Sunday, July 19, 2015

Decisions Decisions Decisions! Butterick 6169

Last fall, this beautiful pinky-rose print caught my eye at JoAnn's. The more I saw it, the more I couldn't decide if I loved it or not. After, it was pink; it was roses; it was loud in a pink, large print sort of way. Was it old lady? But I loved how the colors worked together, and I love roses. it??? However, it didn't really matter, after all, because it was part of the "Silky Print" collection, 100% polyester, and the last fabric (and only fabric) I bought from that collection I hated. Sticky, non-breathable stuff, and I wear the shirt I made from it only a few times a year. So this new find was a definite "No."

But then they had a sample dress made up out of it the next time I was there and I just kept looking at it. So pretty! Still I managed to walk away. But I just kept seeing it in my mind's eye and so when it went on sale, I caved. It was going to become Simplicity 1587.

But when it came time to actually make it up, I never wanted to. It just didn't feel right. I was afraid it would be too fitted, that that hideous 100% polyester "Silky Print" needed something more flowy, looser, breathable; and I just wasn't in love with that pattern as much as I was the day I bought it. The fabric sat in my stash, unwanted, unloved, undecided.

This spring or summer, I found a pattern that I realized would be perfect: Butterick 6169, one of the new Spring 2015 Lisette patterns. Flowy, drapey, open sleeves, no tight waist. Before making up this dress, I had just finished Butterick 6168, my owl dress, another Lisette pattern. Both were really easy to work from, and I wouldn't hesitate to use another of her patterns. Both of these have sewalongs on her website which have additional tips and suggestions to make the sewing process smoother with more professional results.

Since I didn't have enough of my pink floral fabric and I wanted to make the version with the tie belt, I needed to buy another cut and I decided on a solid pink. The instructions have you sew the tie on, but I decided not to do that so that I could swap out other colors if I wasn't pleased with the pink. I am, but I do have enough of the main fabric left that I want to try out making a vintage style fabric covered belt. Overall, the combination is quite nice, isn't it? The dress also looks okay without the belt, but I like the added definition the belt gives.

About a week before making the dress, I stumbled on a lucky find at Bookman's, a local huge used bookseller - among all kinds of other things used. I was browsing through the magazines and saw this issue of Threads with some magical words:
Master Your Narrow-Hemmer Foot! "Not possible," says I. I had tried that elusive foot out so many times only to give up in frustration. "No one can master the narrow-hemmer foot!" I'm glad I walked out of Bookman's with that issue (January 2002) in my hands because when it came time to hem the dress (it only includes a 5/8" hem allowance, not the 1 to 1 1/2" I've usually encountered), I didn't want to attempt the instructions either in the pattern or hand hem it like Leisl did on the sewalong. What to do, what to do! Out came the issue, I tried out the instructions, and voila! It worked! I mastered the narrow-hemmer foot! (Okay, I'm not a master yet, but it came out really nice, with only a few hick-up spots to fix.) Overall, I'm really pleased with it. The curvy bits of the dress' hem needed quite a bit of steam though to fall without rolling. I was worried that after the first wash it would need more steaming, but nope! Did I mention I was really pleased with this hem? :)

The front and back yokes both have a lining which makes the interior look really finished. It required a bit of handstiching, and mine's still got room for improvement, but I do like how it finishes the dress nicely. I also like the bias binding. It's one of the better ones I've made, especially with this slippery fabric. My last "Silky Print" project from JoAnn also had a binding and it is embarrassing! All twisty, rolly, puckery. This is much improved - lays much straighter with fewer attempts to roll (like the bottom left in the pic.) But since most of it looks good, yay for newbie progress, right???

My review on Pattern Review is here.  And a couple close ups for the end!

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