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.

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!

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.