August 20, 2014

Pushing the Envelope.

Let me start by saying that I am well aware this is not the most flattering blouse shape for me. In fact, I knew that well before I started the project. When I'm not the one wearing them, I really like the delicate look of tucks and pleats and gathers, and breezy, loose-fitting summer tops. And I knew this probably wouldn't take much time (or fabric) to make, and I got set on trying it.
I like how the blouse turned out. I just don't like it on me. Actually, I like the back (elastic included), and the peplum, and the armholes. Those all fit really well. It's just the bodice front that doesn't suit me.

I want to talk about the pattern a little--or rather, about the pattern company. This is a Papavero pattern. Probably no one has heard of Papavero, unless I have readers in Poland; then maybe. Papavero is a Polish sewing site that is, from what I can tell, similar to Burda or maybe Pattern Review (although I'm not really that familiar with either of those, either, so maybe not). There are forums, blogs and photo galleries, articles, and an active community, in addition to the patterns. All of which are free. Yes. All.

Of course, that free comes with a price. (Not monetary, but--) Obviously, everything is in Polish. There's a button on the main (and most) pages to translate all the content into English (or any of a number of other languages) but it's just a machine translation from Google, and I think we're all aware that Google Translate, uh, has its limitations. Like this blouse. (Go on, translate it to English. I'm pretty sure "shirt for tall cupcakes" is not the name they intended.) Note that each time you go to a new page, it will appear in Polish first for a few seconds, then (depending on how fast your internet connection is, I'd guess) translate back to the selected language. Just give it some time.

And, if the website is in Polish, it follows that the directions for the patterns would be, too. (Actually, I was surprised to find several English words on the pattern. I can't remember what, though, now.) Except there are no instructions. (Unless I entirely missed them, which impossible.) Not really a problem, though, as I don't always use pattern instructions, and even if I did, well, instructions in a language I can't understand would do me no good, anyway. There is a cutting layout, yardage requirement, and they do tell you how many to cut of each piece, but as far as how to put them together--you're on your own.

For this pattern, which was pretty basic, that wasn't too much of a problem. But for patterns with more detail (and a lot of their patterns do seem to have some very unusual details) I can see where issues might arise.

That's why, with this blouse, I did actually make a full muslin. Three reasons, in fact: 1) I'd never worked with a Papavero pattern before and had no idea how accurate the sizing might be, 2) Re the absence of instructions, in case I did need them, well I wanted to work out any possible assembly quirks before I got to the nice fabric, and 3) I knew I'd have to lengthen the bodice, and with the rather oddly-shaped pattern piece, I wasn't exactly sure how to do that (what if I accidentally made it wider instead of longer?).

As it turned out, my muslin was actually too long. (It was also much too big in the bust and front waist, which should have told me not to bother making up the final version, but somehow I was able to delude myself into thinking that the lengthwise adjustments, and maybe also tacking the two pieces together where they crossed, would fix that.) I will concede that it's possible that, because of the aforementioned oddly-shaped pattern piece, I inadvertently lengthened the bodice even more than the two inches I intended, but I'm about 99% sure that this happened because the blouse was designed for someone more buxom than me. (Proof: the back bodice wasn't too long at all. Although to be fair, the back pattern piece was also a normal shape.)
open side
In the final version, the bodice is the correct length, but still very blousey. And the part where the one side overlaps the other is very... open--observe below. I tacked the pieces together at the top where they cross, and that helps, but I still very much doubt I'll ever wear this without something underneath.
(Cos yeah. It gets real gappy sometimes.)
That said, I think it mostly looks, on me, like Papavero's sample blouse looks in the pictures. But I think it looks even more like the sample when I'm not wearing it. I think it just isn't my shape. That's that.
In case anyone is interested in making this up, but a bit wary of going it with no instructions, I'll do a brief rundown of the changes I made and the construction steps I went through. I used this pattern--translated into English, it's called Envelope for the Summer. There are multiple sizes, for 30-48" busts.

