I’ve been snarfing up Seamwork Magazine, Colette Patterns’ new project, with utter delight since the day it came out. Every month I get excited about the next release (only 14 more days, guys!). And yet the first pattern I’ve made was from the May issue — the Adelaide dress.
I realize this is the second off-white tank dress I’ve made this summer, but in truth, these dresses are so different that there’s no comparison.
I made this in a mystery fabric, so called because I got it at one of those delightful, dusty, chaotic shops where nothing is labeled and the prices are fluid. At first I thought it was a lightweight synthetic, which I was willing to embrace for the sake of not ironing the damn thing. But as I was working with it, I decided it’s probably a rayon — a wrinkly, unstable, annoying rayon that doesn’t even press very well.
Natural fiber or no, I needed to line it, so I pulled out some cream cotton lawn that would feel nice in hot weather. I worried about seam allowances showing through, so I didn’t truly line it. To avoid the need for bias binding, I stitched the lining and fashion fabric together at the neckline and armholes and turned it right side out. Then I treated the cotton as an underlining the rest of the way through.
This fashion fabric is a troublemaker and no mistake. It stretched out of shape as I sewed — the sort of thing I wouldn’t realize until I got to the end of a seam and found that the lining was way shorter. This wasn’t too much of a problem except in two places: the baggy back hem (above) and a wee folded pocket of extra fabric in the neckline (below).
Because Colette’s pattern model and I are very different shapes, I graded this pattern from a 2 at the bust and waist to a 10 at the hips, then took it in all over. Well, not all over — the bust is definitely close-fitting enough, and it might even be a hair tight across the back of my shoulders. But I did take some time to shape the side seams; I wanted a shaped, semi-fitted look, since my fabric lost a lot of its drape with the lining.
I omitted the self-fabric belt and belt loops. I liked the idea of a skinny belt with this dress, and I generally don’t need belt loops to keep a belt on my waist (#hipsdontlie).
Other pattern changes: Well, um, the pattern calls for 13 snaps, but I had 10 and was like, “I’m SURE that’ll be fine. Just spread them out.” And I may very well have gotten away with 10 snaps, but since I ruined two in the installation, I ended up with eight — and eight leaves you with a nice big gap in the placket every time you take a step. So I bought more snaps and inserted another snap in between each pair of snaps I’d already installed. So, um, I used 16 snaps instead of the called-for 13.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to take good photographs of this dress, so I broke my longstanding rule against taking photos of my projects in public. Luckily, there are plenty of fun murals on our last vacation:This will not be my only Seamwork make — I’ve already whipped up a Mesa, which I absolutely love, and I’ve got big plans for Astoria, Aberdeen, and maybe even Oslo. I could also see making another Adelaide some summer in a linen blend. Anyone else enjoying Seamwork?
Fabric: 2 yards of wide-ish rayon (?) woven, $8 from Vien Dong Fabrics in Arlington, Va. 2-ish yards of cream cotton lawn from stash. About a million pearl snaps from Snap Source.
Pattern: Seamwork Adelaide, size 2 graded to 10ish.