too many snaps

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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.

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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. IMG_3833

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).

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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).

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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:

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[ this is what it looks like when you’re staying in hostels without irons and you’ve been wearing a sweater over your dress all day ]

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.

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4 thoughts on “too many snaps

  1. Oh, snaps. I always think they’re going to be the easy way out and the NEVER ARE. Why do I keep lying to myself? (Story of my sewing life, really).

    I really love this make! It looks great on you. I have yet to see an Adelaide that has made me want to make one, but this seems like the embodiment of summer, and I could definitely see myself wearing something like this (although we have very different body shapes). I think it’s the colour – normally blue is my thang but all the blue Adelaide’s out there are leaving me cold, somehow, but this looks so fresh and lovely!

    • You know, I have actually never done buttonholes, especially now that I’ve discovered snaps — but you’re right, they’re really not that much easier.

      Thank you! It’s a neat pattern; you should try it.

  2. Really like this make, even with misbehaving fabric, it looks like a cool and laid back dress for summer.
    I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with seamwork. The earlier patterns were good basics , although i still question the 2hr make time. But the most recent ones are less so and it makes me lose hope that we’re going to get more intricate main pattern line Colette patterns again. What do you think about the articles?

    • Thank you!

      I agree, Seamwork’s make times are a bit ambitious. And there have been a couple of errors, which I assume has been because they’re adjusting to the bigger workload and quick turnover. But I bet that if they had to scale down, they’d keep their signature pattern line and go down to one pattern per month in Seamwork. (I hope they don’t.)

      I like the articles, although I find the quality can vary a lot. The ones I enjoy most are the city profiles and the stories about techniques, like the alterations feature or the stories about dyeing and printing fabric. Mainly, I’m just thrilled to have fresh sewing-related reading material each month 🙂

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