A Fading Summer Shift

(And here we go with my backlog of summer sewing posts. . . )

Hmmmm. . .

I don’t know how I feel about this dress.

Beware the wrinkles. Some of us are lazy.

Beware the wrinkles. Some of us are lazy.

The process of making it was both simple and complicated.

Here’s why it was simple:

1. Linen is super easy to cut and sew, and it presses beautifully.

2. I was using a pattern I’d already used before. I knew it fit, for the most part.

3. The pattern had few pieces to cut and even fewer to sew (front, back, done.).

Simplicity 1776

Here’s why it was complicated:

1. Cotton/rayon batiste hates me. It hates everyone. It refuses to do what it is told. And it grows in all directions as you handle it.

2. While the pattern was already tested, it hadn’t exactly been tested in a sleeveless version, so problems cropped up that were unexpected.

3. Determining how to sew on a lining for a sleeveless dress entirely by machine isn’t nearly as complicated as figuring out how to understitch that lining by machine without ruining your life.

Simplicity 1776

As you know, I’ve used this pattern before. After all that muslining, I really wanted to use it again quickly before I lost momentum. I saw this linen/rayon in Jo-Ann’s back in the spring; it instantly grabbed my attention. I wasn’t sure what to do with it for a long time and I determined not to buy it until I had a plan. (I wasn’t worried that they would sell out because 95% of the people who shop there are quilters and crafters who are uninterested in apparel fabric.) Finally, I decided to use the linen for another shift, this time sans sleeves. My original idea was to make it in time for my seniors’ graduation, but that didn’t happen.

Simplicity 1776

Going sleeveless isn’t quite as simple as just not using the sleeve pattern. You really have to re-think the shape of your arm hole. This is a thing I did not do. I didn’t even consider it until I was sewing. My solution was to use a much deeper seam allowance around the bottom of the arm hole. It was not the best plan. It works, but it would have been better to draft a separate pattern altogether.

Losing the sleeves also causes a bit of gaping at the back neck. I think one of my biggest regrets with this dress is that I didn’t scoop the back neckline as I’d envisioned. There is a very small chance that I may go back and fix that someday.

Simplicity 1776

Other than that, I guess I’m actually quite pleased with the dress! It’s fun with the floral that isn’t overwhelming because of the simple shape. It’s very comfortable; the fabric makes it excellent for hot, humid days.

Although, to be honest, the only true fix for humid days is to be in the water or in the air conditioning. There is no other cure.

Oh, hey, do you want to see something tragic???


Yeah. That happened as I was trying on the dress for the first time. Let it be known that I had already zipped and unzipped the dress a couple of times with no problems. But then, as I stepped in and tried to zip the dress up. . . bam. Luckily, I was still able to get myself out of the dress.

The only solution was to fuse on a bit of interfacing. Sigh. . .

What’s your worst sewing horror story? Mine ended semi-happily, but I’m sure there are others that. . . didn’t. (When you tell your story, make sure you hold the flashlight under your face for effect.)


2 thoughts on “A Fading Summer Shift

  1. At least your zipper trauma was on the inside – the first time I used a serger in high school sewing class, I was serging the fly shield of my already completed pants, and cut through the crotch! I don’t remember quite how I repaired them, it may have involved stitch witchery. But I had to wear them, they were part of my band uniform!

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