I’m crazy about plaid, especially in the fall. When this sweet Built by Wendy pattern came out a few years ago, it was all over the sewing blogosphere. I attempted my own version at the time, but as a newbie at sewing, the dress looked like a train wreck. It was humongous, and I couldn’t figure out how to construct the neck facing so I ended up trying a contrast binding that is completely frayed and awfully stretched out now. The hem is uneven, the gathers…well, you get the idea.
If anyone were to ask me, I would consider my current sewing skill level to be somewhere in the advanced beginner range. Now that I have a few years’ worth of sewing experience under my belt, I wanted to try the pattern again, hoping for non-train wreck results. So much easier this time around!
I even made a few modifications. I love patch pockets on clothes for K, but for me, it’s a bit too twee. So I made angled pockets instead (I’ve been erroneously calling them welt pockets, but I’m not sure what they are…welt pockets without the welt?). Surprisingly, I matched up the plaids everywhere except where the pocket linings show and one sleeve. Stellar for me, I’d say.
The fabric was a Goodwill find several years ago, and despite many washings it’s still sporting eau de thrift store. But the odor is subtle, which gives me hope that there might be some natural content in this strangely spongy knit. Yes, it’s knit. Doesn’t it look like wool at first glance?
Another modification I made was to do away with the zipper since the dress slides over my head and stretches nicely. I like the subtle shaping the back darts provide, but I probably could have gone down a size (I cut a 14). Additionally, I felt that the sleeves were an awkward length that didn’t do my arms any favors, so I added sleeve cuffs cut on the bias. I’m liking the detail.
M calls this my Amish/Sister-wife-on-the-compound-curtain-dress. I was a little uncertain about the overall vibe of the look too, but I wore it out and about yesterday and at a coffee shop, a young woman wearing uber hipster glasses told me that she loved my outfit, so I decided that the dress passes muster.
The key, I believe, is in the styling. With my beloved chunky scarves and boots, I think it works! I tried a few variations — my laziness prevented me from reaching for things outside of arm’s length so I realize that the looks below are not all that scintillating nor are they that varied from each other…but there’s definite potential here for some styling fun.
I want to make another one in a solid color with an exposed zipper – wouldn’t that be hipster (or are exposed zippers so yesterday?)?