Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring sewing plans, part 2: Dresses, shirtdresses, jumpsuits, and rompers(!)

Because I couldn't contain my entire "to sew" list in one post (that first post was getting seriously long), I split my spring planning into two posts. I realize that these planning posts are probably boring for others to read ("Hey, a blouse pattern! Oh, another blouse pattern!"), but I like to write them every few months to jot my thoughts down somewhere so that I can refer back to them for inspiration. From a purely self-indulgent standpoint, it's also fun for me to go back a few months later and look at what I was planning to sew and compare that list to what I actually did sew.

Spring sewing wouldn't be spring sewing without a ton of dresses on my list, so this post calls out the non-separate sewing patterns that I'm looking to make for this spring/summer.

Dresses

HotPatterns Cote d'Azur Dress

First up is an old favorite. I made this dress last summer, loved it, wore it a ton, and got a ton of compliments on it. Unfortunately, the fabric is starting to fade and pill a bit, and I want to replace last year's version with a new version sewn in a higher quality knit.

HotPatterns Cote D'Azur dress

BlueGingerDoll Violet

Tanya's versions sold this pattern to me while back during a BGD pattern sale. Mary's recent version reinforced that I want one of these in my wardrobe sooner rather than later.  For mine, for warm weather, I'd be going with the short sleeved option on the dress with the fuller skirt.

Bluegingerdoll Violet dress
On a side note, when one of these Violet dresses pops up in the blogosphere, am I the only one who then immediately winds up with Courtney Love screaming in her head, "Go on take everything, take everything, I want you to!"  It's just me? Oh well, carry on, then.


Modcloth Coach Tour Dress knock-off (McCall's 6796 & Colette Moneta frankenpattern)

When browsing Modcloth, I became smitten with the Coach Tour Dress:

ModCloth Coach Tour Dress
I couldn't find a pattern that was all that close of a match to this one, but McCall's 6796 does have that collar, and the gathered skirt is similar to the Colette Moneta.

McCall's 6796
 I'm envisioning a frankenpattern of the two patterns, and my version will have short sleeves, rather than being sleeveless. Since I'll need an FBA on the McCall's, I'll just rotate the resulting dart to the waist gathers, and I'll add a waistband/belt detail between the bodice and the skirt.

Shirtdresses

Will Spring 2015 finally be the season that I finally sew one of the shirtdresses that I've been openly ogling/pinning/talking about for months, but not actually sewing? If I'm going to deal with the hassle of fitting woven blouses, I might as well tackle fitting a shirtdress, right?

Lekala 4115

The dress that started my recent streak of wanting to knock off Modcloth dresses was this one: the Soda Fountain dress:

ModCloth Soda Fountain Dress (in grape)
I'd sent my husband a link of a swimsuit that I wanted his opinion on (he liked it, I bought it), and I apparently got him browsing the site. He sent me a link to this dress and said, "You should make this!" That immediately sent me browsing pattern sites looking for a pattern that I could use or patterns that I could frankenpattern.

Lekala 4115 is pretty close to the inspiration dress:

Lekala 4115

So, I paid the $3 for another Lekala experiment. I'm not a fan of the super puffy sleeves, but I can modify those. My first experiment with Lekala was a total wadder, but it was a knit, and they seem to do better with woven patterns, so I thought I'd give them another shot.

McCall's 6696 & McCall's 7084
McCall's has a few good shirtdress patterns. The two that really jump out to me are the ever-popular M6696 (aka Mary/Idle Fancy's shirtdress) and McCall's 7084.

McCall's 6696
M7084
Both dresses have a separate button band. M6966 has a waistband as well. M7084 has shoulder princess seams (yay!) but no separate cup sizing (boo!). M6966 has the separate cup sizing (yay!) but uses darts for shaping (meh, compared to princess seams). Both patterns have options for a straight skirt or a full skirt--M6966's full skirt is pleated, whereas M7084's full skirt has a bunch of godets. I'm really on the fence as to which of these I'd rather sew and wear--I think my perfect pattern would be if these two patterns mated had had baby shirtdresses.

StyleArc Italia

The StyleArc Italia is the only dress on this list that doesn't have some sort of a waist seam. However, it does have a fair amount of shaping through bust darts, waist darts, and back darts. This pattern is also easily the most modern/least retro looking of the group that I've picked, so if I end up sewing two shirtdresses, I'm sure that this will be one of them.

StyleArc Italia shirtdress

Colette Hawthorn

Because it has to be here, right? I'm going to keep the Hawthorn on my to-sew list until I finally sew the damn pattern. Or maybe if I keep including it in these lists, it will fit and sew itself, right?

Colette Hawthorn

Jumpsuits and rompers

Like a shark drawn to chum, I've been picking up and hoarding jumpsuit and romper patterns every time they're on sale for the last few months. Have I made any of these patterns yet? No, and I'm not sure if they're work on my figure, but I'd like to imagine that they will with the right fit and proportions! I'm determined to at least muslin at least one of the following patterns in the upcoming months.

