I wanted to make the top version, and I am in love with the green version of the dress on the pattern envelope so I found a similar cotton fabric. It was an easy project, but I keep finding that when I sew with cotton no matter how challenging the piece is, fabric choice makes a huge difference in difficulty level. Captain Obvious here, right? Hey, when you are self taught sometimes these blatant “eureka’s” can lead you to a path of glory.

I followed the instructions complete from start to finish and only have a couple alterations/gripes on the finished product.  The pattern instructed to interface the entire yolk and sleeve cuffs, however I think I have quickly learned to spot “over interfaced” patterns and when this much stabilizer is really neccessary. I went ahead and omitted all the interfacing on this shirt all together. My cotton is pretty thick and sturdy and with the extra interfacing it would have felt like wearing cardboard. For thinner more flimsy material I would interface the yolk, but not the sleeve cluffs.

Second, I had a feeling this top would turn out short so I added a couple inches to the length. Well as you can see, it still ended up being a little shorter than I would prefer, but since I have a short torso and I am pushing 5’3″ the length is acceptable. That being said however, for someone who is taller than me this top would end up being a belly shirt! I don’t know if that was what they were going for with the look, but if you aren’t into the Britney Spears circa 1999 look I’d make sure to add on at least 3 to 4 inches to the length.

Finally, I struggled immensely with the button tabs on the back neck closure. I always get pretty ticked when I have to invert material through tiny channels but this was ridiculous. It was so small you were supposed to use a needle to turn it inside out. I finally said screw it and just made buttonholes. The tabs on the yolk are clearly less than perfect, but oh well- I have long hair.

Other than that I love the top, I would make it again with these changes in mind for sure. Its snowing outside now so I am wearing it out with a long sleeved white shirt underneath. It looks cute layered so don’t wait until summer to break it out!


Green dress for an orange poppy flower wedding

This May my best friend Jo is getting married to a wonderful guy Dave, and I am so so so excited for them! They have dated for almost 8 years (just like Chris and I) and Jo will be the first to tell you that its about doggone time! I’m really excited for their wedding which is taking place at Jo’s parent’s home in New Castle Kentucky. They have a gorgeous home and acres of land, which is perfect for an outdoor spring wedding. They decided on an orange California poppy flower theme as they have lived in California for the last couple of years and are finally moving back home. Hurray!! Since it is a more casual wedding, I wanted to make a dress that would suit both a formal and a casual setting for the event. I also wanted something light because in Kentucky it goes from winter to summer over night, and Kentucky summers are HOT! I found some light rayon material in a beuatiful green color, and decided to make the Cynthia Rowley dress from pattern 2406 (can you tell I’m a fan of the Cynthia Rowley line from Simplicity?) I love how unique the cut out sleeves are and the open back which makes it a bit more formal.

The pleating around the neckline was a new trick for me. I sewed interfacing on and flipped it inside out with facing on the inside and it worked like magic! The back was done with the same method and is enclosed at the top with a hook and eye. Here is the back view, keep in mind you’ll need a good sticky cup bra for this dress!

Here is the pattern I used too:

I can’t wait to see Jo looking gorgeous in her beautiful wedding dress, it is going to be a very special and unforgettable day!