working girl

Well summer has officially hit Chicago and let me tell you, it kinda sucks. I never thought I’d say this but I almost miss the winters here. Heat I can deal with but humidity drives me a little nuts. One of the greatest challenges of living through the extreme ends of summer and winter is trying to find nice office-appropriate attire. A stylish, but comfortable, dress seems to be the key staple of summer. While there are probably no shortage of places to buy a good dress, I’ve been seeing lots of great patterns out there and felt like it was time to work up some courage to do a little apparel sewing. Plus, I needed to do a little stash-busting. (I went a little crazy last year and bought a TON of apparel fabrics when I was totally gung ho about sewing my own clothing.) This is the result:

365.52: working for the weekendOverall, I’m really happy with the way this turned out and it’s given me some courage to maybe tackle more apparel projects.

Here are the specs:
Pattern: Simplicity 2584, Cynthia Rowley, View B
Fabric: Green linen blend (from Joann’s)
Price: app. $20 for pattern and fabric
Time: app. 3 nights after work, 1 night to cut, 2 nights to sew (could’ve gone faster but my serger crapped out on me on day 2)
Inspired by: stitchindye’s version
Mods: I cut out View B which has sleeves but I didn’t like the way they looked for this type of fabric. Instead, I just followed the armhole facing directions for View C. I also couldn’t do the narrow hem on this dress because the linen frayed too much. Instead I went with a 1″ hem (1/2″ folded over twice). Also, I cut out a Size 10 even though I’m a Size 12. I think that was the right choice as I wanted a closer fitting dress. Finally, I did not do the exposed zipper as suggested by the pattern. I instead went with a centered zipper application. When I make this dress again I will definitely go with an invisible zipper.
Pros: Very finished and professional looking dress without too much headache. Linen or a medium weight fabric seems to be a good choice for this dress. The dress is SUPER comfortable and very easy to wear.
Cons: I forgot how easily linen wrinkles…this is how wrinkled the dress looks just minutes after I gave it a quick press. The dress is a little short for my tastes, particularly to wear to work, but I figure since it’s just me in my office alone most of the day, there’s no harm in showing a little leg. 🙂

Here’s a close-up of my favorite part of the dress, the neckline:

neckline detailThis week has just whizzed by and I can’t believe it’s Friday already!  I’m hoping to squeeze in a little more apparel sewing over the weekend!  Happy Friday y’all!


9 responses to “working girl

  1. That turned out great! I love the neckline. I am digging the Cynthia Rowley patterns too.

  2. Very cute! I think I might have to start making my own clothes. I always say that and I never do it.. I’ll have to look to you for a kick in the pants!

  3. dude LOOK at you!! I’ve been AWOL from flickr for the last couple days so I missed these shots when you first put them up but WOW am I glad to see them here! The dress looks fantastic. Totally work-appropriate *and* hot humid nasty weather appropriate. Yay!

  4. Wow, this looks awesome!! I love the color and the neckline just gives this simple dress that extra pizazz 😉 And I can’t believe you finish that in 3 evenings! You look totally cute yet professional in it, bravo!

  5. Said it on Flickr, but it bears repeating: This is lovely. Plus that shade of green is to die for.

  6. I love the green fabric. and it looks flattering on you. How cool is it that you are making yor own clothing. I need more hours in a day.

  7. this looks so good on you! congratulations! i just bought one of those cynthia rowley patterns and need to just dive in. i’m still so, so nervous about making my own clothes!

  8. Wonderful! I love the neckline. I’ve still not ventured any further into sewing but I have big plans. (are you laughing??) Seriously, I’m taking the plunge. For real.

  9. That neck is great! Thanks for the camera strap tut too, I need one.

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