Thursday, May 14, 2015

Snakeskin Southport Dress

Mixed Emotions Blog - True Bias Southport Dress

This is the True Bias Southport dress in a snakeskin print that looks smudged, or melted, or tie-dyed, I'm not sure... I love this style of dress for summer, and I made something similar last year. The vintage McCall's had ridiculous instructions though, and it was unnecessarily complicated to assemble. When I saw the Southport dress, I guessed it would be less of a hassle to sew and it definitely was, and the instructions are very clear as far as I can tell (I didn't use them throughout). I made a few fit and style changes however.

Mixed Emotions Blog - True Bias Southport Dress
I muslined the bodice after reading Coco's comment on needing to do a hollow chest adjustment which is an alteration I often need to do as well. I did have an issue with the way the neckline sat on me. Let me try to explain. If you lay the front and back bodice of the Southport dress over each other, matching center front and center back, the shoulder seams match as well. For me, it's better for the back shoulder to be a bit further away from center back. So when you sew front and back together, this allows for a bit more ease in the back than in the front. So I modified the pattern accordingly and I find it perfectly comfortable this way. I made a sketch so you can see what I mean and I hope it makes sense (the dotted line shows the front bodice).


 I also found the bodice was too big in the underarm area. The excess was all in the front so I took a wedge out from the side seams of the front bodice, removing about 2cm at the underarm.

Mixed Emotions Blog - True Bias Southport Dress

As you can see, I skipped the button band in front. I think it's a really nice feature and surely would like to use it next time around,  but I didn't think it would work out too well in this very soft rayon fabric. And I used self bias binding instead of the bias tape facing the pattern instructs you to use (I first removed the seam allowance from the neckline and armscye for this).

Mixed Emotions Blog - True Bias Southport Dress

The pattern comes with with two skirt options, one maxi and one mini. I used the pattern for the long skirt, which is more A-lined than the short one, but shortened it to knee length.

Mixed Emotions Blog - True Bias Southport Dress

Finally, instead of one long drawstring, I cut two separate 50 cm pieces, and then connected them with a 50 cm length of flat elastic. I think drawstrings work better this way: they stay in place better and have more give.

Mixed Emotions Blog - True Bias Southport Dress

I'm very pleased with this dress and expect to wear it a lot this summer. The weather has been so chaotic lately, I wish it would settle down so I could wear my pretty dresses!

Mixed Emotions Blog - True Bias Southport Dress

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Floral Shirtdress - McCall 6600

Mixed Emotions - McCall 6600
I love shirtdresses: they are so versatile! You can dress them up or down, button them all the way, or part of the way, or wear them entirely unbuttoned as long jackets. The sleeves provide sun protection, but can be rolled up for a more casual look. I could easily envision a closet full of shirtdresses, in all types of fabrics and for every occasion. Add a cardigan, and you're set!

Mixed Emotions - McCall 6600

Blue and green are one of my favorite color combinations and I fell for these deep, rich colors. The blue is a bit purply, which I think makes it even more interesting. Bright, happy colors are wonderful for spring, but I also love wearing DARKER shades because they are unexpected and add a bit of drama. However deep in hue, this cotton fabric is very lightweight, so it feels nice and airy.

Mixed Emotions - McCall 6600
I've made this pattern BEFORE and I love the fit and style. This time I wanted it to button all the way down, so I added a button band. It's more like a shirt this way.


The pattern comes with a rather wide sash, but I feel more comfortable wearing slimmer belts. So I made a very long narrow sash that I can wrap twice around my waist. I can also wear the dress unbelted for maximum comfort.

Mixed Emotions - McCall 6600

I also added side-seam pockets, which I reinforced with bar-tacks.



With these few changes, I think I've come pretty close to my ideal shirtdress. Now I need to make more! I love the feeling of having one type of garment that is such a no-brainer, I could wear it every day for the entire season. It makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning. What's your go-to garment?

Mixed Emotions - McCall 6600