|I swear this isn't actual Seattle formal!|
|I love plaid!|
I lucked out with this plaid as its balanced which made cutting it out a bit easier while lining up the pattern pieces. I had “Spinal Tap” on Tivo and turned it up to 11 while fussing over how I wanted the plaid to line up. I cut the center inset on the bias to avoid it only matching partway and to add some visual interest. I basted it to another piece cut along the grain to avoid it getting stretched out. I totally forgot to think about where the diamonds would be placed but they ended up in the perfect location but more on the later.
|Tip: Wear a slip to avoid flannel sticking to tights|
Construction was pretty straight forward although like usual I decided to sew the sleeves in flat – I’ll do just about anything to avoid setting in a sleeve. Next time I’ll probably interface the facing, it doesn’t say to do it in the instructions but a looser fabric like flannel could benefit with some added structure. I topstitched ¼” around the neckline to help stabilize it and now it mostly lies flat.
|Obligatory awkward pose showing pattern matching|
I pulled my walking foot out for the first time to help match up the plaid and loved how well it worked. I will never use anything else to at least baste plaids or stripes together! For a while now I’ve thought it would be a useful addition to my machine foot collection but wasn’t sure how much I would use it since I don’t quilt. (Actually I’ve been meaning to try it out for a few years but garment sewing keeps getting in the way!) I ended up getting a super cheapo generic version to try out since I wasn’t sure how much I would use it and they’re kinda pricey. If my current one breaks I now know it’s worth replacing with a name-brand foot. My plaid matching on the side seams turned out awesome if I do say so myself. Even on the invisible zipper side.
|More pattern matching|
I shortened the sleeves a bit using the plaid as my guide to get everything lined up. I hunted through my button stash and wasn’t happy with the black or white ones that I found. They both just looked “eh… ok” on the bodice but liked how some bronze ones looked despite being the wrong size. So I wore the dress to Thanksgiving dinner sans buttons.
BTW: I sewed half this dress with navy thread and half with black... I think. All due to poor lighting and the fabric disguising almost all stitching. Good thing I didn't need to rip any seams out - they're practically invisible.
|4 diamonds + 4 buttons = perfect placement|
Later on after the Black Friday shopping frenzy I found some bronze buttons in the correct size to add. This is when I realized that the plaid on the bias formed perfect diamonds that screamed to have a button in the middle of each. So I didn’t even bother lining up the buttons with my simflex, I just eyeballed the center of the four diamonds and cheered that it suggested four buttons. A few minutes later my dress was completely done.
|Who says there's no sparkle to grunge?|
I’m really happy with my finished dress. It’s warm and cozy, honors my Seattle roots with a nod to French girl style. It’s a little bit looser than I was thinking, but that’s most likely due to the flannel. (I have a flannel Alma that fits looser than others made of more tightly woven fabric.) As a bonus since the plaid includes navy, black and brown it goes with multiple colors of tights and boots. I wore brown the first time around but pulled out my hologram Doc’s for this photo shoot. For those days when you’re aiming for grunge formal. (I totally had a friend borrow these for prom one year!) I’m curious how Sureau will fit in a more stable fabric and already have other versions planned.