August 12, 2014

An Almost-Modern Blouse.

Wow, I can't believe it's the second week of August already. And I guess it's about time for another blog post. I know I've been a bad blogger lately--a few months ago, I wasn't sewing much and had nothing to post about; more recently, I have been sewing a fair amount, just haven't blogged anything. (I was really dragging my feet with this, too--I started this post like a week ago.) I actually have several finished projects lined up to talk about after this one.
But this blouse first. I made it around a month ago, at the beginning of July. I used Butterick B4985. It's out of print now, but only from 2007. I guess that's been several years now, but it still feels pretty recent to me. And the blouse (with the pattern's multiple hideous sleeve options omitted) has a fairly modern silhouette, I think. But then I went and added covered buttons--and I don't really think covered buttons are all that common in contemporary clothing, at least outside of more formal stuff, so those probably make it seem a bit less modern. That's fine with me, though.

I think that I often write that I don't have much to say about a pattern or project and then go on for days and days, but in this case, I really don't have much to say.

I added an inch and a half (at least I think it was an inch and a half) to each of the top and bottom bodice pieces. This put the bottoms of the armholes exactly where I like them, but I think the seam where the top and bottom pieces join is a bit too low. So next time, I'll remove one inch, vertically, from the top pieces, and add that back in, plus two additional inches (the blouse is just barely long enough) to the bottom pieces. I think that should make it work.
side gap
I want to point out that when I stand carefully, the vertical fit does look pretty close to perfect. But if I move around some, the front of the neckline starts to fold on itself and get all gapey. It's not super evident in the pictures, but the diagonal line on my right/photo left gets real weird (and spreads to the other side). I didn't use interfacing like I was supposed to (because I don't like interfacing to begin with, and also because is such a sheer fabric that it would've shown through and looked awful) so I guess that could be the cause, but I really think it's just that the pieces are slightly too long. I mean, see how much better it looks when I do this?
(Okay, in the photo, it doesn't look that much better, but trust me--in real life, doing this improves the fit.)

Speaking of the fabric, if it look familiar it's because I used the fabric from this blouse. I don't mean I had extra of the same fabric and used that--I mean I chopped up the old blouse to make this one. I don't think I ever wore the old blouse except for that one day, taking pictures, so this is a definite improvement. (Because I think the fabric is great.) I'm trying to get my UFO/re-fashion pile down, so I've been doing this kind of thing a lot lately.

It does mean some compromises have to be made--the sleeves, for example. Not that I wanted the puffed sleeves with ruffles that the pattern suggests (no, I'm serious; check that view D) but I was hoping to at least be able to do a full set-in sleeve to check for fit. (This was kind of a muslin.) As it is, the cap sleeves are pieced together, and I didn't ease them in properly, so they're a little tight and the shoulders look kinda wrinkly (actually, the wrinkles are probably from the bias tape) but oh well. The armhole edges are finished with a self-made bias tape left over from another project, as are the edges of the front facings. Everything else is French seamed. (Muslin or not, I wanted it to be wearable, so I did a nice job.)
(Except I ran out of bias tape at the very end of the second facing, so the last three inches or so are beige, but eh.)
And guys, that really is me not having much to say write. (If I was actually saying this out loud, I would probably say 'I made the top of the bodice too long,' and that would be it. But I don't talk a lot.)

Overall, I'm happy with this. It's a nice, feminine blouse that'll alternate well with Simplicity 3260 (which is more of an unfitted, unisex style). I think that once I make the vertical changes for the next version, it'll fit me quite well--and I look forward to making that next version. I'll still wear this one, probably not as much as I would have hoped, nor to work often, because of the weird gaping (and, to a lesser extent, the tight sleeves), but there are plenty of other times. Plus, it's practically sheer, so it's perfect for summer, but has enough coverage that I don't feel overexposed. All in all, I'll call it good.