Vogue 9075

My desire to make this pattern hasn't decreased in the months since it was released. I suspect that I'm not the only one, given that the larger size range was sold out on the Vogue website for a little while. On paper, this pattern sounds like a horrible idea--a culotte jumpsuit! But really, in the photos, it looks like a fit-and-flare style dress (a good silhouette on me) that just happens to have wide-legged pants instead of a skirt attached. In reality, this is probably the "safest" pattern choice out of this bunch, between the shape and the fact that it has shoulder princess seams.

Vogue 9075


Lekala 4053

On my many visits to San Diego over the past few months, I saw rompers everywhere, on women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. I went to brunch with a friend one Sunday morning (at one of those places with an outdoor patio that's great for people watching), and I swear that every third woman was wearing either a romper or a jumpsuit that looked like a maxi-dress. This convinced me that I could pull off this look with the right pattern, fabric, and fit adjustments.

That said, a romper/playsuit on a 5'2" uber-busty plus sized woman should be an ultimate test of Lekala's custom drafting abilities, right? I like this one because it's a little more conservative than some of the romper patterns out there, with its longer shorts and short sleeves, but it doesn't look dowdy.
Lekala 4053

McCall's 7115

McCall's 7115 is probably the closest style-wise, to most of the rompers that I saw in San Diego. It's also similar to the rompers that were popular in the mid-90's that I always coveted but could never wear because my top half was two sizes larger than my bottom half. I still think that I could make this work with the right fabric choice and fit adjustments:
McCall's 7115

Final Thoughts

So, those are the patterns that have made it to the top of the pile on my sewing desk for the next few months. I am sure that there will be at least a few bright and shiny new patterns released this spring and summer that will vie for my sewing attention as well.

I'm extra, extra torn on the various shirtdress selections. I feel like I'm a housecat trying to chase a laser pointer when it comes to choosing one to sew. Here! No, over here! Do any of these grab your attention over the others?


21 comments:

  1. I had muslining fails with M6696 and got all woe is me because there are so many good versions around! I do think though, that I don't like waistbands like that on dresses. I seem to always have a hard time fitting everything together. Maybe yours will inspire me to try again :) I saw two reviews of the other one and neither were favorable. I'd probably go with the 6696 just for the sake of having a million review options to read.

    I finally made a jumpsuit and now want a romper! And DD wants a romper instead of a dress for her band banquet. Romper city! Lol!

    Lastly +1 for planning posts. It is always inspiring and exciting to read sewing plans. Whether they all come to fruition or not is irrelevant :-p

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    1. So, I've been following your wardrobe contest work, even if I haven't been commenting much. What were the fitting problems?

      And what were the issues with the other one? I haven't seen many versions, but the reviews seem okay. I know that on my ginormous bust, it's much easier for me to fit shoulder princess seams than darts, so that's something important for me to consider.

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    2. I only saw two posts about it and I don't remember what exactly the complaints were I just know t made me decide to try 6696!

      I think it's totally a personal thing. I am VERY short waisted but will "bring my waist down" to a more normal level. With that band I just didn't expect it to fit so differently.

      I always cut a 14-D cup and lately have realized it's too much shaping so I cut a 14C this time. Could not even come CLOSE to closing the front. Went up to a 16, still nearly two inches too small at the waistband yet the yoke was hanging off my shoulders.

      So nothing "bad" that I can say about the pattern; I'm just used to making a couple of adjustments and going. I don't even know where to go next on M6696! But as I typed the prior message I remember having major issues fitting V8787 which was quite popular...but it too has a waistband and maybe that's a style that just isn't for me.

      My natural waist would make everything nearly empire-style!

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    3. Thanks--that's very helpful! I am very short-waisted and have a higher natural waist, too, but with my high hip fluff, I actually prefer to have wastlines sit there, so this might work well for me.

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  2. Yay for rompers! I'd love to make one, if I can find the time between the other projects I have lined up. Right now, I am trying to tackle the fit of M6696. This is my first time playing around with fit, so it has been a long process (I started in september, but I tend to go weeks between my sewing sessions, which does not help). I think it is a classic silhouette that looks awesome and I love the waist-defining waistband. I also love the StyleArc shirtdress you picked out which, oddly enough, has no waistband: I think it looks breezy and relaxed in a great way. Maybe you should make a list of pros and cons for each shirtdress pattern? That might help you make a decision.

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    1. Yeah, I like the waistband on M6696, too. What fit problems are you having with that pattern?

      We can all sew up rompers and be romper buddies this summer!

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  3. Nice choices. I have been debating getting the SA shirt dress and which one to get. I will look forward to seeing yours done.

