Monday, May 2, 2016

Kaleidoscope Appleton Dress

Sometimes I change the order of my to-sew queue** purely because of the color of the thread on my serger. But that's not necessarily a bad thing...


I've been meaning to sew up another Appleton dress. I love my tester version so much and it has seen a lot of action for work events and meetings. I'm sure my colleagues are sick of seeing me in it. "Get a new dress!," I think I heard someone comment, sotto voce, last time I wore it to the office.


I've got approximately eleventy million versions of the Appleton planned, but the black serger thread in my machine, left over from some Mother's Day gifts I was making, gave me the excuse to sew up this particular one!


Another day, another Nicole Miller rayon jersey... love this stuff! This kaleidoscope-esque/rainbow Rorschach test print is completely within my color comfort zone: jewel-toned blues and greens, bright and crazy. This fabric is really a delight to sew with, too: not too slippery, doesn't curl, presses well. I'm super pumped to have cut out this dress quite creatively, allowing for lots of extra fabric, enough for a t-shirt or blouse of some sort. Hurrah!


I didn't really bother with pattern matching. If you look closely, there is a little bit of a repeat across the two front panels. But you'd have to be looking really close to notice, I think. Like uncomfortably, creepily close. Stop that, you!


I centered one of the lines of Rorschach down the center back, which I worried might look weird, but I quite like the final result:


Same as my tester version, I went with a size 14 C/D on the top, graded to a 16 at the hip. This time, though, I cut the size 16 sleeves to give myself a little bit of extra fabric for my biceps. No problems easing them in and I am happy to have some more wiggle room there. I also added an inch in length to the skirt, for more knee coverage when sitting.


The only tricky part, like my test version, was attaching the waist ties to the neckband. Somehow the instructions still didn't click for me the second time. But this video posted during the Appleton sewalong was incredibly helpful!


To finish the waist tie hole more cleanly than my last, I used a tip from Debbie at Stitches and Seams. I used some sticky stuff to hold the little flaps down while I topstitched them. Not Steam-a-seam as she mentioned, but some double-sided hem tape stuff (I can't remember the brand name). Muuuuuuch neater!


I love, love this Appleton... serious hearts-for-eyes love. The fabric is ah-mah-zing and the minor changes made from the tester version to the final pattern make a huge difference in fit!
New go-to dress. Boom.


** "to-sew queue" = chaotic, swirling mass of half-baked ideas, impulsive purchases and improbable dream projects.


37 comments:

  1. Meg, this is awesome. The centering of the print in back particularly - it is one of the awesome things about sewing! I really like this on you. I want this pattern!

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    1. Thanks, Masha! I was worried that centering the print in the back could go horribly wrong (like rainbow aliens exploding out of my spine and butt), but was happy to see it turned out looking good!

      This pattern would look great on you!!

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  2. You look fantastic in your new dress. I saw your post on instagram. I have been curious about this designer fabric at Joanns and this sewing pattern. So I appreciate all the details in your blog post.

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    1. Thanks, Addie! I have been pleasantly surprised about this Nicole Miller fabric line at Joann. Beautiful stuff...
      Glad you found the post helpful!

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  3. You look stunning in this. I'm picking up this fabric after work. I like how even though it's a black background, it's so colorful that it doesn't feel heavy in the summer.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jess! Can't wait to see what you make with your fabric!!

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  4. Lovely dress! Love the pattern-fabric combo.

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    1. Thanks, Renee! Me, too- I feel like it was meant to be.

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  5. This dress gives me serious heart-eyes too!! That print is fantastic and it's perfect paired with this pattern. I want this dress so I can wear it everyday. Please move closer so I can raid your closet (and your fabric stash) LOL. Serisouly, I'll be coming back to look at these pictures and drool; that fabric is amazing!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Heather!! Ha ha- I wish I lived closer... it would be so much fun to have near-by sewing friends!

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  6. Wow!!! This dress is gorgeous on you! Great finish!!!

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  7. Lovely dress! The fabric looks great with the dress.

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  8. Cute!!! I'd wear this ALL THE TIME. (Although I am having a really hard time believing that your colleagues would consider you a one-trick-pony when it comes to work-wear, because you make a LOT of clothes!) I totally make sewing decisions based on serger thread. :)

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    1. Thanks, Inder! I anticipate I will wear this one constantly!
      Ha ha- I don't think they really consider me a one-trick pony- I just wonder if they notice that I keep wearing the same dress for meetings. Appleton is just the perfect professional, not-too-girly meeting dress.

      Glad I'm not the only one who lets her serger thread dictate her next project!!

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  9. Great print! And my sewing queue is the same way... Sometimes I try to be good and match fabrics to patterns and then go buy all the notions and whatnot for like 8 projects at a time, but then everything ends up sitting around for forever as things move in and out of my queue! Or many times fabrics end up being made as something else entirely, haha!

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! Yes, your sewing queue and mine sound eerily similar. I am really fickle and end up making things as inspiration strikes, whether that garment was on the list or not (and whether the fabric was meant for another pattern or not)!

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  10. This is gorgeous! Stunning print and it looks amazing on you. Great tweaks to the fit, how lovely is this new go-to dress?? My sewing queue sounds like it is organized approximately the same way as yours...

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    1. Thanks so much! So glad to know I am not the only one who can't stick to a sewing queue!

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  11. love this dress! may have to see if I can pick up some of this fabric at joanns next time i make it to the "city" ;). Then I will totally copycat you!

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    1. Thanks, Megan! Do check out the Nicole Miller line- some gems in there! Make sure you get it on sale, though!

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  12. Ooo!!! Gorgeous dress! That fabric is so fun. And the fit looks amazing. I need to make another Appleton, stat!

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    1. Thanks, Robin! I'm kicking myself for not making a second Appleton sooner! After making this dress, I went ahead and made an Appleton wrap top, too. Coming soon to a blog near you ;-)

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  13. This dress is gorgeous, it brings out my worst 'want to steal' envious side!

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  14. I love this so much that I actually ordered the fabric (on sale) from the J's website. Another NM knit print may have jumped into the checkout too with a $2.99 shipping coupon. Hmm. Like others have said, I love all of your projects and would be shopping/thieving your closet if you lived nearby. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! Ha ha, I hope you like the fabric!! Can't wait to see what you make with it!

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  16. This is smashing. Such a great fit on you, and I totally agree with overlocker thread - I'm in a navy phase right now :)

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    1. Thanks!! Ha, glad I'm not the only one who lets the overlocker thread rule my life!

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  17. You look amazing in that dress. Fantastic job. I am stalking your blog because we are about the same size, your makes are awesome.

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  18. It's lovely on you! I am curious about where the waist is on this. Some people have it just under the bust like an empire and your first dress was higher. Did you lower the waist on this?

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! According to the pattern, it hits at the "high waist," which I would say is accurate. Not quite empire. I think in the photos of my first Appleton, I have tied it tighter, which raises the waistline. These photos are perhaps a bit truer about where the waist hits.

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  19. It's lovely on you! I am curious about where the waist is on this. Some people have it just under the bust like an empire and your first dress was higher. Did you lower the waist on this?

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  20. Meg, this is an awesome dress! The fabric is equally awesome. I'm always on the hunt for colorful prints. May I ask where you found this one? Your contributions are always so well fitted and professional looking. :-) I wonder if any of you who submit your makes have total flops/fails like I do. Probably not.... lol

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