And now moving on to the next thing...

Project details:
Fabric: This blouse, refashioned, so free (but the fabric was also only $1.00 to begin with)
Pattern: Butterick B4985 from Knittn' Kitten, $1.00
Year: 2007
Notions: seven self-covered buttons from stash, $1.00; self-made bias tape left over from previous project, free
Made before: no
Make again: yes, gladly
Sewing soundtrack: not sure--maybe nothing
First worn: last week to work one day
Wear again: yes
Total cost: $2.00

July 24, 2014

Summer Sewing: Month One Check-In

I'm always a few days later than I mean to be. Technically, the end of the first month of summer was the 21st, and that was the intended day for this post, but better late than never, I guess.

A while ago, I wrote about my sewing plans for the rest of 2014, and particularly for this summer. Since I sometimes don't blog about finished projects right away (or, sometimes, ever), I thought it might be useful, or at least interesting, to do a monthly wrap-up of my sewing "progress."

So, in the first month of summer--June 21 to July 21--I:
  • sewed one pair of shorts (blogged here) for the Skirt Fixation challenge (and they also fit for the July Monthly Stitch challenge)
  • refashioned five T-shirts into tank tops (blogged here)
  • sewed a very quick, small case for my phone (unblogged)
  • and sewed two other garments (also, as yet, unblogged). 

In terms of fabric usage I:
  • used up one piece of recently-gifted fabric (I'm counting all of what I was sent for the shorts as one, and there are only scrap-sized pieces left, so also counting it as used)
  • used half a piece of stash fabric
  • refashioned five RTW shirts and one me-made blouse
  • but I also bought two two-yard pieces of fabric (both for the same project, one of the unblogged ones, and then I decided neither fabric was right and ultimately used a stash one. But at least my intent when I bought them both was immediate use).

I still have more than half my pile of T-shirts to convert, and I've made absolutely no progress on the crocheted cardigan that I was supposed to start working on. Maybe that will happen this month...

Speaking of this month, the past week or so I haven't felt like sewing or doing anything sewing-related at all, but this morning I made these little images to help me along. (Forgive my lazy photoshopping. I could've done a better job making the fabric look even, but I didn't.)
blouse collage
(I also could've redrawn this so it doesn't have what looks like a peplum. I think I'll just extend the bodice part to blouse length, and not use the skirt pieces at all.)
dress collage
These first two have jumped to the top of the sewing queue because they're both very summery (the blouse fabric is sheer; the dress, well, it's a sundress printed with sailboats...) and I'd like to actually wear them this summer.
fabric collage
This last fabric, I've been wanting to make up for ages. (The fabric doesn't look like me at all, does it? (Admittedly, I actually bought it for Rat. But there wound up not being enough for what I intended, and then I decided I liked it so much I wanted to keep it for myself.) In the picture it looks very animal print/camo, but I promise in real life it's more abstract-looking, and what shows up as black is actually navy blue. Plus it's super soft.)

I haven't used it yet only because I have so little of the fabric--barely a yard--so I'm very limited in what I can actually do. For a long time I was thinking a Sorbetto with buttons on the fake placket, but a couple months ago, I finally muslined myself another Sorbetto and, while the fit was better than the first one I made, it was also, I think, the fastest I've ever given away a me-made garment that was originally meant to keep. Maybe in a few more years I'll try again, but for now, I think it's really just not the top for me.

And there aren't a lot of other things that can be made with only one yard of fabric. (I don't want to do color blocking or print mixing or whatever the term is for pairing it with another coordinating fabric in order to have enough to make up the whole thing. In most circumstances, I don't think I'd be opposed to that, but I don't want it here.) I'm definitely thinking a blouse of some kind, and pretty sure it'll have to be sleeveless and fairly fitted. Maybe even collarless, but who knows; collars arn't that fabric-hungry, are they? I've got a couple patterns I'm thinking about, and hopefully one of them will work, but nothing has jumped out at me yet as this is it! and I also haven't measured anything yet, so... Anyone, any suggestions?

