The Seattle dress, Part 2
Dec. 7, 2016
Last year I saw several online sewers make flannel shirt dresses and thought it was a fantastic idea. Melisa from Stitchology created one of my favorites. So when I was in her shop this spring, I grabbed a couple of flannels and figured I'd make one this fall.
And as I wrote last month, I had planned to have it finished a little sooner. But life got in the way. I've still been crazy busy working on moving across half the country, but here and there I've snuck in some sewing time.
I used my tried-and-true Colette Hawthorn. No changes to sizing.
This dress is incredibly comfortable and fits really well. I wore it today, when the temperature dropped and we got some snow in Kansas City.
And I got my first pair of rain boots! I'm getting ready for that Seattle weather.
I made a few slight design changes. The most noticeable is the sleeve length. I added 5.75 inches to the three-quarter sleeve, using the Sewaholic Granville sleeve as a guide.
Because the sleeve continued to taper as it got longer, I took in the cuff a half-inch.
After finding the sleeves on my orange Françoise a little short, I think I overcompensated. Next time, I'll probably shorten them an inch or so.
They're also a touch big in the arm and cuff. I don't have to undo the cuff buttons to get them on and off.
In all the chaos of moving, I made one pretty good mistake. I sewed the buttonhole to the underside part of the left cuff. And I didn't notice it until AFTER I cut the freakin' thing open. I'm usually really careful about these things. I guess I was so concerned with lining up the plaid, I spaced it.
I could have ripped out the whole damn cuff and installed a new one, but I literally don't have time for that shit. (Literal on the time part, not the shit part.) So I ripped out the buttonhole stitching and mended that hole right on up. Didn't even change the thread. I had the turquoise on for sewing on the buttons, and it worked pretty well if you ask me.
I did have to move the button over a little closer to the edge to get the plaid to line up correctly, so if you look really closely at my wrist, you can see the mending. But who's going to get that close to my hand?
Of course I added side-seam pockets, which was much easier without French seams. I just used my overcast stitch to finish the seams.
I also shortened the skirt 1 inch this time. There's just so much heavy fabric going on with those long sleeves, it seemed to need a little less coverage elsewhere.
Colette's instructions call for a hook and eye at the waist, but I kinda hate those things. On my first Hawthorn dress I ended up adding a snap there. I haven't decided whether it needs one yet. It opens a little, but I'm probably the only one who notices.
I'll ask Mikey what he thinks when he sees it in person. He's already in Seattle. He's staying in an Airbnb while we wait on the house to close. I stayed in Kansas City to take care of closing up the old house, which sold in about an hour! The buyer is also buying a bit of our furniture, so Mikey is furniture shopping in Seattle. I ordered a new mattress. He might have a night or two in the new house with just that to sleep on while he waits on the movers to bring him the rest of the furniture!
Page from Fabric Recycles found these perfectly matching buttons! Which can be a trick there because I needed so many.
The pattern calls for 15 buttons, and I bought a few extra in case I should ever need to replace any. I ended up using a button every 2 inches instead of 2.5 inches as the pattern has them placed. I did this to close up the bust a little snugger and so I could place them on the same block of plaid down the line. I ended up using only one more button this way. But I also omitted the top button, which I never button on the other Hawthorn dress.
These detail shots show the fabric color much better than the outside photos. I color corrected the hell out of those photos, but they're still not quite a perfect representation.
I apparently have really been into this color lately. As you can see in some photos, it matches my phone case (which matches my wallet). And I've been wearing aqua tights with the orange dress. I keep finding myself drawn to it. My new sleeping bag is even trimmed in it.
I love how the front dart plays with the angles on the plaid.
Speaking of plaid, that is some damn fine plaid matching!
I tweaked the seam allowance a little on the sides of the skirt and waistline to make that happen. And then I lucked out at the bodice side seam. I didn't actually plan for that to work out so well!
The previous time I made a Hawthorn I combined the front and back collar pieces into one to make the print continuous. I used that same single pattern piece this time. It's easier to cut out, skips a step in the stitching process, and looks better.
The only other change I made was adding a center back seam on the bodice back to match the skirt. I would have cut them both on the fold, but the 45-inch fabric wasn't wide enough. My walking foot made matching those plaids a breeze!
Mikey says I'll fit in with this outfit: skirt, tights, and boots. The other standard outfit there for women involves yoga pants, he says. We all know that's not my style.
One of the biggest challenges in making this dress was working in a much smaller space than I'm used to. To sell the house, we turned my fabulous sewing space back into a dining room and moved my sewing machine table, ironing station, and dress form to the second bedroom. I cut the fabric out (in a single layer) at my large table downstairs in one night (couldn't leave it out in case the house showed again) and then carried everything upstairs for construction. I didn't have any of my side tables or the big table, so I had to move pieces back and forth several times. But I got it done, and the experience gave me some idea of how I do and don't want to set up my sewing space in the new house.
One final bit of sewing housekeeping before I tell you a little more about the upcoming move. My sister wanted me to share her circle skirt. She had a '50s event to attend in Salt Lake City in October, and she didn't want to rent a shitty costume. So I made her a full circle skirt. I was so excited with her fabric choice! Purple is my favorite color! We even bought her a purple crinoline to wear under it. She put the rest of the outfit together, and it turned out fantastic! I typically don't sew for other people, but I'm so glad I took on this project. :)
Our stuff is getting packed up and loaded onto the moving truck early next week. My friend Jennifer is joining Winston and me for the first leg of our big trip west, starting at the end of the week. If you want to follow along, visit my Instagram page or #WinnelMovestoSeattle. Winston and I are going to take the long, southern route to camp and run trails in states where it won't be too stinking cold or snowy. You can view my photos even if you don't have an Instagram account. And check it regularly. Beginning Dec. 16, I'll post daily(ish).
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