Sewaholic Harwood Dress

Sewaholic Harwood Dress

So I have mixed feelings about this dress. It’s the Sewaholic Harwood Dress that was released a few years ago, View A.

The fabric is a rayon from Joann and the orange piping comes from silk crepe scraps. The colors and flowers feel a little 1930s/40s to me and combined with this style it has a kind of vague 40’s housedress feel. But that’s not my issue, I actually really like the print.

Sewaholic Harwood Dress

But the fabric, combined with the pattern design caused some construction issues. Even though I starched the heck out of this rayon, it was still difficult to cut the center front on the straight of grain. I think it’s a little wobbly.

Sewaholic Harwood Dress

I did a full bust adjustment to the gathered bodice pieces, leaving the yokes intact. I added width but actually shortened the front bodice pieces at center front for a specific reason. I’ve tried sewing styles like this with elastic that doesn’t cross the center front at the waist. I’ve noticed that that design causes the center front to droop because it isn’t supported by the stretch of elastic. I think this pattern is designed to have the elastic sit right at the waistline but I worried it would be too low. In the end, I’m glad I made that adjustment because I think it compensated for that inherent “drooping.”

Sewaholic Harwood Dress

Even though I did that wonky FBA, the front gathered bodice sections still need more width – like at least an inch on either side in the front. That, combined with the fact that the elastic does not extend entirely around the front of the dress, means there is constant strain on the buttons causing gaping in front.

Sewaholic Harwood Dress

I had to sew in three sets of hidden snaps. One below the waistline button and one on either side of the button just below the yoke. I also had to move the button just below the yoke further to the edge to lessen the straining across the bust.

Style-wise, I don’t love the slightly wide shoulder line. If the shoulders extended out any further they’d be cap sleeves. I definitely would prefer it if the fabric ended at my shoulder point or further in. They’re just at a weird location and I think they make my shoulders seem wider than they ought to be. It’s just… odd looking.

Sewaholic Harwood Dress

On the plus side, the dress looks is a lot cuter in these pictures than how I felt wearing it in real life. This dress is growing on me but I doubt I’ll sew it again. If I want this type of style (sleeveless, button front, gathered waist), there are similar patterns that I’d rather make.

Silk Willow Tank + NEWSLETTER!

Silk Grainline Willow Tank

Popping in for a quick blog post while I’m visiting family! This is my third Grainline Willow Tank in as many months. Obviously, it’s becoming a TNT pattern for me.

This fabric was gifted to me by Ella from Me & Ewe. It’s silk charmeuse and I only had about a yard.

Silk Grainline Willow Tank

I believe the printed bottle motif is Japanese but the writing is so tiny I can’t tell if maybe it’s Chinese?

Silk Grainline Willow Tank

I had to heavily starch this fabric and cut it flat rather than on the fold because it’s so slippery.

Silk Grainline Willow Tank

I think I cut a size four in the bust and six in the hips. The only other change I made was lowering the front neckline.

Dixie DIY Classes

I’m currently in rural Ohio (hence the fields of, I dunno, sorghum?) but if you’re in Austin, TX you probably already know that I teach sewing classes at The Cloth Pocket. But now I’ve started my own email newsletter to help keep you up to date with my scheduled classes.

The newsletter will be sent once a month and feature all my classes for the next two months plus tips and tricks for better sewing!

Click here or on the Classes tab on the menu above to sign up for the newsletter.

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

Tilly and the Buttons Miette

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

Poor Miette, this skirt seemed like it was never meant to be. Don’t get me wrong – the pattern is well drafted with good instructions but I faced a few challenges in my sewing journey.

This is the Miette Skirt by Tilly and the Buttons.

 

Miette Skirt

I sewed this skirt as a sample for a possible class. I’m always looking for smart, easy, beginner friendly patterns for teaching opportunities. But right after I finished this skirt I learned Tilly & the Buttons is discontinuing the paper version of this pattern. Sadly, no printed pattern means no class for me.

 

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

The fabric is a Japanese cotton/linen blend from The Cloth Pocket (no longer available). It was a good weight for this pattern – a medium thickness but not so heavy that you can’t slip the ties through the waistband.

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

Unfortunately, this fabric may not have been the best choice for this pattern because of the print. While it seems striped, it’s NOT a perfect stripe! Ugh, I hate “almost” stripes. If you look closely at these pics you can see how the fabric slopes downward from left to right in the front. This made matching the center front difficult, especially with the pockets. I had to adjust the pockets a bit to get the stripes and points to match properly. I didn’t even bother trying to get the sides to match.

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

Since I’m pear shaped I graded from one size at the waist to a larger size at the hips. Normally for an A-shaped skirt, the hip size doesn’t matter as much but I wanted to play it safe.

I think that was a good choice but I believe I’m also in desperate need of a sway back adjustment. You can see that the fabric pulls at an angle at the back waistband area. The only way to avoid that pulling is to loosen the waist ties but then the waist is way too big.Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt and Grainline Linden Sweatshirt

Maybe with my wide hips I ought to have gone down a size in the waist and up another size in the hips (plus a sway back fix as well)?

I don’t think this skirt turned out badly, it just needs some tweaks and the right fabric to make it great. I ought to give Miette another try but these few issues really got me down about sewing it again. I guess it’ll sit on the shelf for a while before I revisit it.

Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt

On the upside – coral pink and royal blue is one of my favorite color combos these days so that’s a win, right?

Grainline Farrow Dress v2.0

Grainline Farrow Dress v2

This is my second Grainline Farrow Dress and it might be my favorite make so far this year!

I sewed View B this time, except I shortened the sleeves.Grainline Farrow Dress v2

I bought this gorgeous Japanese double-gauze from The Cloth Pocket (it’s sadly sold out now).
Grainline Farrow Dress v2

To best utilize this fantastic print I had to fussy cut all the pieces which meant I didn’t have enough room for the full-length sleeves.

Grainline Farrow Dress v2That’s fine because the shorter sleeves make this dress more versatile for Texas weather.

Grainline Farrow Dress v2

I didn’t make any changes to the body of the dress (I even kept the original hem length. In my previous version, I shortened the hem). But I did alter the sleeve.Grainline Farrow Dress v2

I could tell by holding the paper sleeve piece to my arm that it would be way too small. So I drafted an alteration that widens the bicep while lowering the sleeve cap a bit at the same time.
Grainline Farrow Dress v2

This method adds slightly more range of movement in the arm while also keeping the original length of the sleeve cap intact so you don’t have to alter the armhole on the dress. Maybe I’ll do a quick tutorial on that technique in the future.

Grainline Farrow Dress v2I hemmed everything by hand which was easy with double gauze since I only had to stitch through one layer of the fabric. That makes for a perfectly invisible hem.

Grainline Farrow Dress v2

I love how soft and flowy this dress is – as you can tell from these pics taken on a windy day.

Grainline Farrow Dress v2
Happy sewing, y’all!