Beyond those three, my core plans remain intact: shirts for work. Maybe a skirt or two. Trying to get started on the sweater. Sewing from the stash; no new fabric purchases (or notion, or pattern, purchases if I can manage it, and I've got enough stockpiled that I should be able to manage it). Moving along.

Don't be surprised if you see other projects on the blog before the above. Now that I've noted specifically what I'm meant to be working on, I have no doubt that I'll soon find any number of other things that I need to spend my time on. As long as it's going forward, I guess...

July 11, 2014

Dots of Fun. (A Linen Challenge.)

I mentioned when I wrote about my summer sewing plans a while ago that in July, I'd be taking part in a fabric swap challenge at Skirt Fixation. Today's the day for my project to go up (and no, it's not a skirt). If you'd like, you can check my post over at Skirt Fixation, too--the photos are slightly different, and voting is now open, until Sunday. I'd be honored to have your vote--just scroll to the bottom of the post for the poll. And if you're visiting here from Skirt Fixation, hi! Thanks for stopping by.

And this is also my entry for July's Monthly Stitch challenge, MonoSewn--in other words, sewing in only black and white. This project isn't completely monochromatic, but it's about as monochromatic as I'll ever get.
Anyway, though. Here we go:

So, I was chosen to take part in linen week. Back in June, I sent fabric to Jenn at A Jennuine Life, who made a super cute dress for her daughter (here). My other swap partner was Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs. She sent me some great spotty fabric--it's actually a 30/70 linen-cotton blend, which I think probably made it easier to work with and to wear without wrinkling, but it still retains a nice linen-y look and feel. I got one yard of black, and half a yard each of green and grey. As it turned out, I wound up not using any of the green, but I’m sure it’ll find its way soon into another project.

