Saturday, May 16, 2020

Burda Camp Shirt in Gingham

This is that rare project that I ended up liking better than I thought I would.

I'm working through the stash while we shelter in place here on the Central Coast. About mid-pile I unearthed a yard and a half of green gingham that I got at a thrift/antique shop in Lovelock, Nevada about three years ago. I liked the cheerful color, so I scooped it up. Once I got it home I got stuck thinking of what I would wear with a green Plus, after laundering I suspected the fabric was a poly blend. It felt a little crisper than cotton alone. But I still liked the color, so it sat in the stash waiting for inspiration to creep up on it.

Last week I decided a camp shirt was going to be my best bet. Simple, a bit retro to match the fabric and I could wear it with denim skirts and pants, of which there are a few in my wardrobe.

I pulled out a camp shirt pattern I'd made before. It's top #116 from the April, 2012 issue of Burdastyle. This pattern is super simple to put together. It has a cut-on button band with integrated front facing and no collar stand. As I cut it out in the gingham I had a worry that the top would end up looking like something Ellie Mae Clampett would wear to shop Rodeo Drive, but I persisted.

Turned out I had the perfect buttons in my sewing kit; little white squares that match the white squares in the gingham.

I remembered that the pattern is quite cropped, so I added 3 inches to the bottom. Once I tried it on I realized a bit more ease around the hips would be good, so I added a hem slit.

I wore it yesterday with a denim skirt and turns out I like it quite a bit!

The suspected polyester content keeps it from wrinkling, but it didn't feel uncomfortable to wear, even though it was a warm, sunny day.

I probably don't need any more gingham tops but I'll enjoy this one. I will be using the pattern again too. It's easy to put together and it's nice for big prints and patterns, since there are no darts to interfere with the fabric design. I think I feel a quilting cotton calling my name....

My pattern review is on here.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Dress 106

There are two ladies who walk in my neighborhood every morning, rain, shine or pandemic. They are sweethearts and we usually end up chatting when we meet. One of these ladies usually wears what I think of as a "house dress." They're comfortable, cotton dresses that zip up the front. They look like just what you'd want to wear to power walk, or putz in the garden or bustle around your house. Not fluffy, not precious. Practical.

I want some. And here's what I've come up with so far.

This is based on dress 106 from the March, 2020 Burdastyle. They describe it as having a full-length zip in front and suggest that it will work well for women who don't want their dresses to be too girlish. Looking at the picture now, I'm realizing it's a bit mini on the model. Which would explain why I had to take a super narrow hem to keep the length at my knees. I'm five foot two (eyes of blue) so I'm not used to having to worry about skirts making up too short.

The zip isn't really full-length, as in "down to the hem," though the line drawing suggests that it is. The directions call for a 20 inch zip, which is fine. Long enough so I can get in and out with no trouble, but not so long that I'd have to worry about the zip splitting when I'm kneeling down to plant potatoes.

I had actually planned to keep the sleeves, but to shorten them to a sort of above-elbow length. The design for the sleeve was kind of cute; there was a dart at the shoulder like I've seen in some raglan tops. I thought that might give a nice fit. Sadly, I could not get those things inserted smoothly. Even after a few diligent tries. I even basted. So I decided to go sleeveless. I finished the armscye with bias tape and called it a day.

The other change I made was to redraft the round neck to a v-neck. That part worked out OK, so I'm kind of chuffed. I even remembered to draw in the new neckline with a slight curve rather than using a straight line. Suzy Furrer recommended that in a Blueprint class I took on pattern drafting.

The pattern includes instructions for making a wide fabric belt to shape my waist "softly." Which it kind of does. I think I like that part and it was pretty easy to make up. Without the belt the dress is pretty shift-like, so it can do with some shape. But I might leave the belt off while I'm digging potatoes.

All in all, I think I like the dress pretty well. It's not my dream housedress, but it will do until that one comes along.

My pattern review is on here.