Robert Kaufmann Shetland Flannel in red with its subtle texturing really shows off in this simple dress. A simple warm dress in flannel, that is what it was supposed to be. My first Geranium Dress. Only I found ways to complicate it. Getting up a couple of hours early I managed to nearly turn the previously cut pieces into a dress, but just as I had attached the bodice to the skirt it was time to go. My husband and I had our monthly Pathfinder session at our local game store. Well, the instructions said that the interior of the bodice could be hand stitched. That could happen right after I hand finished the back seam. Leaving a line of black topstitching down the back of the dress seemed a crude thing to do, particularly after I’d gone to the trouble of top stitching the neckline and the sleeves/armholes to keep the fabric from shifting which complimented the design lines nicely. That straight line down the back would have been distracting. Into my bag went needle, thread and dress. While we played I folded under and finished the back seam, stitched the bodice down and the went ahead and hemmed the bottom since I had time and materials.
It was probably a good thing that buttons had yet to be selected. I hate buttonholes. Not because they are at all difficult, but because of the little frayed edges left after you open a machine stitched buttonhole. Perfectionist, I am not, but those frayed edges bug me. I’ve recently done a few hand stitched buttonholes. The results are great and they actually take me less time than machine stitched buttonholes. Plus, I can do them when the kids are around. Somehow this dress wanted more.
I’d been looking a little at bound buttonholes for an eventual coat project and Seamwork magazine had a tutorial on triangle bound buttonholes. In all honesty, the tutorial left a lot to be desired. The instructions are occasionally vague (how big should the fabric be?) the finishing techniques are sloppy in the way I’ve seen in many Seamwork patterns and the basic matching up of photos instructions left things like “…first fold the top down, then fold the lip back.” next to pictures that some type of vertical fold… My past experience with origami and a knack for spatial relations allowed me to figure out what was supposed to happen, so yes the article was helpful and useful, but it’s lack of clarity was disappointing. It would have been nice if it had also covered how to achieve the effect in a lined area as well. Still I couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn a new skill.
A quick aside: If you are not a subscriber to Seamwork magazine, you may not know that three magazine pattern credits can now be traded one Colette PDF pattern.
The Moment of Truth
Once again not tossing my scrap box has paid off. Thinking black would be a great contrast fabric from buttonholes I thought of the black dupioni from last year’s Holiday Washi and found pieces of both the dupioni and Shetland flannel were right on top of my scrap pile. Practice pieces galore and enough dupioni for my button holes. More care with lining up the buttonholes would be good for next time. It might look nice with the middle buttonhole triangle pointing in the opposite direction next time too. Not quite satisfied with my newly complicated buttonholes, with four strands of DMC310 I created quick lazy daisy stitches at each buttonhole corner.
Feeling super pleased, I now want to go back and add piping to the neckline and do some embroidery in black along the front neckline. What else could I do to complicate it?
I want to be a two year old with a fancy new holiday dress. My holiday dress options are as follows.
Option 1: still needs me to finish PDF assembly, trace the pattern, do alterations, and muslin it and probably do more alerations, before I can maybe make one with my fashion fabric. Then I’ll find out if I like it. I don’t think that will happen in the two days during which I will have sewing time before the holiday party.
Option 2: I have a custom made dress that didn’t turn out quite right (if I had a second set of breasts below the first it’d fit great.) and may be salvageable.
Option 3: Recycle the dress I wore 2 years ago. Which it now occurs to me may not fit after all of the weight loss this year.
Yep, I like the idea of being 2 again. I could just show up in a stained onsie with peanut butter and boogers on my face and everyone would think I’m adorable.