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Photo by cousin Katie & artwork by Jessica Wachter

I made this shift dress this past spring as an experiment. I usually prefer more form fitting dresses…not fitted everywhere but dresses with some balance. Fit and flare probably being my ideal, I guess. A “shapeless” dress? Would it look ok on me? Would I like it? I wasn’t too sure, but I was inspired by this Inari dress from Closet Case Files and gave it a try. I actually bought the same fabric she used. I don’t typically buy indie patterns as I can buy a lot of similar patterns for a lot less. With indie patterns, you definitely get a lot more for the money (better instructions, sewalongs, often better styling so it’s easier to see the end product, etc.) but since I’ve gotten more experience with sewing, I can rely on myself (and the Internet!) to figure some things out myself. Sewing already a pretty expensive hobby, so I try to cut a few dollars out here and there.

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With that said, this particular pattern turned out so well (McCalls 6465)! It’s one of the easiest garments I’ve ever made and probably my most complimented. Of course I had to tweak it to practice my fitting skills. I think I had recently learned about the tissue fitting method from Palmer/Pletsch and wanted to try a couple things out on a simple dress shape.

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It’s more tent-like than I’m used to, but I think it works since it’s fitted in the top portion. It’s a pretty comfortable shape to wear. I wore this to work in the spring quite a bit, but with leggings & tall boots. Spring in North Dakota does not translate to this much skin exposure.

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As for changes, I lengthened the sleeves, created a center back seam to do a swayback adjustment and try to make it slightly more shaped. I did a forward shoulder adjustment and created 2 small darts at the back neckline because of my prominent shoulder blades/high round back. I’m wondering if something is off or I shouldn’t do a forward shoulder adjustment since I’ve had some gaping at the center of necklines. I will give this some more thought and experimenting. For this dress, I did french seams and bias bound the arm holes. I didn’t end up lenthening the skirt because I was concerned it would all come out looking like I was wearing a long bag. I think it works best with leggings and boots but would probably like a longer dress for everyday life when I’m not wearing tights or leggings.

On a personal note, I am moving soooo far away from my home state of North Dakota in a few days. We are excited for our adventure but busy. My sewing room is all packed up and won’t be set up again for awhile 😦 All of that said, I’m not sure when I will post again. I’ll see you when I see you, I guess!

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