October 8, 2012

Butterick 5598- trench dress

I've been quiet, but there's been quite a bit of sewing happening here lately. Most of it's not for me, but I did manage to sneak in a dress last week. I'm trying to work through my stash of apparel fabrics and get them transformed into something I can use, or move them along to someone who will.

I also felt inspired to create a work wardrobe pinterest board to collect inspiration for the way "grown up me" will dress if I ever have a reason to do so again (perhaps sooner than later). I spent an afternoon scanning ModCloth and Anthro and Banana and all my favorites, just pinning what spoke to me. Then I went through my patterns and tried to find a way to make something come to life with what I already had on hand.

I ended up with quite a few shirt dresses on the board, like Made in the Shade and Crepe Shop, and decided that a solid olive green cotton sateen from my stash was the best candidate for this kind of style.  It's not exactly the same, but Butterick 5598 is the pattern I decided to try, despite my concerns that I might look like a member of the armed forces or the leader of a safari when I was done.

And here's where I ended up. It's a double-breasted trench dress style, fully lined and complete with pockets. It's admittedly a touch militaristic, but I don't mind. I think the pop of bright lining peeking out at the sleeve opening keeps it light, and my wise decision to refrain from adding gold buttons probably helps too.

The lining is left over from my Garden Tour Dress, and I think the contrast of the watermelon against the olive is awesome, if perhaps a bit unconventional. I was too lazy and impatient to get started to wait until I had matching olive thread, so I decided to topstitch the whole thing in black instead. It was a bold choice, but I think it works. Slow and steady is definitely the name of the game when it comes to the miles (and miles) of topstitching that this dress requires.

I really do own an iron, promise.

I love the full skirt and pockets, and thanks to the princess seams it's a great fit all around. I made a size 8 based on the finished garment measurements, although according to the pattern envelope and my own measurements I should have made at least a 10. I didn't want it to fit loosely, because I thought it would really look more like a jacket if it did. I also skipped the tie for the same reason, although that decision was aided by the fact that I ran out of fabric and would have had to piece it together or cut off-grain if I wanted to make it.

Thank the sewing gods this dress calls for a machine-stitched hem, because I don't think we'd be looking at a finished garment if I would have had to hand-stitch that thing down after sewing on the 14 buttons and making 7 buttonholes.

This thing did take a lot of work and time, but I'm pretty happy with the finished product. And I think grown-up me looks pretty fancy, too.

While I was being all organized I also planned a couple more stash-bustin' garments, so I'll be back soon with another installment. I may even follow along with Lladybird's Thurlow Extravaganza, as I think I have the perfect fabric for a pair of trousers. If I end up wearing them half as much as I wore my pink Thurlow shorts this summer, that will be a huge win. If you haven't tried Thurlow yet, you should!