Saturday, July 27, 2013


Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! It has been a while. I've been coming to terms with working full time again. Unfortunately I can't sew on the bus to and from work or during my lunch break.

However I have stuck to my goal of only sewing clothes I can wear to work. Well, at the moment, it's more like not-sewing work clothes, because I haven't done anything in a while, but I can confidently say I am definitely not not-sewing non-work clothes! (Does that make any sense?!)

So moving on, this is the project I am currently not-working on, the New England Day Dress.

Now before you freak out and question my ability to fit, choose appropriate fabric type and colour, and my skills in counting the number of sleeves a garment usually requires, let me reassure you! This is a toile.

The pattern

This is the New England Day Dress, published by Decades of Style.

This is such an unusual and yet potentially extremely frumpy design that I fear I may have overlooked it if I'd happened upon it myself. However, we are very lucky to have some super talented seamstresses in our community and I fully admit to being inspired by both Lucky Lucille and JuliaBobbin's versions of this dress.

It has some lovely details - front bib, pockets and spectacular darted sleeve heads. However because this is the first attempt at a Decades of Style pattern I thought it wise to make it up in a toile first.

Fitting issues

And a good thing too, because it needs some serious tweaks.

It's way too big at the sides. You can see here how I have pinned out the ease on the side seams down past the waist.

Now usually I wouldn't fuss over redrafting a pattern for side seams that are too wide; however this pattern has another issue which is that the bodice is too baggy under the bust. If there were waist darts this would be an easy fix but this pattern has two sets of gathers instead, and increasing the gathers is not going to get rid of the ease. This will probably require a couple of stealth darts (pinching the ease out of the pattern). I will post photos once I figure out how to fix it!
Options are to pinch out the ease, or get implants (?!)
Next, I think the shoulders are too wide. The seam feels like it should sit on the bony edge of my shoulder so it needs about half an inch off because it's drooping down my arm.

Check out the sleeve head though! Each one has four darts and gathered ease. 

If you thought that bibs and pockets were for kids surely this pattern will make you think again. The pockets are functioning, as are the top buttons, but the skirt buttons are not. 

Not that I have actually added the buttons
Here's some trivia for you - mens' suits with functioning buttons on the sleeve cuffs are called 'surgeon's cuffs'. I wonder what functioning bib buttons would be called?

Hopefully it will not take another aeon to modify the pattern and make up the finished dress. I may have to otherwise resort to wearing my one-sleeved and (I have only just noticed) apparently see-through toile.

Here is the fabric that will be used for the final dress - 100% Japanese cotton from Indigo Niche. Blue with cream phoenixes - lovely isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Love this pattern - and I think you have picked the right fabric for it!