Sunday, August 26, 2012
Blue chambray shirtwaist dress
Here's my third and final incarnation of Simplicity 2246! It's time to move on to a new shirtdress pattern after this, methinks. This one is really just the bodice with a waistband and gathered dirndl skirt spliced on. Because the buttons no longer extend below the waist, I added a side zipper so I could get in and out of the dress.
This dress took me FOR. EVER. because I had this harebrained idea that I should try to learn a new sewing skill with each project. So, I decided to do topstitching, and do it right! At first I tried threading my needle with two threads, which gave the desired decorative effect, but I could not get the tension to stay even between both threads. After ripping out the same seam three times, I gave up and bought a topstitching needle (basically a size 14, with a larger eye) and topstitching thread (thicker than all-purpose thread).
I also took my time with the finishing details on the inside of the dress. I could almost wear it inside out! All of the seams are flat-felled, with the exception of the sleeve seams and the left bodice seam that has the zipper, which are both serged. (It is possible to flat-fell sleeves to a bodice, but this requires setting in the sleeves before sewing the side seams, and I uh, forgot to do that).
Despite all the extra work, I really did enjoy sewing this dress. It's a pretty classic fabric and style, and I think I'll be able to accessorize it many different ways. The sleeve length and full skirt remind me of the late '50s or early '60s, so it has a bit of the "vintage housedress" feel. With a cardigan, it should be a good transition into fall.