Thursday, March 26, 2015

Comfy Gray Dress

I felt like sewing something that wasn’t going to be too hard, so I chose this easy pattern from the 1980s. It’s a pullover dress with an elastic waistband, and because of its looser fit, it’s more forgiving of my sewing abilities.

There weren’t too many pieces to this dress, but it still took me some time to sew and alter. [Shakes head in disapproval.] I keep forgetting to measure the sewing pieces first so see how large things are before I cut and sew it together. [Sigh.] I thought I was pretty close to the sizing on the pattern envelope, but maybe I was wrong or maybe I just like things to be more fitted than they’re intended to be.

I was swimming in this dress. I couldn’t believe that the waistline was sitting on my hips. I had to shorten the waistline on the top by about 2.5 inches and bring the shoulders in about an inch on each side. So through belated trial and error, I fixed the fit and sewed the dress.

I also had to refresh my brain on a few things since it’d been a while since I’d last done it. Like I did a blind hem on the skirt, which is a much cleaner finish than I can do by hand, but it took some time and practice to do. Or putting in buttonholes, which isn’t hard (with my buttonhole foot), but I still had to recall how to do it.

This dress was fairly straightforward to make. The one thing I’d never done was creating two buttonholes for a single button. I thought this was a pretty interesting solution on the cuff; it makes it more fitted and allows the button to be seen, but I didn’t have to create a more complicated cuff that’s generally found on a traditional button-down shirt.

Although it wasn’t part of the pattern, I decided to sew a sash as well because I think it’s a nice option to have (if I don’t feel like wearing a belt). Overall I’m pretty satisfied with this dress. It probably took about a month to sew (since it was mostly just sewed for a few hours on weekends), and it didn’t cost much [maybe around $5 for the fabric (from an estate sale), thread, elastic and buttons]. It’s a very comfortable dress and it has pockets (which is always a plus in my book).

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wine Winter Coat

Over the weekend I went thrift shopping and I felt certain I wouldn’t find anything…but (inevitably) I did. I found a lovely wine-colored winter coat by Jill Jr. It’s 75% wool and 25% nylon—so it should be quite warm (which is good since I currently lack a thick winter coat). I love the classic silhouette of this coat; the price tag said it was from the 1960s, but regardless of age, this coat is in really great condition.

I love that the collar can be opened or buttoned all the way up, and I love that the skirt portion flairs out. Although I’m not incredibly partial to the cuffs (they’re okay) and I wish the color of the coat wasn’t so mottled, the overall design is so interesting. Even the back had thought put into it; there are pleats that go down the skirt portion and the waist ties that are attached with buttons can be removed—which I think is so great.

And I couldn’t get a better coat for the $48 I spent on this one. I know I can’t get a new coat at a department store made of quality materials with good design for this price. And quite frankly, I lucked out that this coat fits me pretty perfectly. I can’t tell you how hard it is to find a good fitted coat that actually fits me. So I’m extremely satisfied with this purchase. Although now that spring has finally hit, I won’t be able to wear this coat for a good six months. [Sigh.]