Initially, since this challenge wasn’t adult-clothing-only and, based on their introductions, I suspected a lot of the other participants wouldn’t be sewing garments for themselves (I'm one of the only ones that isn't a mom), I toyed with the idea of making something that wasn’t for me to wear.  But let's be serious. I don’t have a child that I sew for, and I don’t really decorate, nor do I need any more bags. And even if I did, that's not what I sew for. I feel like when you do challenges, you should stick to the rules and the theme, of course, but also be true to yourself. And sewing something not for me to wear, well, that wouldn’t really be me.
full 2
(Since this was an actual sewing contest, and one that I was actually invited to participate in, I made an effort and took photos outside. But the white wall is also very true to me, so I included one of those, as well.)
(And I managed to pull off these outside photos by getting up at 6 on a Sunday and biking down to the industrial district (which is deserted on weekends, even more so in the early morning) before work. All the buildings are painted different colors, because Portland. This is the first one I picked; the 7 a.m. shadows didn't work out for me that well. But I do think it's funny.)
So I made a pair of shorts with my linen--because where better to put a fabric that’s notorious for being wrinkle-prone? Actually I’ve been really impressed so far with the lack of wrinkliness. Again, I think the fact that the fabric's actually a blend helps quite a bit. The fabric is a great weight for shorts, nice and sturdy but not too stiff (although it would've been much too stiff for anything that needed to drape) so I think I made the right choice.
(The next building worked out better.)
My base pattern was, again, Simplicity 3435 (vintage, from the early 60s), although I’ve made so many alterations to it now that the finished product bears little resemblance to the original. I added pockets (front and back), lowered the waistband even further than last time and gave it belt loops, drafted fold-up cuffs and little tabs to hold them in place, and changed the closure from an invisible side zipper to a fly front. I hadn’t sewn a proper zip fly in a really long time, so I followed this tutorial from Oliver & S. (Apparently I still did something wrong, though--the cover isn't quite as wide as I think it should be. But it's fine.) Everything else, though, I just sort of put together as I went along. Cos that's also how I sew.
Speaking of the zipper, this might be the oldest one I've ever used. If the date on the package is the year the zipper was made (and not just the date the instructions were written) it's from 1942. Wow. It's white, because the only black zippers I had were thirty inches long--and I had two of them. No idea why I even have one thirty-inch-long black zipper, not to mention two. But anyway. This one works.
zipper packaging
I really like the two fabrics together--I arranged them so the grey accents the black, and the black, in turn, accents the grey. (I think. I hope that’s also what it looks like to other people.) I got lucky in that I was sent a fabric with a very small pattern repeat, but I still spent a lot of time meticulously matching up my pieces. There are a few whoops spots, but overall, I’m really happy with it--and especially with all the little details, like the back pockets.
back pockets
(That belt. I took it off and put it back on several times throughout the course of taking photos, but isn't it perfect? My sister gave it to me for my birthday--coincidentally right before I received this fabric.)
back full
These are definitely the most wearable shorts I’ve made so far. I think that with this pair, I've almost got the shorts/trousers/jeans? fit how I want it. In future makes, I need to raise the middle of the back waist which dips--or else I could lower it the rest of the way around; it's fine when I'm standing, but when I sit down, I've noticed the front comes up a bit far... I'll also make the leg openings a little narrower, and the front pockets--both the openings and the bags--wider. But that's really it. And with shorts, the great issue is really do they fit in the crotch? And they do. Very well. Yesss.
side full
Okay project details:
Fabric: 1.5 yards of dotted cotton/linen blended fabric from Skirt Fixation challenge swap with Bonnie, free
Pattern: Simplicity 3435 (barely) from SCRAP, used before so free
Year: early 1960s?
Notions: 7" metal zipper from stash, I think $0.45; a tiny bit of bias tape, let's say $0.25 worth; hook and eye from stash, not counting; 2 buttons cannibalized from an old shirt, free
Made before: yes
Make again: probably at some point, though maybe not this year
Sewing soundtrack: Lykke Li
First worn: Wednesday
Wear again: yes
Total cost: $0.70

July 9, 2014

Yesterday I Made Four Shirts.

And today I made another one.

Okay, sit down. It's not as exciting--nor as prolific--as it sounds.
all five
The shirts I made are actually tank tops that I cut out of old, ill-fitting T-shirts. I left the shoulder seams and hems intact, and basically just stitched up the sides and finished the head and arm openings. It was quick. I've been meaning to do this for, oh, I don't know... several years. (And I still have several other shirts waiting to be redone.)
before and after
(This is what I mean about ill-fitting. The top one is the re-make; the blue shirt underneath is the exact same size (bought at the same place, same time) as it was originally. Not ideal.)
I didn't follow a pattern or a tutorial. I was going to use Loran's, which I think is very good, but then I realized I don't actually like camisoles. I like my straps a little wider, and the necklines further up. Of course, doing that, I have to be careful to get the rest of the shape right--if it's not fitted enough (and, for some reason, especially one the ones whose arm and head openings I didn't bind), the shirt comes out looking like one of those hipster boy tank tops that I'm still not sure if I even like on men, and I definitely don't want to be wearing one. In the end, they still look a little like that, but not too bad, I think.

My first shirt--the test shirt--was the yellow one. It was, shall we say, a learning experience and it is wearable I suppose, but I probably won't ever wear it. I cut the body pretty straight, so it's quite tight over the bust and hips and voluminous in the middle--despite being a knit, there's not that much stretch. And I didn't stretch the binding enough when I was finishing the neckline, so it gapes quite a bit. Fortunately I hate yellow anyway, so I'm not at all bothered by any of this. (It was an old work shirt that I was saving specifically for the purpose of experimenting on. To be honest, I never wore any of the shirts, anyway. So now, even if I only wear them each once a year, they'll still be doing me more good than they were doing.)

