Well, whatta ya know? It’s my 100th blog post! So here I am celebrating that milestone in a new dress in Brooklyn! And when I’m posing in a new dress on cobblestone streets with old trolley line rails, a 19th century brick warehouse, and the grand ol’ gal herself, the Brooklyn Bridge, you know I am one happy camper.
PATTERNS. I combined the bodice from B5486 and the skirt from the Sewaholic Lonsdale to create a sundress just right for a humid New York summer (although it’s been pretty cool around these parts lately, what gives?). When it does get humid around here I definitely prefer sleeveless tops/dresses, so this dress will come in handy. I also love that the design can be paired with a cardigan, so depending on fabric choice this could easily transition into spring and/or fall. Heck, perhaps even winter!
I’ve had B5486 in my stash for a few years now, and I’d like to make the full version one of these days. It comes with a gathered skirt with an option for knee or maxi length. You can also add a waist tie. I used the bodice of view A and modified the neckline from v-neck to scoop, which is much more wearable for me as an office dress. I made a muslin of the v-neck and I think I’d have to do an FBA to give myself more coverage.
Please excuse the wrinkled back skirt – I wore the dress to work that day.
SIZE. I found that B5486 ran a bit large on me so I used a size 8 bodice and size 10 waist (both a size down from my normal Big 4 sizing). For the Lonsdale skirt I used a size 6. Isn’t sewing weird sometimes?!
FABRIC. I really love this fabric and am glad I didn’t wait too long to turn it into something. It’s a crinkly cotton from Mood that I bought during the Lladybird meet-up back in March. Have to admit though, this fabric almost took me down! It was a bit shifty and hemming it was kind of the pits (you may be able to tell). I think it kept growing longer as I was sewing so I’m glad I let it hang for awhile before hemming.
The bodice is lined with a white cotton with peachy-colored flowers, which I bought from The City Quilter on 25th Street. It was so easy to work with – yes! – but I wish I didn’t pick white for the lining. Not because it shows through (which it doesn’t), but because it peaks out from the neckline and that kind of drives me nuts. I usually go for linings that blend in. Thankfully attaching the lining bodice to the outer bodice at the waist as well as understitching the neckline helped.
Doesn’t the boy here look so mini? Funny optical illusion!
NOTIONS. I used a 12″ invisible zipper, which is fine to get in and out of the dress, but in the future I’d try for a 14″ length. The 12″ was the only one Purl Soho had on hand for invisibles, and I just happened to be in the neighborhood when I needed the zipper so there you have it. I remembered that the Sewaholic zipper recommendations are a bit longer than I usually need, and with the v-back I figured it’d be okay. If you’re a pear or hour glass shape it’d probably be a good idea to go with a zipper longer than 12″.
I forgot to interface the shoulder straps. Hope that doesn’t come back to bite me – no stretchy!
Yep, that’s my finished Myrna cardigan for OAL 2014! More on that in another post soon. 😀
- BODICE. I already mentioned above, but just to keep modifications together I changed the v-neck to a scoop neck. I also cut the front bodice on the fold. The pattern cover makes the bodice look like it hits at the natural waist, but if you look at the technical drawing on the back of the envelope it’s more empire waist. I decided to lengthen the bodice 2″ so it hit at the natural waist. In the photo above you can also see that I added 1/2″ width to the part where the shoulder strap goes and the shoulder strap piece itself to cover my bra.
- SKIRT. I ended up taking out about 2″ of width from the hem at the center front and back seams. In my other Lonsdale dress I noticed these seams flapped to the sides so I made a mental note to fix that the next time around. I also shortened the skirt to hit just around the knee (I had forgotten that this skirt runs a bit longer!).
A couple of things I’m not so keen on: the way the right armhole stretched out during construction (lining peaks out – doh!) and the look of the dress at the waist seam. The instructions say to trim the darts and then press them flat, which I should have done but didn’t. For some reason I also didn’t trim and grade the seam allowance at the waist properly so there is bulkiness there. I’ve decided to let it go and just wear a belt or a sash, as in these photos!
Here are some detail shots of the dress lining with the zipper opening and the twin needle top-stitching at the hem. Isn’t the fabric neat close up? This lower photo came out a bit more orange than it actually is.
I do love the v-neck at the back! It’s such a pretty feature of the dress. Oh, and see the carousel to the right? It’s Jane’s Carousel (such a sweet name, right?), built in 1922 and originally located in Youngstown, Ohio.
Alrighty, that’s it! I’ll end with a peaceful little spot by the Manhattan Bridge. I’m so happy to have made a great little sundress that I hope to recreate a few more times. You can never go wrong with a sleeveless sundress during a hot and humid city summer. Or a fall-like one, as we seem to be having these days…
On a random note, the pockets on this skirt were just perfect for holding arcade tickets from later that evening at Coney Island. Over 400 tickets in winnings got us a whoopee cushion, slinky, and some other useless junk. 😀 Happy August, everyone!