Monday, 12 September 2016

Closet Case Files Sallie

Helloooooo! How are you all? I hope you've been having nice summers/winters, depending on  your hemisphere.  My summer's been spiffing, thank you very much - a laid back July at work, the kids happily employed at various sport camps, then off to Germany and Slovenia for plenty of fresh air and beautiful landscapes, all rounded off with a weekend of festival fun in the UK. And now, here I am, just hanging out in the garden at home.

Hanging out! Geddit?!! Y'know, the swing...? Yeah, ok. Moving swiftly on.

So, I made a dress. And I'm going to tell you about it even though the photos of it are so glaringly bright as to make the details indistinguishable. Better than no photos, eh? Just shield your eyes from my blindingly radiant bosom.

The pattern is no doubt recognisable to most readers as the Sallie jumpsuit/dress by Closet Case Files. As you can see, I combined the kimono-sleeved bodice of view A with the maxi skirt of view B.

The pattern pieces for the bodice front and back are actually identical, which - though I have no doubt it works fine for many - I decided on first sight to ignore, because boobs. I traced off separate front and back pieces, tracing the neckline and shoulder according to the size for my high bust (I can't remember which size it was, sorry) and then having the kimono sleeve meet the side seam two sizes up, corresponding to my full bust and waist measurements. So basically a lazy fudge rather than a full bust adjustment.

Then, I knew I wanted a more blousy effect to the bodice than it is as drafted, so I added 2 inches in length all round the bodice - and then an extra inch at the centre front to complete my cheater FBA. In the end, I also decided to curve the back waist seam back upwards about an inch in the middle - and as you can see above, it's a good thing I did, because there's still plenty of fabric pooling in the small of my back as it is. Yep, swayback adjustments basically happening systematically here these days.

Do you too ever feel like sewing is like one long voyage of discovering new and previously unimagined fit adjustments? I do. As soon as my eye is fully trained to spot one issue and my brain and hands capable of correcting it, I notice something else. Like the monkey mind will get bored if it has no more new fit issues to agonise over. Ugh!

Anyway, once I was done with the bodice adjustments, sewing this up was a dream. The fabric was ordered from the lovely Maeve during a sale a couple of months ago, and has just the right weight for both easy sewing and wearing. I lined the bodice with some plain white viscose jersey as I didn't fancy trying to line stripes up on the inside too (the green would have shown through to the right side). I also added a knee-length lining to the skirt, which isn't in the pattern. It ends just above the slits in the skirt, and keeps things skimming smoothly over all the lumps and bumps and potential VPL in the tum/bum areas. I do have some slight neckline gaping on one side of the neck, but I think it might be down to a hollow-ish chest on my smaller-boob side rather than having stretched out the fabric (I reinforced it immediately after cutting). And the lining peeks out sometimes from one of the sleeves, which would no doubt not happen if I ironed it, but no. Not ironing it.

And in terms of wearing, well you've heard it from plenty of bloggers before: this dress is fabulously comfy and easy to wear. You just chuck it on and you're fully clothed, relatively stylish, and you get to swish around in a maxi feeling all fab. Those slits in the skirt are seriously good! I've got to say, I'm really impressed with the Closet Case patterns - I've made a couple this summer and have basically lived in them (more on the other soon!). The styles are great, the drafting spot on, and the sewing hits that sweet spot where challenging meets fun and they do a little happy dance together. I really enjoyed listening to Heather on Seamwork radio where she talks a bit about how she aims to pitch her patterns, in terms of both the styles and the sewing, and I think she's hitting it exactly on the head.

OK, I've been hesitating about asking this final question, but I'm just going to do it.  See when bodices have cut on kimono sleeves, like this pattern or, say, By Hand London's Anna dress. Do you find that the armpits get rather rapidly sweaty, compared to other 'normal' sleeves? Or do I just need to attempt lowering the armhole a bit??

And why is it that my right armpit apparently sweats more than the left one (I swear it!)? Am I a freak of nature???