The second shirt is still kind of iffy, but by the third, I'd mostly gotten everything down.
(My favorite, if you can't tell from the facial expression. I know the blog is suffering lately because I can't seem to make myself take pictures, but... right now, this is what I've got.)
Of course, the most recent make is the best one, and the one I'm likely to wear the most often. (Not that I was planning on ever wearing any of these that often--and when I do, they'll mostly be undershirts.) That's not just because of the construction--I intentionally did a better job because I knew beforehand that it was the one I was most likely to wear often. I bound both the neckline and the armholes--previously, aside from the initial attempt on the yellow shirt, I was just folding the raw edges under and stitching them down. Which works fine for undershirts that I don't really care about, but I wanted this one to be a bit nicer. I even went to the trouble (and it was some trouble) of running the binding strips through my bias tape maker before attaching them. And I think it came out very nicely.
binding cu
(This is a close-up of the binding. Right.)
I was also pleased to find out that it was possible to do all of this sewing with my strictly straight-stitch machine. I still don't know how well it would work with stretchier knits, but I just used a long straight stitch on all the seams, and they all seem fine so far. That said, none of the seams really need to stretch, so maybe that's why. Anyway, I'm pleased.

As I said, I still have a pile more T-shirts to convert; hopefully now that I know what I'm doing, and that I can, in fact, do it, I'll get to them sooner rather than later. Regardless, I've now gotten (a small) part of my summer sewing plan done, so yay for that, at least.

June 23, 2014

A Rough Guide to Sewing, Or: My 2014 Plan.

Well, it's my plan for the latter half of the year. Originally, I was going to post this on Saturday, that being the first day of summer, but in order to make it in time for the Franken-Indie contest at the Monthly Stitch, I needed to put up my plaid dress then. (And, by the way, you can vote for it (and two others) now and through Friday the 27th, 5 pm Pacific, if you'd like. If you do vote for me, thanks in advance--I appreciate it.)

But my sewing plans. And this is largely a post (with no pictures) for my benefit--both to help me remember/organize my thoughts, and to perhaps keep me a bit more accountable by having publicly written them down.

June 21, 2014

More of the Same, but with Indie Patterns.

I made a dress! This was my entry to the Franken-Indie contest at the Monthly Stitch... although I'm not entirely sure this qualifies. I did use products from two different indie pattern companies, but only one of them was an actual, physical pattern. Even if it doesn't qualify, though, I still made a nice new dress, and that's what really matters, yeah?
(Sorry about the boring photos. I tried this time, I really did, but I just can't compel myself to take solo photos outside my apartment.)
The bodice is Lekala 4357, with some modifications. For the skirt, I used By Hand London's circle skirt app. With both of these, you put in your measurements and the program generates a pattern (or, in the BHL app case, cutting instructions) customized to fit you.
My fabric is 100% cotton shirting from the Pendleton Woolen Mill outlet store. It's two-sided, and of course once I'd gone too far to change things, I started to wish I'd used the other side, but in the end, I'm still happy with this. I used two yards at 60", and had just a little left over. My notions are all vintage, thrifted--a twenty-inch metal zipper (lapped, at the side), two packages of matching rayon hem tape, and a covered belt kit. In the forty or so years since the kit was manufactured, the sticky stuff for attaching the fabric to the buckle had dried up, and I swear I spent more time getting the buckle to work than on any other part of assembling the dress. (Oh--there's also no hand sewing on the dress, which is really unusual for me. I sewed about ten stitches by hand attaching the buckle to the belt (again, the buckle...) but that's it. Kind of liberating.)

