Closet Case Charlie Caftan

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

This is my long awaited Closet Case Charlie Caftan. I say long awaited because I bought this rayon at The Cloth Pocket last year and cut out the pieces last summer but didn’t finish the dress until December. It’s little late for summer wear but I can pair it with tights, a scarf, and my Lupin jacket and it works for winter, too.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

This lightweight rayon is pretty sheer. I’m wearing a full-length beige slip underneath which is how I’ll have to wear it if I want to consider this a dress and not just a “swimsuit cover-up.”

I made Views B and added the waist ties. I didn’t have enough fabric for the maxi length.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

The most complicated portion of this pattern is certainly the front waist rectangle piece. You have to attach it in a manner similar to installing a welt pocket. You know, lots of careful clipping into corners and paying close attention to your seam allowances.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

You must first gather the skirt portion of the dress to fit the bodice area and sew the center front seam, then insert the front facing rectangle and ties. Then you can install the interior rectangle as a facing.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

The pattern gives you the option to stitch it by machine but because I was already struggling with the rayon and I decided I could control the fabric better sewing it by hand.

The rest of the dress came together easily. I French-seamed the whole dress as my serger was out of commission and I wanted a nice finish with the rayon.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

The abstract design of this stripe made it difficult to match at the center front. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it just isn’t going to match, and that’s ok. I can still wear the dress and enjoy it even if it’s not perfect.

Closet Case Charlie Caftan

I’ve worn this dress a few times since I finished it and at some point, my cat, Peanut, ATE part of one of the waist ties! She has a history of chewing on and trying to eat skinny long things like wires, elastic, those paper handles on shopping bags. This is the second time she’s eaten dress ties. I don’t know how she got access to the dress but obviously, I need to be more careful. She’s fine, doesn’t seem bothered by it at all. Bad Peanut. Good Caftan.

Closet Case Patterns Ebony Dress

Closet Case Ebony Dress

My serger is currently on the fritz so I haven’t been sewing as much, and what I have been sewing are gifts. And since I can’t really share those, I guess I’ll catch up on a few unblogged projects…

This is the Ebony knit Dress by Closet Case Patterns. I made View A with the scoop neck of View B.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

I sewed this dress as a sample for my new class at The Cloth Pocket in December.

My fabric is a cotton sweatshirt terrycloth (also from the cloth pocket) that’s heather black on the right side and white on the wrong side. I rolled up the sleeves in these pics to show off the underside.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

The fabric was stretchy enough for this pattern but the terry backside made the seams a little bulky and hard to serge. Because of that I made the neckband a little thicker to make it easier to work with.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

Overall I liked the pattern and instructions. This swingy dress is simple and quick to sew. I can definitely see myself whipping up a few of these dresses with long sleeves for winter.

My paper pattern included a supplementary sheet with an updated sleeve piece. The original piece had a grading error in the smaller sizes but when I measured the new updated sleeve piece in my size I knew it would be too tight for my arms.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

I adjusted the sleeve so that I didn’t change the length of the sleeve cap much but made the cap and bicep wider by almost an inch. Which was good, because I definitely needed it with this fabric. If my fabric were stretchier I could probably get away without it but I didn’t want to take the chance with this thicker sweatshirt knit.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

This dress is VERY voluminous at the hem which is why you have to use wide fabric.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

I know I’ll make this pattern again, likely from a different type of fabric — and depending on what fabric I use I’ll probably use some kind of stabilizer on that curved hem.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

So apparently this pattern is really popular right now but I hadn’t even heard of the company until recently. A number of indie pattern companies were hosting sales to benefit Harvey relief and that’s how I found Chalk and Notch. I liked the Fringe’s casual modern design so I bought a copy.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

The fabric is a Japanese cotton from The Cloth Pocket (no longer available, unfortunately). It’s very soft and finely woven but wrinkles terribly. Oh, well.

I liked both Views but I decided on View B for this version. The ties are set into the front darts. It has side seam pockets with tacks at the openings. The neckline is interesting and I appreciated the front neck facing that extends all the way to the waist so it’ll never flip out.

The pattern instructions were good – I appreciated being able to print just my size using the layers feature and the illustrations were clear and easy to follow.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I gotta say I REALLY like this dress. The armholes aren’t cut too low, the hem curves up on the sides with a nice shape, and the waist is ever-so-slightly higher than natural which I find to be a modern touch.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I think it fits quite well, too, which leads me to my one issue. And it’s not so much an issue for me particularly but it might be for someone else.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress
Perhaps I cut the wrong size, a size too small, but looking at these pics the fit seems fine. But the dress is a pullover and in the company’s samples and most of the tester images, the dress seems loose at the waist.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

On my version, the waist is loose but not by much and I have to gently squeeze the dress over my bust. I can still take it on and off fairly easily but I would worry that someone with a very large bust compared to her waist measurement would have trouble putting on the dress and a cursory google search didn’t reveal any reviews from especially busty seamstresses…

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

UPDATE: I just re-checked the pattern text. The bust measurements for a size 4 are 34″ but the finished waist size on the 4 is only 31″. There are no closures, you’re supposed to pull the dress over your head. 31″ is smaller than 34″ which explains the need to squeeze. So again, if you have a large difference between bust and waist, maaaaayyybe size up in the waist to get it over your bust…

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Anyway, I would DEFINITELY make this dress again. I want to try View A with the buttons as well as a shirt version. Future TNT pattern, maybe?

Grainline Farrow Dress

Grainline Farrow Dress

This is the Grainline Farrow Dress pattern that I sewed a sample for my new class at the Cloth Pocket.

I wanted a dress pattern that would be simple enough for true beginner garment sewists. Beginners often have a difficult time with bias binding around curved edges like armholes. This dress uses facings for the neck and armholes which are much easier to sew if you’re a newbie.

Grainline Farrow Dress

The dress went together quickly. Instructions were good as usual. The only major changes I did were grading between sizes at the hip which was probably unnecessary considering the dress is so A-shaped.

The fabric is from the Cloth Pocket. It’s a thin chambray with lovely drape a woven texture that forms a subtle stripe. I only thought about playing with the angle of the stripes after I cut out all four back pieces so only the bottom front panels go at an angle.

 

Grainline Farrow Dress

It was pretty windy today so you can see how well this fabric moves.

Grainline Farrow Dress

I did a blind hem by hand and finished all the seams with a serger.

Grainline Farrow Dress

On dresses like this without a defined waist shape I like to cut the hem a little extra high. I think the shorter length helps offset the lack of curves. I like that this dress has a subtle hi-low hem which makes shortening the hem a little safer if you know what I mean…

Grainline Farrow Dress

My favorite part about this dress are the pockets. They’re built into the two front pieces so they lay nice and flat and are tucked into the side and center front seams so they don’t flop around at all.

Grainline Farrow Dress

One thing I’d like to change about this pattern: it needs an all-in-one facing. This isn’t an issue if you make the sleeved version of the dress but for the sleeveless I’d rather have one complete facing than separate ones for the two armholes and the neckline.

Grainline Farrow Dress

Even if you tack down all the facings at the shoulder and side seams the armhole facings still like to flip out when you put the dress on. They don’t flop out while wearing the dress but still, it would be a cleaner finish.

If you’re in Austin and you want to learn to sew this dress, sign up for the class!