On A Roll

I felt like blogging today, so I decided not to fight the impulse! Part of the drive comes from having worn my new shirt last night and the fact that I am now in possession of a crappy iPhone mirror selfie of me actually wearing it.

Excuse the quality, focus on the pretty!
Excuse the quality, focus on the pretty!

I’m so proud of and in love with this shirt! I even made a headband/sash out of the same fabric, because who doesn’t love matching accessories? Especially when the fabric is such glorious shades of golden yellow and bright red with little ladybugs sprinkled in among the flowers. Cherry on top? The boyfriend loves it almost as much as I do. The cuddles were pretty much a constant flow at dinner last night, and his only defense was, “It’s a really pretty shirt!”

And now on to one of the promised dresses! On another 99-cent Joann’s pattern binge (that time it was Simplicity), I ran across Simplicity 1080, a sweet smock dress and tunic pattern designed by Dottie Angel (who has stopped actively blogging, but has left her blog intact). I was looking for some more casual things to sew for the summer, and I loved the shape of the dress, so I scooped it up and made my plans. However, I decided I wasn’t going to stick to the demurely rustic look of the packet picture – I wanted color! Pizzazz! Something bright and cheerful, with notes of a preschool teacher on an adventure. I picked up some cheap quilting cotton in colors I loved, contrasting single-fold bias tape, and went to town.

Please excuse the wrinkles, it was hanging over the car seat for a while and *may* have ended up under some things.

For the most part, I followed the pattern straight out of the envelope, although I decided against all the exquisite finishing of seams with bias tape that was detailed in the pattern instructions. The few things I tweaked were: Moving the shaping darts down an inch and a half to accommodate my elongated torso, omitting the pocket bands, binding the neck and sleeve edges with bias tape instead of using the bias tape as facing, cutting away part of the sleeve edge that was meant to be turned under with the bias tape facing, and replacing the self-fabric waist ties with longer ties I made by folding the bias tape in half and topstitching along its length. The last was a variation I based mostly on the fabric I was using – the ties are used to give waist definition, but I didn’t want an expanse of quilting cotton pulled tight across my midsection without so much as a bow to break the monotony. Being able to wrap the ties all the way around give me the defined waist I thought such an otherwise smocky dress needed.

Altogether, it’s a sweet little casual dress that I’ve worn several times with a great deal of enjoyment. The pattern is simple and the shape is flattering, although I actually may have moved the darts down a little farther than I needed to. I love the deep pockets at hand level, and I was very pleased with how my color choices came together in the final product. Half the fun of wearing this dress in public is seeing people react to a 5’11” woman wearing a dress that looks like it could have been made by Crayola! I’d like to make another in a less stiff, wrinkly fabric eventually, just to see how it changes the shape, but for now I’m content with my crayon-colored smock and cosplaying as a runaway kindergarten teacher.

Coming soon: a shoe dress!


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