Friday, March 20, 2015

Broken arm-friendly dress modifications

When Project Run and Play announced the Knot Dress from the Sewing Rabbit as the March challenge, I knew I wanted to play along. I actually bought the pattern as part of a sew fab pattern bundle a few years ago, but it was re-released as a free pattern last month. It hadn't been on the top of my sewing list simply because there are just so many things on my sewing list, but then Stella broke her arm (falling off the couch - so original) around the same time the challenge was posted.

You might be wondering why those events are connected, but I soon discovered that only tank tops would fit over her cast, and only a couple dresses. A dress that fastened at the shoulder? Perfect!

So I printed the pattern and picked out some fabric from the stash (flannel shirting from Joann's), and geared up to sew. I already knew I would omit the back cutout and knot to make it more Pacific NW spring weather appropriate, but then I completely changed my mind. I started thinking about the tulip sleeve from the Oliver + s Fairy Tale dress (blogged here), and the lapped shoulders from the Figgy's Sunki dress I just made. And couldn't stop thinking about it. The construction could be really fun. Plus, I felt like a short sleeve would be truly more weather appropriate. That's the wonderful thing about sewing, you get inspired and then adapt to your needs!

Check out that giant elbow on the cast. Not sleeve friendly!
So I traced some pattern pieces and adapted them, added some snaps to the shoulder and added the knot dress skirt. The shoulders could probably use a couple buttons to keep from pulling up as you can see in the picture, but I didn't have anything just right in my button jar, so that'll have to wait for the next Joann's trip. I had to slim down the knot straps so they would work in thick flannel (found that out after securely sewing them to the skirt at midnight last night), and rounded the corners so they looked better with the rest of the dress. Flannel was not the most fun fabric to sew this in, but it's really comfy!

Love that tulip sleeve!
It's extremely twirly (thank you selvage to selvage skirt pieces) so Stella LOVES it.

You know it's twirly enough when it shows your undies.

The sun came out and I didn't adjust my settings so this photo is overexposed, but this is the best front view.
If you'd like to know in more detail how I made the dress, let me know in the comments and I'll write
up some more details and post some in-progress pics.

I've loved looking through the linky party. So many great creations!

If you'd like to see more of my creations, make sure to Follow my blog with Bloglovin (or the email option on the sidebar). I love bloglovin! It's an incredibly simple way to quickly keep up with a ton of awesome blogs.

This post is linked up over at:

Pattern review: Sunki dress by Figgy's

I bought the paper version of Figgy's Sunki dress and leggings on sale when Fabric Stash remodeled their website and became Urban Sew. I've purchased fabric from them a few times and I'm always happy with the price and quality. A portion of their sales goes to foster kids! (I'm not an affiliate, promise, just like their store and story.)

Then it sat. I took it out from time to time, wondering what fabric to use. One night I read the directions for a little bedtime reading.

Finally, inspiration struck and I realized the modern lines would perfectly balance out the almost too cutesy stretch denim I bought at Joann's over a year ago. Then I looked through my stash to find the right solid to colorblock the shoulders with (because there would be upside-down hearts due to the neat lapped shoulder construction and that wouldn't do) and rediscovered this awesome neon pink. And then the Monday before Valentine's Day, I realized I was making a dress with hearts on it and should hurry up and get it done.

But, I got sick and lost all ability to be productive. Wah wah wah (that's me making an annoying crying sound). The dress got finished on the Sunday after Valentine's Day, but it ended up working out because it's too big! I'm putting it away in her box of too-big clothes for next Fall.

Stella definitely had to be bribed to put it on for pictures. Her comments about it were: "It doesn't twirl." "Why did you put hearts on it?" (Because I thought she's love them), and "Can I wear the new twirly skirt you made for me now?"

PatternSunki Dress by Figgy's patterns

Sizing: Chest and hip measurements fell in the 2/3 (barely), but height fell in the 4/5 range. Usually I would cut the width of the pattern pieces to the 2/3 lines and length to the 4/5 lines or add length in the middle to accommodate my daughter's long torso, but I couldn't wrap my sinus-congested brain around how to do that with these pattern pieces. So somehow I thought just sizing up to a straight 4/5 would work. Silly me.

Long story short, I made a 4/5 and added 7/8" in length by adding a hem facing.

Material used: Stretch denim from Joann's and quilting cotton from my stash.

Notions needed: A zipper and thread. I also used double-sided interfacing for the applique hearts.

Appropriately rated: No rating. The instructions were pretty good for a Figgy's pattern, so I think an adventurous beginner could handle it.

Time spent: 5-6 hours after I finally started? Pretty fast.

Modifications: I wanted an exposed zipper, so I followed this tutorial. It was my first! I'll try a different tutorial next time (maybe this one, or this one) as I wasn't very happy with the results.

As previously mentioned, I didn't want to have upside down hearts so I colorblocked the shoulders, and I added a hem facing to add length.

Also, I added a couple appliqued hearts to the hem because the dress told me too.

Comments: I'm not sure how I feel about the dress. It has some really interesting features (pleated sleeves, side panels with pockets and lapped shoulders) and looked lovely on the hanger. I think I will like it better when it actually fits her! Also, this will be a cool pattern for when the girls are older and out of the twirly dress phase.