Lavender Pintucks Top

Have you ever made something that looked good, but just wasn’t right? It could have been something you sewed, cooked, wrote… This top, unfortunately, fits into that category for me. It looks good with the neat pintucks and notched neckline, but it just isn’t right for me. The fabric isn’t what I was hoping for (I bought it online, which always involves a bit of risk.), and I struggled to decide on a design that suited a fabric that I just wasn’t excited about using.

I modified a pattern I’ve used twice before with very good results, Simplicity 2365, so I don’t blame the unsatisfactory result on the pattern. My disappointment with the top is mainly due to the fabric I chose. It is a rayon/poly blend, and I was expecting something much more drape-y and smooth. Instead, this fabric is rough, stiff and frays like crazy. It’s honestly just an uncomfortable feeling fabric. I don’t really do uncomfortable very well, when it comes to clothing. The pintucks are beautiful though.

Design/Pattern: Simplicity 2365, modified at the sleeve/shoulder

Materials: rayon/poly blend

Techniques:

  • pintucks
  • serged seam allowances (before putting everything together, to prevent further fraying)
  • bias tape (to finish the neckline)

Alterations/Changes: I widened the pattern at the shoulder and tapered to meet the seam line at the sides to create a sort of loose cap “sleeve”.

Unfortunately, I cannot give this garment a very high grade. Maybe a C-. I finished this top over a week ago and still haven’t worn it. Usually, I go out of my way to wear a new creation as soon as possible. I just don’t know what to put it with and don’t feel comfortable in it. It was meant to be part of my Transition Wardrobe, but it doesn’t pair that well with the dress, skirt or t-shirt I’ve already made. Maybe it will go well under the last piece (still a work in progress), the wool Chanel-style jacket? Maybe I’ll be able to wear it over a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings in cooler weather? Or maybe it’s just a wadder?

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Better Late than Never Dress

Oh my, this dress has been plagued by procrastination. I bought the fabric in the middle of the summer with plans of having it ready to wear by October. And then I took on a rather complicated project that took a couple months. I got the dress cut out and put together rather quickly over my Thanksgiving break. Then I wore the dress a couple times before I took any pictures of it. Then a week or so went by before now, writing this post. That should explain the name of the dress. On to the more interesting details…

Design/Pattern: Simplicity 2365, view C/D

Materials: Jenaveve linen/cotton blend by Valori Wells, pink buttons, bias tape

Techniques:

  • French seams (side, side-front, & under arm)
  • button holes
  • stitch in the ditch (around collar & placket)
  • hemming
  • making a casing
Alterations/Changes:
  • lengthened by three inches

For how polished the finished dress looks, it was deceptively straight-forward to construct. I’m incredibly pleased with it over all. For this, I am giving this dress an A. It’s really practical for school, but it’s not too dressy for the weekend either. This pattern is a winner in my book. This shirt-dress style works so well in a variety of fabrics too. I plan on making another in the spring in chambray with contrast top stitching around the collar and button placket.

SSS: 9/8, 9/9 & 9/11

Life was busy towards the end of last week and this weekend. I had to stay late at school on Thursday for back to school night. (It’s a night where parents come in and meet the teachers.) Friday was a whirlwind evening for me and it definitely shows in the picture I took. On Saturday I didn’t wear anything I made except for carrying my usual purse. Sunday was all about getting ready for the week to come.

Thursday, September 8th: I needed to be comfortable because I knew that the day would be long, but I also had to look professional to meet students’ parents. I also try to look older, if possible, on these days because I’ve been mistaken for a student before, which is quite embarrassing.

  • Skirt: half-circle wrap, made in August 2011
  • Top: purchased from Lands’ End
  • Jacket: purchased from JCPenney (a loooong time ago!)

Friday, September 9th: I love this dress and always get compliments on it (on Friday I was compared to Mary Tyler Moore and Jackie Onassis Kennedy), even more so when people find out I’ve made it. This always amazes me because it’s one of the simplest dresses I’ve ever made. It is just three pieces and there are no zippers or buttons or embellishments. As much as I love this dress, I do not love this photo of me wearing it. I was in a rush to get out of the house, my slip was bunched up under the dress, I was taking the picture out of obligation rather than desire and I think all of this shows in the picture.

  • Dress: my design, made in August 2010
  • Belt: purchased from ?

Sunday, September 11th: Again, please excuse the lackluster quality of the photo. I took the picture late in the evening when there was no natural light and had to lighten the picture a lot in order to show the details of the outfit. You can see somewhat better pictures of this tunic here. I was all about town in this outfit and I think it’s the perfect outfit for a busy day. It looks just as appropriate at the farmer’s market as it does at brunch.

  • Dress/Tunic: Simplicity 2365, made in August 2010
  • Leggings: purchased from Forever 21 (my least favorite store, for the record)