I'm happy to be back on the Fabricmart Fabrics blog with my fall sewing icebreaker. I'm finished with my summer sewing and looking to make some pieces for fall even though it's 104 degrees today. Sewing a plaid wool skirt doesn't sound fun at the moment so I wanted something that would work on those all too frequent 90 degree October days when I don't want to wear a sunny yellow halter dress but a skirt and sweater will just make me cranky. A transitional dress is exactly what I need.
Shirtdresses are all the rage right now and this JCrew dress inspired my first project for fall. I've had this Vogue pattern in my stash since the early nineties (seriously....someone needs to give me some tough love about my pattern stash!) and it's perfect. No need to buy a pattern and even better I'm justifying my stash.
For my shirtdress knockoff I chose a JCrew stretch cotton stripe shirting from Fabricmart Fabrics even though the inspiration dress is made of wool. In my climate I can comfortably wear a wool dress exactly 3 times a year so cotton not only makes sense but is easy care, practical and comfortable.
he fabric was very easy to sew but like so many striped fabrics, I found the stripes would play tricks on my eyes when I was sewing. I added a piece of painter's tape (it doesn't leave residue) on my machine at the 5/8" seam line making it easier to sew an accurate seam.
For the curved seams, I made an arrow across from the needle to mark where my fabric needs to land. It's only important to line up the raw edge on the 5/8" line across from the needle not the entire way down the tape. Thinking about it this way makes it much easier to sew a curved seam.
I had planned on keeping this project simple like the JCrew dress but as I was sewing I wanted to add some red. Red buttons were too much so I decided on red corded buttonholes. I took red pearl cotton from my stash and here's how I did it:
I flipped the buttonhole foot over and wrapped a length of pearl cotton over the back hook.
From the top of the foot I ran the tails of the thread through the bottom prongs to hold the thread in place then stitched the buttonholes just as I normally would.
After taking the work out from under the machine, I pulled the right tail thread through to eliminate the loop.
Lastly, I loaded the tail threads through a large hand sewing needle, pulled them through to the back and clipped them. It's that easy! It's these little details that make sewing fun!
I broke the ice for my fall sewing so what does your fall sewing plan look like?
Happy sewing....Diane at Gatorbunnysews.
Hi! I'm Diane, a wife, mom, sewing teacher and pattern designer from sunny Southern California. I share my sewing adventures here on the Blue Dot Blog formerly Gatorbunnysews. For more info click here.