Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Staple Dresses and Classes

Whew, things have been busy around here!  I have a really neat stashbusting project to show you, I just haven't gotten it fully completed yet. In the meantime I have some exciting news! I'm teaching two classes in November! You can find the details about half way down the page, here. Or you can just email me, emsewcrazyatyahoodotcom.

The first class will be on November 8th and we'll be making Staple Dresses. I have had people requesting to learn to make clothing and I thought the Staple dress is a great place to start since it works with most fabrics and there is not a lot of fitting involved. This gives the beginning sewist a chance to get familiar with sewing terms, taking accurate measurements, cutting, and using the sewing machine and other basic techniques while still ending up with a wearable garment at the end.

To test the pattern I made three.

First was my "lace" version from an old heavy crochet tablecloth I've had for forever! I cut a small and had to take more out of the center front and back so the pieces would fit on my crocheted piece. Thankfully it had a lot of stretch so it fits nice and curvacious as a sheath dress. As soon as I cut the pieces I serged and basted around all the edges so it would not unravel. I also hand stitched the hem, sleeves and neckline for an invisible front finish.
Pretty "fabric" with more stretch than expected. This is as close to a halloween costume as I'll probably come.
Tested the fit over my pink Tiramisu.

Second, I tried to follow the directions as written.  I only cut a size smaller than my measurements (because I was worried about it being too big) and colorblocked the top with a piece of pink I have been loving and wondering what to use as. April did a good job drafting this pattern. The measurements are true to size in a woven and this is a bit tight in the back and the sleeves bite into my arms when I lean forward to work. Not enough to restrict movement just enough to make it slightly uncomfortable. Next time I'll follow the sizing. I should have trusted that an independent designer would draft more accurately than the Big 4 patterns.
I marked the shirring after I had made the dress/top. 
I should mention I'm almost 5' 10" and I added an inch, inch and a half, to the waist area on the shorten/lengthen line. It still ends several inches above my knee so I'll probably add another inch to the waist area and a couple inches to the hem so it will hit me at the knee for a more personally flattering length. It's important to add length in both places otherwise the pockets will end up in your armpits or be in the way of your waist shirring.

Third, I decided to try it in a medium and in an actual knit. I thought this fabric would look lovely as a long dress plus it would allow me to wear it right away since it is already getting chilly here.

This plummy color seemed to evoke lovely autumn days when the leaves fall gently from trees and the temperature slowly drops instead of a raging icy blizzard that freezes everything in sight.
Imagination V. Reality
Tree source
 ANYways, back to construction details,
I cut the top half of the pattern and free cut the skirt portions down the length of my fabric. I sewed the shoulder seams then test fitted to see where to place the pockets and the elastic casing I decided on instead of the shirring to give me a slouchy top design.
I used Cake's method of iron on interfacing to stabilize the knit edge for the cotton pocket bags. Understitching is also an important step not worth skipping.
Then I finished the dress with knit bands stitched to the inside.

Well, that was a mouthful! Any questions, class? :) As you can see it is a very versatile pattern and I'm hopefully of filling my class. Know anyone in the Spearfish area who wants to learn how to sew?

PS, I'm linking up with Train to Crazy's



Judith said...

These are 3 great dresses, each so different! Fav would be the last long one ... J

Adele said...

I'd consider making a pink floral underskirt (maybe with a frill?) to go under the crochet tablecloth version because the pink floral dress you have peeping out the bottom looks really good!

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks, The last one is my favorite too. The lace was really an experiment and the colorblocked one was for the class more than for me. The purple dress... all mine!

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks, I thought it looked kind of cool myself so it's nice to hear that that look has possibilities.

Jenya @ While she was sleeping said...

One pattern. three very different gorgeous dresses :)

Nell Escalante said...

What a great dress! I love projects like these where you are almost guaranteed to come away with something wearable. Kudos to you!

kbenco said...

All 3 dresses look very successful, and how different from each other! What a great choice for a sewing class, with all this prep work your students will be able to see the variety possible with this pattern immediately. The crochet lace version really appeals to me, very pretty and shapely, and your plum version is beautifully elegant.

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks, it was an interesting experiment.

EmSewCrazy said...

Yes, this is a great pattern for that. Glad you liked them.

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks! The lace and the plum are my favorites. I made the colorblocked one so there would be at least one "normal" dress for the class to see. I can't wait until spring so I can wear them since it has gotten so chilly here.