Blue Collar Dress

At the beginning of 2013, I made a resolution to sew a little bit every week. With the exception of two weeks, I have kept my resolution and finished one dress. The progress isn’t fast, but it’s better than if I didn’t promise myself I would make time for sewing each week. My first finished project of 2013 is a knit dress that’s perfect for throwing on with tights and boots and heading out the door. I’ve definitely chosen a good project to start the year with because I want to reach for it as soon as it’s out of the dryer.

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This project feels like it came together pretty easily even though it took a few weeks to get it all done. I cut it out one week, put the bodice together the next, then pleated and sewed up the sides of the skirt, after that I sewed the bodice to the skirt, and finally hemmed the skirt and sleeves. It was very enjoyable and relaxing to do the construction because it took basically no fiddling to complete it. Sometimes I just need a “hole in one” type of project, and this was a very satisfying one.

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Design/Pattern: Butterick B5523

Materials: blue Sophia double knit (in my top three for favorite fabrics–I have used this fabric in different colors here and here), matching thread(and not-so matching-I’m still too intimidated by my serger to rethread it with a different color for every project) 

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  • serged seams
  • pleated skirt and sleeve caps
  • draped/cowl collar (Instead of following the pattern directions, I folded the collar in half lengthwise, sewed both layers to the neckline, and edge-stitched the seam allowances down.)

Alterations/Changes: As I mentioned, I followed my own instincts for how to attach the collar. I also had to shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length because they were about 1 inch too short before hemming them. If I had paid more attention to the pattern envelope, I might have noticed this on the model too. She has the sleeves pushed up in one picture and a chunky bracelet on in the other, but they are too short on her too.

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Other than the shorter sleeve length, this dress turned out exactly as I had envisioned. I love when that happens! It’s a great winter dress and a great work dress, although I do need to a wear a scarf or camisole with it for modesty’s sake. The neckline is cut rather low under the cowl and if I move just so it reveals more than I think is professional. I’m really happy with this dress and would recommend this pattern if you like easy to wear knit dresses that still look polished.

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