So. How did I find the patterns? I'll talk about the app first, as that's quicker. You can choose to make a quarter, half, or full circle skirt (mine's a half circle) in three lengths, although it would be easy enough to just cut a bit longer or shorter, too--that's what I did. All you need to do is insert your waist measurement, and the app calculates the radius--including seam allowance, which in the past, I've often forgotten to add when doing this on my own. It also gives a cutting layout and tells you how much fabric you'll need. No further instructions (although there are links at the bottom to waistband and zipper tutorials.) Basically, the app is useful for figuring out the waist radius to cut without having to remember math, and it eliminates the possibility of forgetting to add seam allowance. Since I tend to forget numbers immediately and have never written my radius down, I'll continue to use this if I make circle skirts in the future.
skirt full
As to the Lekala pattern--aside from the style changes I made, I cut it out the pattern pieces exactly as they were, with no adjustments for fit. That's right--no adjustments for fit. And I'm really impressed with how well this does fit. I appreciate that in addition to your width-wise measurements, Lekala takes into account your height. As a rule, I have to lengthen all bodice patterns, but I didn't need to with this one; my bust and waist were already in the right place. It's pretty awesome. (This was also the first princess-seamed garment I've ever made. I like it.) I also want to mention that in addition to the standard measurements, Lekala has fifteen or so optional measurements and adjustments you can add. I didn't use any of those (except maybe the neck--I can't remember), but can see how they might be helpful in customizing the pattern even more to your size and shape. Obviously, I can't know how these patterns will work on other bodies, but if, like me, you tend to have fitting issues, I'd definitely consider giving Lekala a try.

Unless you need a lot of help from your instructions. I didn't really follow theirs. A lot of times I don't follow instructions anyway, and I was making so many changes that in this case, it didn't really make sense for me use them, either. However, I looked over them to write the review. I can report that, although this is one of their most recent releases and hasn't been edited by an English speaker (yet), all the directions do make sense. But they are very sparse--for the dress, there are 12 steps, and no pictures. If you know the gist of what you're doing, I think the instructions would be perfectly adequate, but if you like a bit more hand-holding, well, that won't be found here.

And finally, alterations. Since this is a Franken-Indie dress, obviously there's at least one: I chopped off the Lekala dress pattern at the waist and added a half-circle skirt from the By Hand London app instead. I made a few other changes, too, though: I combined the three back bodice pieces into one, with darts (less plaid matching, yeah). I also widened the shoulders by a few inches for slightly more coverage, and added an in-seam pocket on the side of the skirt where the zipper isn't. (Both those things I simply drew myself--hope that's okay.) And I added contrast plackets to the front yoke (the original just has the yoke piece folded back on itself) and omitted the buttons. I was planning to put them on--they were going to be covered, to match the belt--but then I decided that, even though it's slightly less shirtwaist dress-looking now, I liked how it looked without them.
side pocket

I also left out the interfacing on the collar (because I hate interfacing) and thank goodness I did. The collar doesn't need any more volume than it already has. If I make this again, I'll probably cut the collar around an inch narrower, all around. But that's really the only thing I'd definitely change.
yoke cu
I also wish I'd lapped the yokes rather than sewing them with French seams (the raw edges are finished with a combination of French seams and rayon-bound edges), and had the front of the skirt on the diagonal rather than straight. And maybe done a bit better job with my plaid matching. It's not perfect and I knew, with princess seams, that it wouldn't be. It's really only the right bodice piece that's not lined up; I should have re-cut it, but I didn't realize until I was nearly done that the rest was so even, and now I'd have to pretty much disassemble the entire dress to replace it.

All in all, though, the dress is fine. I'm happy. Very happy. And I really want to make another one, right now.

Okay project details:
Fabric: 2 yards at 60" double-sided green plaid cotton from Pendleton Woolen Mill outlet, $5.00
Pattern: Lekala 4357 with modifications, $1.87 (bodice) + BHL circle skirt app, free (skirt)
Year: contemporary
Notions: all from stash--20" metal zipper $0.55; two packages rayon hem tape $0.50; covered belt kit $0.50
Made before: no
Make again: maybe
Sewing soundtrack: Pulp
First worn: today
Wear again: yes
Total cost: $8.42