Tag Archive | lapel

Dress = Done

Last week turned out a little differently than I had planned. After posting on Wednesday, my French class was canceled just as I was about to walk out the door. Too bad, but that did mean a whole day to sew that I hadn’t been banking on! I was able to finish my shirt dress and Granota’s Cuddle Muffin jumper that evening.

For my dress I used McCall’s 4769. Pretty basic style, not much that really stands out. It would probably be great in a novelty print, but for this incarnation I chose a pale blue cotton/linen blend. This way I’ve got a blank canvas that I can spruce up with accessories to change up the look. I don’t currently have much in the way of accessories, but I do have a couple of silk scarves and a couple belts that I can use. And, hopefully without the distraction of pattern or color or unique features on the dress itself, I can get a little more creative about the kinds of accessories I can add to my wardrobe in the future. Future being: when we manage to get Mr. Gren a better job than ringing up plants and patio bricks.

We can always hope.


The other side of the lapel went together with about the same amount of fiddling as the first side, but at least this time I knew that, as ugly as it is on the inside, it turns out well on the outside. Just as miraculously, my machine didn’t jam up a single time while doing the buttonholes. That may be a first! At the waistline, there is a hook and eye to keep things together so that belts or sashes won’t get hung up on a button.

Went with the blue leopard print scarf this time.

I like those McCall’s guys. These are funny guys. They told me to “hem skirt by hand.” Bwhahahahahaa! Yeah, right. I barely got through hand-tacking the collar and facing down without wanting to kick a puppy. Good thing we don’t have a puppy. Besides, why hand-sew a hem when you can blind stitch it! That’s what I’m talking about. My first attempt several years ago at using the blind stitch on my machine resulted in a less-than-blind hem. I get better with every one I do. I can’t claim that this one is perfect, but a person is going to have to get pretty close to my knees to see the few stitches that managed to peek out.

Konik’s about the right height to examine my hem. Fortunately, he has no idea what he’s looking for.

Oh! And did I mention pockets? That’s always fun in a dress. The fabric was light enough that I went ahead and used it for the pockets, too, instead of a lining fabric.

I ain’t afraid of no crease

A lot of people shy away from linen because of its notorious tendency to wrinkle. What can I say, I’m a sucker for punishment. No, not really; it’s just that I love natural fibers. Besides, anyone who hasn’t worn linen is missing out. I wore this dress to church today with a navy blue belt and navy blue crocheted-by-me beret. I looked pretty sassy if I do say so myself. You’ll just have to take my word for it because Mr. Gren had to work today and couldn’t take a picture to document it for posterity. The dress passed the wearability test — it was comfortable and, despite sitting in the car for 40 minutes round trip and sitting in the church pew for another 90 minutes, the dress wasn’t too horribly wrinkled. I changed out of it when I got home because I had to start a fire and I would have been oh-so-sad if I’d gotten soot on my new pale blue dress. Soot is an unfortunate accessory of life in a cabin, but I can at least try to limit it to jeans.

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You may have noticed that there was no French Friday last week (Hi, Mom). They used to be my most-viewed posts, but lately they were getting really low numbers. I have to admit that I was getting a little burnt out spending two or three hours on a post that only 12 people look at (Hi, Gma). So, do me a favor, peeps, if you like French Fridays, will you let me know? And if there are things you’d like to hear about my experiences in France, let me know that, too! Thanks. Carry on.

I can almost taste it

This close, guys, this close! I got quite a bit of sewing done yesterday on my newest dress until I had to be a grown-up and go make dinner for my family. It’s at the point where I could finish it today… if I were going to be home today, but I have French lesson which takes a gigantic munch right out of the middle of my day (I’m going to teach clothing vocab!). So tomorrow! I think I can finish it tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here’s what I’ve got so far.

80% of a shirtdress

It’s a shirtdress. I’ll find the pattern number when I post finished pics. I had never seen a collar construction quite like this. It’s supposed to be a lapel-type neckline. It also seemed unnecessarily complicated. On the points of the lapel, they had me clip down to a reinforcement line of stitching. I think that stitching line actually needs to be closer to the raw edge if I do this again. As it was, once I clipped, it all opened up too wide and made it very difficult to pin onto the dress. I’ve only done one side and miraculously, it turned out right on the first try. But it took a lot of fiddling around with pins, basting, checking, and finally stitching before that happened. I will never take a lapel for granted again.

Sure, it looks innocent now, but it was the devil to get together.

After dinner and putting the kids to bed, I sat down to crochet on Granota’s Cuddle Muffin dress. And look at this! Two matching halves!

Angels are singing right now. No, really, listen.

All that’s left is to sew it together and put the buttons on. What a walk in the park after all the hassle I’ve had with this thing! I’ve been working on it for so long and there wasn’t one part of it that I didn’t have to rip out and redo multiple times. Really, I’ve probably made this dress about seven times over if you combine all those stops and restarts. I save my crochet for the evening — it’s nice to wind down with before bedtime — so it is conceivable that I could get this all sewn up and completed tonight. Wouldn’t that be marvelous? The relief at being done with this project… ahhhh.

That’s where things stand right now. I’m feeling pretty good about it!