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    1. I just love how sleek and modern the SA shirtdress looks. I'm a sucker for vintage-inspired clothing, but the SA one has the "effortless chic" thing going for it.

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  4. I recently made McCall's 7084 and I really like it. It's easy to fit and to sew and I l love wearing it. I made the slimmer skirt version due to my lack of fabric, but am looking forward to making the fuller skirted version sometime. I still have yet to make "Mary's" shirt dress. I have a Cotton + Steel border print all ready for it, too!

    I also really love that red Modcloth dress! I sure hope your hack works, but it seems like it will! It looks like a nice sturdy ponte would work well it. So darn chic! I love the other one your husband picked out as well. That's so cool that he pointed it out to you! Thanks also for reminding me to order my Modcloth bathing suit so it can be here before I go on vacation! :)

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    1. Ooh, I can't wait to see your version of 7084. And I'm looking forward to seeing your 6696 when you make it up--I've been loving the Cotton + Steel prints that I've seen pop up everywhere. With either pattern, I'll probably go with the fuller skirted version (but if I do 7084, I won't do a contrasting fabric in the godets).

      I love my Modcloth suit, although I haven't actually tried wearing it to the pool yet. It was a good purchase--it's easily the cutest and most flattering swimsuit I've owned in years.

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  5. I love both M6696 and M7084. I've made M6696 twice and now have a third cut out and ready to go. I'm actually using M7084 for my wedding dress. I used view D and lengthened the skirt to tea length. The princess seams are easy enough to alter based on Mary's tutorial (http://www.idlefancy.com/2014/01/sewing-curve-fba-for-princess-seams.html). I redrafted the skirt godets into a regular circle skirt. I think the godets work well on heavier material that the pattern calls for, but I went rogue and used silk charmeuse for my dress. Unfortunately, I won't be posting the dress until July after my wedding. I really like the pattern, though, and the lack of a waistband actually makes it more comfortable to wear than M6696.

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    1. I started reading your blog fairly recently (even if I'm not great about commenting), and I LOVE your idea of using 7084 for your wedding dress. I'm really looking forward to seeing how that turns out.

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    2. Thanks for reading. :) :) I can't wait for the final product. The sewing is going relatively slow, but it's really looking great. :)

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  6. I love your planning posts! You have a great eye for patterns. For a jumpsuit/ romper, I prefer the Lekala 4044, which has a waist seam to use different fabrics top and bottom. Also, it has long legs to make a full length jumpsuit or cut down to a shorts romper.

    Also, I may go back and mine an old Burda for a shirtdress sort of dress. I also have an older McCalls shirtdress pattern I like.

    Oh, and how could I forget that I want to make the Prefontaine shorts?

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    1. I had initially passed over 4044 because of the puffy pants, but that could be changed. I could see it having a lot of potential!

      Looking forward to seeing your version of the Prefontaine shorts--you've been talking about making those for a while. ;)

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  7. I like both McCall's shirtdresses and I'm not even usually a shirtdress girl. The puffy back (which Mary pointed out) worries me a little on 6696, I think the best of both worlds would be to buy both and Frankenpattern them. Use 6696 and make a shoulder princess seams (easy enough, since it already has the bust sizes ... well, for me) and then use the back from 7084, and definitely the waistband and full skirt from 6696. I have no love for the Style Arc though. It would just be an unflattering sack on me. Should I also keep nagging you about the Hawthorne every time you put it out there? Hee hee hee.

    Love any of your pattern posts BTW ... roundups, planning, new releases, whatEVER. It's all good.

    (Glad to see you back and so very sorry about your dad.)

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    1. At this point, I'm leaning heavily towards muslining both 6696 and 7084 and seeing what works and what doesn't. Even with the cup sizes, I'll still need an FBA on 6696, but it shouldn't be too huge, so hopefully, I can avoid the Big Honkin Dart issue. I like the yoke on that one, but the back puffiness is a concern (I'm wondering if shortening the back waist length will help that on me). I like the open neckline of the 7084 in addition to the princess seams, though. I can always pick and choose what details I felt worked better after I muslin!

      On a side note, on last night's Mad Men, Joan (Christina Hendricks) was wearing a blouse with a bust dart, waist dart, AND shoulder shirring, and all I could think was "So THAT'S how they dealt with doing a monster FBA for her on that garment."

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  8. - Spring sewing wouldn't be spring sewing without a ton of dresses on my list, so this post calls out the non-separate sewing patterns that I'm ... ispringdresses.blogspot.com

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  9. You are definitely not the only one who hears Courtney Love in her head! That's one of my favorite Hole songs, so it's never a bad day when someone blogs about one of those dresses.

    I love that Mod Cloth dress and I just might have to copy your idea to use McCall's 6796, which I just realized I have in my stash.

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  10. Personally, I love posts like these. It's fun to see what people are actually queing up to sew.

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