Monday, September 06, 2010

Challenge Complete!

The dress is done and I even have photos ready to post!

The project was the HP Plain & Simple T SHIRT DRESS (See here for pattern link) (not to be confused with the P&S Shirt Dress of a previous pattern release!). I chose it as it was an easy style to make and wear for Sunday Mass or for those days when I just don't want to wear pants.  This should have been an easy project as it is basically a longer version of a Polo shirt with a hidden button placket with the addition of a self tie belt.  Designed for good quality knits, it ws perfect for a stash project as I have a good supply on hand.

HP designs are not for the beginner.  Trudy has said that from the day she launched her line.  She assumes a certain amount of knowledge in her sewer.  I am not a beginner.  I would say that at my peak two years ago, I was close to being advanced, and had I not stopped sewing, I would have gotten there (and will get there)with the completion of that tailored blazer I started with Darrell.  Rebooting a lapsed sewing brain with a hidden placket on a pattern that has minimal instructions and drawings was probably not my best choice.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that the hidden placekt part of the patten really didn't register until I was too forgone in the cutting to stop.  It was at that point that I started the book searches and the internet searches to try to find help.  The first incarnation of the placket had me following the directions, but I must have missed something.  The placket did not lie flat.  It could have been something as simple as me using a knit that was a bit too bulky when layered three times.  Maybe I missed a step somewhere.  After all, I have made so many of these tops, that I confess I really didn't give that in depth of a look at the instructions.... ahem.  yup.  got cured of that real quick on this project!

So, I recut the bodice out of the remaining fabric and started over.  I thought that I could modify David P Coffin's placket design to include a hiddne placket and use that method instead.  Works in theory and in the paper mock up.  Once put into practice, however, there was just too much fabric at the bottom of the placket.  I just didn't like it.  So, I tossed the whole thing in the fabric scrap bin and went to bed.  I do my best redesign work as I am in bed at night while the Pilot is snoring.

Inspiration struck two nights later. I went downstairs and grabbed the pieces and scraps and cut out the offending placket.  I cut it on the line where a shoulder princess seam would lie (or thereabouts) and took it down below the placket bottom.  I then took some black fabric and pinned it in as a cowl neck inset.  I liked it a lot!  Then I thought the black migh tbe a bit too dark for late summer early fall, so I grabbed some scraps of the original fabric and played.  I took the piece I cut out and laid it in half on it's CF.  Then I traced the bottom of it and then rotated the piece to the left to allow for the cowl neck.  There is my new pattern piece.  I cut it out and then added it in.  Love it!  It does not have as much cowl as the original drape and the inset is also a bit wider, but I am happy with it all the same.  Rather than tying the belt, I found a belt buckle that matches colour wise and simply thread it through.  I may eventually sew the buckle on and shorten it.  For now, I like the way it lies flat on a body that is not so flat anymore.  I did have to take the dress in a bit on the side seams, but that is because I added some in the cutting phase "just in case".  The only thing I haven't improved on yet, but plan on doing, is to shape the CB seam below the yoke.  It is straight.  I am not.  It needs some shaping to rid me of the extra fabric at the back.

So, here it is.  The inset could have been a tad bit wider to allow for the twins as I see some stretching there, but that can be eliminated by wearing a different bra as well.  There is too much fluff at the hips (both on me and the dress) so I think any future renditions will need a bit more flare at that point to make it more flattering.  Will I sew this again?  Maybe.  I may try a different pattern version as I have one in an older WOF mag that I haven't tried.  I am trying to use as many new patterns in the stash as I can for now.  I may just use one of my TNT polo patterns instead and add a more A Line skirt to it. Will have to wait and see!

Sorry for the photo layout, I am still getting used to the laptop buttons and the lack of a mouse.  Give me time ....  My collarless version of the P&S T Shirt Dress:

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