Monday, May 25, 2015

FO: Take A Seat Dress

This is an epic project - I actually used one of my "love it too much to risk messing it up" fabrics from my stash! And I LOVE IT!
I purchased this fabric last 4th of July from in the sale they had that weekend. The fabric is called Perfectly Perched Chairs in Steel designed by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman. This line had several designs featuring chairs, but I liked this one best due to the colors - steel gray, white, and bright turquoise. I bought 3 yards with no specific pattern in mind, just knowing I wanted a simple dress. Then it sat... and waited... I didn't want to just chop into this awesomeness without knowing I would like the results, you know? I mean, those chairs needed their day to shine! I started off thinking Simplicity 2444 would work, but I didn't want to break up the lines of chairs with the angled bust darts on that pattern. So, I raided the pattern stash for a bodice with more simple, straight darts that could be used for all my lined novelty prints (seriously, I seem to be unknowingly drawn to lines and geometric patterns that need pattern matching - it's a dilemma). Simplicity 1419 seemed to be just the ticket, plus it had the fun option of the keyhole neckline and peter pan collar. So I muslined the daylights out of that pattern, and made my Skewed Flowers Dress first. Once I worked out my little kinks, I decided to take the plunge!

Now, I did make a few changes from my Skewed Flowers dress - most obviously the neckline. I love the keyhole and collar the pattern includes, but I think a cutesy collar on a dress covered in bright colored chairs would be a bit much. Just a personal judgement there. I actually just traced the Simplicity 2444 neckline onto my traced 1419 pattern piece - quick and easy change. I also really didn't want to have to figure out drafting a facing, plus I've had a problem with my dresses standing away from my back more than I like and I'm pretty sure it's due to the stiffness of the interfaced facing back there. This time, I decided to try bias tape on the neckline. I will admit it was a bit fiddly since I only had double fold bias tape on hand (and I was in to much a "quick satisfaction" mood to make any), but I made it there in the end. It's actually much easier than following all the directions for a traditional facing, plus I hate that facings always want to pop out, so I will certainly be employing the bias tape method on future makes :)
As you can see form the side view, I still have a bit too much fabric at the upper back. It drives me nuts. I hate that can't reach back there to pin everything in place just right, you know? My hunchback needs some assistance. Oh well - I'm going to look up how to address this before my next make. The back view ... I'm almost ashamed to show you because it shows the problem with the other change I made to the pattern. Honestly, the dress it too tight. I've worn it out now, and it did stretch out a bit so that it was more comfortable, but it tends to look a bit sausage-like in the back unless I'm standing just right (clearly I'm not standing just right in this photo). I also had just washed the dress and ironed it before taking these photos, so trust me it isn't always this tight. But good grief the zipper is actually stuck in a wonky position halfway down my back... and you can see the white line of the "invisible" zipper. Ugh. Maybe I'll lose weight someday, lol, just for this dress. My invisible zipper does look very good other than the tightness issue. The thing I changed was that last time around I had to add a tiny extra pleat to the front skirt to make my pieces match the bodice after all the alterations I had made, so this time I just figured I could cut the next size down in the skirt - apparently this was not a wise decision.
Not a lot of hanger-appeal to my dresses, lol.I think you can see the effort I made with pattern matching though. I knew I didn't have enough fabric to even try a seamless match up of the pattern, but I wanted to make sure the lines of chairs were consistent, and I paid particular attention to make the center front waist seam on the gray areas between the chairs. I think it came out really well :) This is my first official time pattern matching, so I'm pleased.
Close ups: I decided to use some chartreuse colored bias tape from my stash (left over from this Sorbetto) at the neckline just for fun. I love a little hidden pop of color and you don't see it from the outside at all. I followed the suggestion of a reader on my zipper and placed the top of the zipper tape just down from the seam edge - this caused a definite need for a hook and eye, but the zipper doesn't seem to make the dress want to pull away more, so that's a win :) My waistline seam is just ever so slightly off at the zipper, but it was so close that I couldn't be bothered to rip it out and try again. Also, my darts still don't line up from the bodice to skirt on the front due to all the changes I had to make to the pattern. One of these days I'll figure that one out.
Now for the other icky mistake - that picture above shows my side seam. Yeah, it totally doesn't line up from the bodice to the skirt. More than that, it's almost a full inch off! This is another issue I had from cutting the smaller skirt, so I will certainly not do that next time. When I ear the dress though, the print is so busy that no one has noticed this little flaw, plus let's be real I don't usually walk around waving my arms in the air, so I'm not that worried about it. It's just being documented for internet shaming purposes *sigh*.
So there you have it :) A new dress that I absolutely adore in spite of its issues. Seriously, how awesome is this fabric?! I just love it, and I know it will get lots of wear. Even The Gordo had to photobomb me so he could be seen near this dress, lol. Don't let that corgi smirk fool you. He loves the dress too.

Fabric: 3 yards of Perfectly Perched Chairs fabric in Steel colorway by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman - $13.32 from (no longer available)
Pattern: Simplicity 1419 with Simplicity 2444 neckline
Notions: 22" invisible zipper - $1.50, thread - stash, chartreuse bias tape - stash
Hours: Approx. 5


  1. Your dress looks great! My side seams still dont always line up...

  2. Your dress looks great! My side seams still dont always line up...


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