adult's clothing · DCF Challenge · sewing

DCF Spring Challenge 2015 – Sway

Many regular readers will know by now that Emma and I have a quarterly seasonal challenge where we each use the same fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics to make a garment, then reveal it on the same day.  I always look forward to seeing what Emma has come up with!  For Spring we chose a vibrantly printed viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress in woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Unfortunately many of these photos haven’t come out well; I think that there was sunlight glaring off the phone when Clare was taking them, but beggars can’t be choosers and these are all I am likely to have.  The pattern is the Sway dress by Papercut Patterns, in the longer length but without the waist tie.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress in woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is the first time that I have used Papercut Patterns – they recently had a sale which was finally enough to make me hit the pdf pattern buy button. The website description of the pattern is as follows: The classic sway dress every wardrobe needs. Loose fitting and gorgeously flowing, make it as the short variation or long variation with waist tie. It has a centre front and back seam with a scooped and V neck so you can mix up the look by wearing either neck options to the front or back. It also features side seam pockets. 

Papercut Patterns Sway dress in woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I left out the side seam pockets.  I usually include them if I am sewing pants, but for dresses I only include pockets that are a feature of some kind.  Those that are hidden in the side seams generally won’t be used.  The neckline and armholes are faced with a combined facing applied “burrito” style before closing the side seams.  This works beautifully and ensures there is no visible stitching around the neckline or armholes.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress in woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I left this dress hanging on Ada, my dress form, for over a week, and boy did those bias side seam areas drop!  I intended to level out the bottom and cut and hem it around knee length, but after discussion with Clare and one of her friends one day decided to leave the hem shorter in the centres and longer at the sides as a design feature.  The girls both thought that it looked “cool” and I figured that if I’m unhappy with it I can easily shorten and level it later.  I finished the hemline with bias tape made from the same fabric.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress in woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I sewed this as size Medium, since the only measurement that really mattered was the bust measurement.  This gave me just enough ease, and kept the neckline and armholes fitting close to the body.  The armholes are heading toward the low side, but I found that they didn’t expose any of my bra and stayed next to the skin.  One of the lovely things about this dress is that you can wear it either way around, so can have the V or the scoop at the front or at the back.  The V neck didn’t expose my bra at the back either, so overall I was pretty happy with the pattern drafting.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress in woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This dress does swish and sway beautifully as you move.  I adore the colours in the print, and like most viscose it is very soft and comfortable to wear.

Papercut Patterns Sway dress in woven viscose from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Now I just need to see what Emma has made!

adult's clothing · sewing

Crafty Mamas Cherish Maxi (again)

Another pattern repeat – the Crafty Mamas Cherish dress.

Crafty Mamas Cherish dress in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

This is a pattern that I’ve used a few times and always have success with. Unfortunately, this time is was almost unsuccessful! As well as having sewn it for myself, I’ve sewn it for my mum in a different size and length. I intended to sew a maxi this time, but accidentally grabbed the wrong size and length pattern and started cutting. When I realised it was already too late – I had cut the dress shorter than maxi length. It was easy enough to cut the rest of the sizing down to fit me, but there was nothing to be done about the length. I balled up the fabric and tossed it into a corner – something that I rarely do!

Crafty Mamas Cherish dress in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

So after I got back from Bali I pulled the dress pieces out and sewed them up. After trying on the dress at the length it had been cut out at, I decided to add a ruffle to the bottom to lengthen it to maxi. I cut two strips four and a half inches wide across the entire width of the pattern, then gathered it gently and stitched it with a zig zag around the outside of the dress hem. I left the ruffle edges raw. The fabric is one of those very stretchy and slinky stretch polyester jerseys and I didn’t want too much weight in the hemline. I think that the ruffle worked a treat.

Crafty Mamas Cherish dress in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I also like the gentle gathers that turn the neckline from a wide scoop into a rounded v-shape and provide room for bust shaping. This is a very forgiving style of dress and mostly skims over my bulges quite nicely.

Crafty Mamas Cherish dress in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The neckline and armholes are finished with simple circular bands that are just the right size to ensure the edges sit closely to the body. This is a very easy dress to wear. The fabric came from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table – it’s not really my best colours but I know I’ll wear it anyway.

Crafty Mamas Cherish dress in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

My other versions of this dress are here and here and here. It can be made at any length from tunic length through to maxi, and is a quick and satisfying sew, pretty much all on the overlocker.

Crafty Mamas Cherish dress in knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics