Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: Fall Icebreaker Shirtdress



I'm happy to be back on the blog with my fall sewing icebreaker. I'm finished with my summer sewing and looking to make some pieces for fall even though it's 104 degrees today. Sewing a plaid wool skirt doesn't sound fun at the moment so I wanted something that would work on those all too frequent 90 degree October days when I don't want to wear a sunny yellow halter dress but a skirt and sweater will just make me cranky. A transitional dress is exactly what I need.




Shirtdresses are all the rage right now and this J.Crew dress inspired my first project for fall. I've had this Vogue pattern in my stash since the early nineties (seriously....someone needs to give me some tough love about my pattern stash!) and it's perfect. No need to buy a pattern and even better I'm justifying my stash.


For my shirtdress knockoff I chose a J.Crew stretch cotton stripe shirting from Fabric Mart even though the inspiration dress is made of wool.  In my climate I can comfortably wear a wool dress exactly 3 times a year so cotton not only makes sense but is easy care, practical and comfortable.


The fabric was very easy to sew but like so many striped fabrics, I found the stripes would play tricks on my eyes when I was sewing.  I added a piece of painter's tape (it doesn't leave residue) on my machine at the 5/8" seam line making it easier to sew an accurate seam.


For the curved seams, I made an arrow across from the needle to mark where my fabric needs to land.  It's only important to line up the raw edge on the 5/8" line across from the needle not the entire way down the tape. Thinking about it this way makes it much easier to sew a curved seam.


I had planned on keeping this project simple like the J.Crew dress but as I was sewing I wanted to add some red. Red buttons were too much so I decided on red corded buttonholes. I took red pearl cotton from my stash and here's how I did it:


I flipped the buttonhole foot over and wrapped a length of pearl cotton over the back hook.


From the top of the foot I ran the tails of the thread through the bottom prongs to hold the thread in place then stitched the buttonholes just as I normally would.


After taking the work out from under the machine, I pulled the right tail thread through to eliminate the loop.


Lastly, I loaded the tail threads through a large hand sewing needle, pulled them through to the back and clipped them.  It's that easy!  It's these little details that make sewing fun!



I broke the ice for my fall sewing so what does your fall sewing plan look like?

Happy sewing....Diane at Gatorbunnysews.

7 comments:

  1. I love this so much! The pattern look exactly like the inspiration dress! You must be a mad sewing genius though to figur out that buttonhole trick. I'm in complete awe!!!!

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  2. I fully agree with Colleen. And those buttonholes are ingenious...the right touch of red, just as you'd planned. Thanks for sharing this. Too hot for winter woolens here too, and I think this will be a winner.

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  3. I love this style. Thank you for the buttonhole info. You are right this style is perfect for seasonal transitions.

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  4. Well! that is a darn cute dress! I love the button holes. Nice job. I have patterns older than the 90's but am a bit older and there are some I have gotten rid of that I wish I still had. So don't think you are alone.

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  5. Love this dress! Your buttonholes are fantastic.

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  6. What a beautiful dress. A great look for fall, especially early in the season on warmer days. I love the red buttonholes!

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  7. The red buttonholes really make the dress! Love it! and thanks of the tip on sewing them.

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