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.