Dress · Sewing

Pleasing Plaid or Terrible Tartan?

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to make  my favorite and most made dress pattern, McCalls 6696 Shirtdress  in a tartan fabric, with so many pieces to pattern match, cutaway pockets, yoke, bodice, wasitband, sleeves, cuffs, buttonband and gathers and darts to think about (or not in is case).

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA
McCalls 6696 Shirtdress

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

Nearly matched the pockets.

When cutting out I though a lot about matching the pattern across and down, but didn’t take into account the effect the gathers and darts would have on the back of the dress.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAI cut the wasitband, yoke, buttonband and cuffs on the bias, mainly to save on the pattern matching!

I altered the sleeves by adding  a simple cuff cut on the bias instead of the wing cuffs.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAI feel I should have cut the pattern so the dominant black lines were centralised on the back and more equal  on the front.  I also had a problem with the gathers and darts on the back of the dress as the pattern disappears.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAAh and the buttons, these grey ones were  my original choice, but I have lost them, yep lost in the depths of sewing room so I gave up looking for them and used some from my button tin,  I can’t remember where they came from!PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

Overall I am pleased with the finished dress in that I wanted a  cosy winter tartan dress  and that’s what I have but disappointed that I didn’t think it through more, but its a lesson learnt on the great sewing experience!

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

The fabric is  a grey and turquoise polyviscose tartan fabric from Oh So Crafty.

And if you are interested  in the difference between tartan and plaid……..

Plaid’s original definition is ‘as a woolen cloth having a checkered or tartan pattern’ It evolved to mean any such checkered or tartan pattern.Tartan’s first definition is a ‘woolen cloth woven in stripes of various colors at right angles to form a rectangular pattern; also, the pattern and design of such a cloth’.

So now you know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Dress

The Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses: The Evening Shirtdress

1000Shirtdresses -- 250

Back in November  I finally  joined a sewing challenge, The Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses hosted by Mary over at Idle Fancy,  I have fallen in love with shirtdresses and have already made 2 versions of McCalls 6696, which you can see here.  

9969

Inspired by this 1970’s book that suggests a shirt dress for evening wear. I  decided to make view D again but with long sleeves, a sheer version with a slip to go underneath.

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

 I bought the fabric from a little shop in Ryde on the Isle of Wight a couple of years ago and since then it’s been languishing in my stash, it was described in the shop as Crepe de Chine and I think £5 a metre.  It’s very delicate, and sheer fabric.

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

The photos really don’t do justice to the fabric but it’s so hard to take photos at this time of year when the light is so bad.   I have really struggled to get decent photos, but there was no way I was going to venture outside with the camera, it’s far too cold!

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

There is a lot of work involved in this dress, a lot of hand sewing and all the seams are French, thank goodness the deadline was postponed, twice!

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

The shirtdress truly is a dress for any occasion.

Dress

McCalls 6696 – Shirt Dress

I have not had much time to sew lately but by squeezing in an hour here and there I have managed  to sew two versions of McCalls  6696, the first as a wearable muslin,  I made no alterations to the pattern.  The only  thing I am not happy about is the neck, which is too big, when taking  body measurements I never thought about measuring my neck, turns out my neck is 4 cm smaller than my dress forms smallest size!

 

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

 For version two I reduced the neck but its still a little too big, so if I make this again I will reduce the neck a little more.  Many bloggers have mentioned the “poofy”  back of the bodice,  for the second version I reduced the amount of fabric to be gathered to eliminate a lot of the poofyness, but keeping the essence of the design.  

Dress number 2 went together reasonably well until I attempted a buttonhole, I have made quite a few  shirts recently  and dress number 1 with no buttonhole issues at all.    As I always do I tested the buttonhole on a scraps of fabric, two layers and and the interfacing and the button holes were fine.  As soon as I started on the dress the machine would stitch the left had side of the button hole and just continue to stitch in the same place and not make the right hand side of the buttonhole, unpicking a button hole is a nightmare, apart from the damage to the fabric.   After a lot of swearing, moaning and more swearing  I went to bed in a very bad mood.

Having given it some thought the only thing I could think was maybe it was the thickness of the band was causing a problem, although it didn’t feel bulky.  So after some unpicking, trimming, layering and restitching I was ready to try again.    With some trepidation  I attempted to make the first buttonhole, at last success!!    

 PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

Fabric used: Blue chambray  –  John Lewis 

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I love this pattern and  the result is an easy to wear, versatile dress.

Think I am going to have a rest from collars and buttonholes for a while!