Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Day and Night Dress Challenge: Adeline and Marilyn

A day dress and a night dress...

Elizabeth, of Elizabeth Made This, invited me to join in the blog tour for her Day and Night Dress Challenge. I was honored to be asked; Elizabeth is so creative and inspiring! Her use of textured and handmade textiles, plus her perfected color palette... wow!

Plus, the line-up of bloggers on the tour is staggering, too. So much talent and creativity! What I've seen so far from the tour has been incredible and what's yet to come is also sure to be amazing:

Sunday, Jan 8th: Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This, Brittany of Brittany J Jones

Monday, Jan 9th: Maria of How Good is That?, Tonya of Sew So Petite

Tuesday, Jan 10th: Je’Tua of Robertswife, Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’, Melanie of Its Melanie Darling

Wednesday, Jan 11th: Linda of Elle Gee Makes, Tee of Maggie Elaine

Thursday, Jan 12th: Bianca of Thanks I Made Them, Daniela of On the Cutting Floor

Friday, Jan 13th: Melissa of Mahlicadesigns, Rachel of Sew Redy, Renata of Runnningnstyle, Sonja of Sewing ala Carte

Saturday, Jan 14th: Doja of Elewa blog, Judith of Judith Dee’s World, Tanya of Mrs. Hughes

The premise for the challenge is simple: make two dresses, one for day and one for night. The night dress is meant to be in black, but the day dress is a bit more open to interpretation.

I'm also looking forward to the community challenge: You can join in and enter your own day and night dresses into the contest, which affords you the chance to win some seriously awesome prizes! Check it out if you haven't already. The community challenge is open through Saturday, January 28th 12 am MST, so you still have plenty of time. You can enter the challenge here!

And, finally, here are my day and night dresses!

Day Dress:

For my day dress, I opted for the Style Arc Adeline, a simple, cocoon-shaped, v-neck dress pattern I fell in love with late last year. I love my first version, in linen, so much that I almost immediately picked out fabric from my stash to sew up another one. It's the perfect day dress: comfy, easy to wear, modern and funky, but not fussy.

This large scale geometric print has been sitting in my stash for a while; I love it, but was daunted by the idea of matching the pattern across seams... I think it's a Japanese cotton barkcloth: cool nubby texture, nice drape. The navy and pastel color scheme seemed perfect for the day dress part of the challenge.

I centered the print on the front and back of the dress, marking the bust point beforehand to ensure I didn't end up with star boobs, but otherwise didn't bother with pattern matching. As a result the side seams are a little bit jarring to the eye, but I don't think I could have done much better even if I tried!

For my Adeline, I made the same size as my previous version, 16 (for reference my measurements put me at 16 on top and 18 on bottom). The only extra step I took was to staystitch the neckline. I left off the patch pockets (see previous concern re: pattern matching), but I figure that if I miss them I can add them later. I cut the back on the fold so I wouldn't have to pattern match across the back seam.

Because my fabric was narrow (43", I think) and the pattern calls for wide fabric because of the cut-on sleeves and cuffs, I ended up cutting the cuffs separately, drawing a line at the first notch, which worked fine. I cut the cuffs on the straight grain, sewed them to the arm hole and made sure to cover the seam when I folded them back up.

To say I am delighted with this dress would be an understatement! I love Adeline in a solid color, but I believe it's even more perfect with this large-scale print. It's made for prints! 

Night Dress: 

For my night dress, I opted for a new-to-me pattern, the Style Arc Marilyn Dress. Yes, another Style Arc pattern. What?! I've already admitted it: I'm a Style Arc addict. Something about their simple but modern designs just call out to me.

Marilyn is an A-line shift dress with bust darts, a back seam for shaping, two v-neck options and split, 3/4 length sleeves with a tie. I had a feeling that it could potentially be the perfect little black dress! It's a little bit shorter than I normally go for, but I think it works for this swingy, almost vintage style dress.

I was curious about the split sleeves on the Marilyn dress... of all of the dramatic sleeve options that have been in style recently (off-the-shoulder, bell sleeves, cut out sleeves, split sleeves), this is the only style I thought might work for me. The Marilyn dress sleeves were quite fun to sew! They're fully lined and the pattern piece is a bit of a strange shape (see here), so piecing them together was a like a puzzle.

I think I like the sleeves! It seems my Marilyn sleeves show more arm that some other's (Lara, Jean), but I think it's because of my full bicep (and perhaps the drape of my fabric). I didn't make any adjustments to account for my full arms, figuring it might not matter for this sleeve design. Also, my fabric turned out to be a tad thick for double-layering, which may be affecting the sleeves.

My fabric: it's a drapey poly crepe-like fabric with a basketweave texture. I made my friend a pair of Alexandria pants from this fabric a few months back and I liked working with it, so I went back for more, enough for this Marilyn dress and a pair of Alexandria pants for myself. I probably could have opted for something fancier, like silk, but I'm a wash and wear girl and this basketweave fabric is just that... no ironing required!

The Marilyn pattern has a center back seam for some shaping, plus a button and rouleau closure at the back neck. I ended up leaving the button off and just sewing up the back neck because the dress is easily pulled over your head. The shaping on the back seam is quite subtle- I think if you wanted to cut the back on the fold, you could get away with it.

 Marilyn has two depth options for the neckline. I opted for the lower of the two v-necks, which is great. It's deep, but not wide and sits perfectly! I ended up topstitching the neckline facing down because the facing was a bit curly and floppy. I knew it would drive me crazy!

In the end, I am really happy with my little black dress! It's simple, cute, easy to wear and has a little bit of drama with the fun sleeves.

Thanks again for having me as part of this inspiring blog tour, Elizabeth!