Sewing double challenge: poppies, raccoons and insects – oh my!

I’ve joined The Monthly Stitch… and just in time for April’s sewing double challenge!

I feel like a cheater since it isn’t really a challenge for me to use the heck out of a good pattern. But I’ve enjoyed seeing how other people get different looks from the same design, so it’s a great idea.

This is New Look 6824, sort of. A versatile fit and flare with two neckline options and a princess seamed bodice (no pesky darts – yay!). I used the scooped neck option. Evidently I didn’t measure thoroughly enough. I raised it at the shoulder so it wouldn’t be too low for my slightly petite self, but it was still too wide across the neckline. So I put in some gathers right in the middle to pull the neckline together a little and stabilized it with matching piping. Problem solved!

Image 12
Boardwalk Dress; Parisian collar necklace by Kate Spade; earrings by Henri Bendel; sandals by Charles David

The fabric is ‘Always Blooming,’ by Susy Pilgrim Waters for P&B Textiles. I adore the splashy colors in this dress. So happy and summery! I gathered the skirt instead of pleating it for a more casual feel. It will log many miles with me this summer.

Image 10 And there it is – my favorite detail to add – covered buttons with fabric loops! So easy! I just put the zipper in a little lower to leave room, sewed the loops to back of the zipper tape and enclosed the rough edges in the lining.

Image 1
Eyes on You Dress. This dress just makes me giggle. I like that one little raccoon peeking over the hemline.

I couldn’t get enough of this amazing Tula Pink fabric for a whole dress. So I made the skirt extra full and found a swirly coordinating print by Moda for the bodice. This one looks great with a wide black belt.

Necklace by Nashville, TN designer Kari Beth. She makes assemblage pieces – this one combines a rhinestone Victorian buckle, bakelite bangle and vintage beads and baubles.

It never occurred to me that this boat neck would have the same fit issue as the scoop neck. It doesn’t bother me as much, so I didn’t do anything about it. But that gap at the neckline is a little sloppy. After much head scratching I figured out that the answer (for me) is to move the bodice front pattern piece about 3/8″ past the fold when cutting it out. That removes 3/4″ (impressive 3rd grade math skills, eh?) from the center panel. I also removed the same amount from the center back and voila! It fits! This also keeps the princess seams where they belong, rather than pulling them toward the sides, which happens when I have to make too much of a side seam alteration.

I have a tendency to make everything a little big, thinking I can always take it in later. But it isn’t always easy to make alterations. Sometimes you just have to trust your measurements and have the courage to cut the darned fabric on the right line!

Image 2
Dreams of Flight Dress. Vintage chiffon scarf; earrings by Banana Republic; pumps by Prada

Here I am, being courageous. This third (bonus) make is in a fabric called Field Study No 1 by Anna Marie Horner, and it’s definitely not your basic little girly butterfly print. I added fullness to the skirt again (no skimping!) and lined the bodice with plum cotton lawn. I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth from this pattern – considering I’ve made one with pleats and one with a collar too – but that’s enough for now! A special thanks to all the lovely ladies at my favorite fabric store Textile Fabrics, for helping me find these great finds and my friend Dena for the artsy photos!


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