Sunday, June 28, 2015

Owls! Owls! And More Owls! (Butterick 6168)

This spring I bought some owl print rayon challis at Hancock's in Orem, UT when I was there visiting family. It was a complete whim that when I saw it, I jumped at it. It was adorable! And it was soft, drapey, and flowy. We don't have a Hancocks in the Phoenix area and JoAnn doesn't carry anything near as nice. If you want a print, it's usually either stiff quilting cotton or some of their nasty polyester stuff. I bought some plain white rayon challis to go with it, just in case I wanted to do some contrasting.

I had a couple of ideas of what to sew it up into. One idea was Simplicity 1777 which I've already made one version of - identical to the black and red version. It's one of the first things I made with my new sewing machine last year. My Pattern Review is here. I have never been happy with this dress -don't like the sleeves, the bodice is too big, my invisible zipper is anything but invisible, and I accidentally sewed a bunch of my gathers together in the skirt but didn't notice until I trimmed the seam allowances. I never wear it because of all my dislikes so I cut it up recently. Like the pattern and do plan on trying it again.

My other idea was the new Butterick 6168, a fit and flare dress by the designer of Oliver and S, Liesl Gibson. I kept coming back to it in my mind and it just seemed more right for the fabric.

I also knew I didn't want to mess this dress up with my super special owl fabric. I had recently got a free class on Craftsy, 40 sewing tips and tricks, of some such name. A great class! I learned a lot in that class and I was able to use some of what I learned. Most importantly, I learned from it that I needed a tailor's ham and a pressing roll. Wow! They sure make pressing my seams easier and better.

I didn't have enough of my owl fabric as the requirements on the envelope stated. So it took me forever to cut it out. I barely squeezed it out, even with deciding to make the tie and the waist corselet in the white rayon. I also wanted my back seam to match up, my owls to be even across the front bodice and the sleeve heads to be even. I spent a very long time placing pattern pieces and cutting them! I am exceedingly pleased at how well the back turned out. I admit to being a bit giddy for quite some time about this:

The back: the invisible zipper is invisible and the owls line up!

This was the first time I put an invisible zipper in correctly the first time. Usually, there is a lot of unpicking involved, resewing/rebasting, fiddling, adjusting, and frustration. But not this time!

Oh, and I also added a pocket on the right hand side, even though the pattern didn't call for one. I was so resourceful (said with a self-deprecating smile)! I pulled out my Threads and Singer Sewing reference books and looked up how to do it. And I did it successfully! Woo hoo! Now I have a place to put my room keys when I wear it to work.

I had a lot of fun sewing this dress. My interior seams are all serged and pressed open where they are supposed to be, nice and pretty. I pressed everything carefully to make the stitches sink in and look right. My tie is not bulky or anything. I have a dress that I don't think looks home-made at all, but very professional and fun. And it fits oh, so nicely! (I resized the bodice to a 12 and the waist/hips is a 14). I really, really like this dress.

I finished it Saturday and wore it to church today for the first time. The first person I met said "super cute dress! I love the owls!" That was just the first of many compliments on the dress, which made me feel pretty good. I think this dress will get plenty of wearing! :)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I can't wait to try this pattern! And the owl line up on the back, perfection! May I ask what size are you in ready to wear? Really confused about what size to sew!