Thursday, February 12, 2015

UFO number 2- the Sally Shirtdress

Good evening, I don't think that I ever defined what an UFO is in my last post (a large cross-section of my readers are non-sewistas- hi mom!- and therefor might have been scratching their heads).  An UFO is an unfinished object.  In this case- it's my second oldest UFO.  I am fuzzy when exactly I cut it out, but I think fall/winter 2013, as I bought the fabric on my day trip to Nizhny Novrogorod, which was August 2013.  The pattern was bought on one of my trips back to the homeland of Kansas, so either sometime in 2012 or September 2013. Hmmm, I wish my memory was better....
Moving on,  the pattern is the Sally Shirtdress by Serendipity Studio.   Found here.  The fabric is a super dark grey (almost black) wool pinstripe, found at that random fabric store on a day trip to the middle of BFE Russia.  The fabric is the same a one of my many Angelina Jolie inspired looks.  I honestly don't remember what size I cut, but likely looking back at the measurements it was a medium.
The pattern and most of the Serendipity Studio line is meant to be made with quilting cottons, I obviously ignore that for my love of pleats.  How it is put together was really interesting, and likely that is why I didn't finish it until now.  First- the collar has no stand, so you finish the placket edge and then sew on the collar.  It's likely not a collar option I will repeat.  Unless you interface the hell out of the fabric and/or use a fabric like quilting cotton, it will be a floppy-ish collar..
Second, not shown, is that the placket is folded over, but only once.  This creates a flappy placket (unless of course you interface it immensely).  I don't remember if the instructions have you fold under a quarter-inch to finish it or to just serge it or had no information at all, but obviously, I chose a bias binding finish in hot pink to play off the gray.

My third meh about the pattern was the length.  It's slightly above knee, so it skewed a little juvenile to me.  You can add a band to make it below knee, but apparently past me didn't choose to do that.  
But, there were positives- the shoulders and the bust were a perfect fit straight out of the envelope.  The pleats were not marked, but you were told how to make them, so you just fit them to your waist.  Using the pinstripe made pleating even easier, as I adjusted the pleating to match the pinstripes.  Each pleat, except for the middle back, was three pinstripes wide with seven between them.  I marked a straight light at waist height and sewed them two inches above and two inches below.  If I were to make the again, I would sew it likely 1.5 inches above and two inches below. 
I used a color pencil to mark the pleats.  The light blue showed up extremely well.  And the pinstripes made it easy to make a straight line, but you can see that even I had to fix a line.  You can also see that I used french seams for all the seams.
Overall, I like the dress, but as one of my colleagues said today- it's rather utilitarian.  Even with the pink bias binding, I felt rather meh in it.  But, there was one saving grace.  You might have seen it in an earlier picture.

I'll let you look at another picture- goofy one right?  But it shows the....... new shoes!

 They're by Poetic License, which as far as I can tell is a sub-brand of Irregular Choice, but unlike my pair of those they are totally wearable.  The houndstooth doesn't photograph well, it is likely that they are slightly iridescent.  Which is a win in my book.
 They are also one of my favorite colors for shoes- oxblood.  Or if you're into Pantone's color of the season- marsala.  I looooove the deep rich red.  It is so much more wearable than true red.

 One last picture of the shoes.  They do really make me happy, I likely wear them out like my last pair of oxblood shoes.  Have you bought new shoes lately?  I've also bought a pair of straight black shoes and boots, but they are sitting in my office at work.  In the next couple of weeks I'll show them off.  Anyway, as you've seen my little photobomber in most pictures, I might as well show you one of him.  He's turning two tomorrow, amazing, I can't believe it's been so long.
He's playing in his early birthday present (he carried it out of the car when I brought it home from work- oops!)  Hopefully, even with his party and extra play time, I'll have time to sew the Rooibos dress this weekend.  Anyway, until next time, happy sewing!


  1. You've executed it really welland it fits nicely. And I love it with the shoes. Maybe a red belt is the way to less meh :-)

  2. I really like the fit on this. The great thing about "boring basics" like this is that they're a great showcase for killer accessories, like those great shoes and maybe a colorful scarf. I really need to make myself a plain black dress to wear all my great necklaces with!

  3. It is a nice fit and maybe the neutral color will make it easy to accessorize and wear. I too like those pleats! Pleats are pretty amazing. Hurrah for another finished UFO!

  4. Its a shame you are not crazy about this dress, I think it's great and it fits you perfectly. And like "Livingincolorblog" says accessorize with colour and they'll zing against this dark background.