Grainline Alder Shirtdress, Take 2

I liked my first stab at the Alder Shirtdress so much that I decided to make another one.

grainline alder shirtdress view b
Filed under Photos taken by my ex boyfriends.

Evan was a good sport and helped me take a bunch of pictures during our walk. Maybe too good a sport. He got kind of bossy.

grainline alder shirtdress, view b, size 2
“Move two steps to the left.”

This one is also made of cotton that I got in Sham Shui Po. The fabric looks like when you flick toothbrush bristles to spray paint everywhere. It also makes me think of somebody who’s just thrown up birthday cake. I like it!

grainline alder shirtdress, view b, size 2
The skirt poufs up if it catches the wind, but at least it doesn’t flip right up and expose you.

Sewing Notes

  • Raised the bust darts by about an inch.
  • Instead of trying French seams again, I used the sewing machine’s overedge stitch with the overedge stitch foot.
  • The overedge stitch foot is awesome! It’s great for topstitching.
  • Used this tutorial by Four Square Walls for the collar bit because reading through the Grainline sewalong tutorial still confuzes me. Sigh.
  • Accidentally put the topmost button at the top of the button band rather than on the collar stand… heh heh heh.

Next Time (And There Will Be a Next Time)

  • Raise the pockets by about an inch.
  • Make it in this black/white fabric that Mummy chose. It’ll look totally different, I’m sure.

MAKE IT! The pattern is amazing!

Grainline Alder Shirtdress

This post is about the Grainline Studio’s Alder shirtdress.

So I got really excited to do the Alder Sew-Along. Maybe a tad too excited, because I jumped the gun and made one before Jen finished posting all the tutorial thingies!

alder shirtdress view b
Knitting, biking, and eating junkfood at the park. My kinda day.

I made view B because I thought it might look more flattering than view A.

Alder Shirtdress View B, back view.
Alder Shirtdress View B, back view.

Note

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset
Riverdale Park!

Notes

  • I made a size 2 because it matched my measurements pretty much to a tee.
  • I tried to do French seams… and ended up having to fudge the bit around the pivot point (where the skirt fronts meet the front) because I had no idea what to do re: the French seams! I am looking forward to seeing suggestions from the sew-along about this.
  • I misread the bit about attaching the collar and nearly messed the whole thing up, but managed to fudge stuff around a bit. I think it looks okay because the fabric is so busy.
  • This is some cotton I got in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong.
  • These pictures are bad. Maybe I’ll post a better one later.

Simplicity 1880 Faux Wrap Dress

Here’s my first stab at Simplicity 1880. I made style B, the fake-wrap version.

Evan helped me take these pictures.

simplicity 1880 wrap dress
This dress went to Value Village. Hopefully somebody liked it enough to pay 99 cents for it.

I had made a muslin for this dress, which helped me determine that the waist was around 2 inches too high and the front gaped like mad (hooray for flatness). For the ~real~ version of the dress, I lengthened the bodice so the waist actually hit my waist, but I didn’t do a small bust adjustment. I should have!!!

back of simplicity 1880 wrap dress
Back of the wrap dress.

The result? The “wrap” neckline bit gapes quite a bit. I ended up sewing the overlapping pieces together to avoid, um, flashing the universe. But for future renditions of this dress I will definitely figure out how to do an adjustment.

I had done a sloppy job with the invisible zipper because I thought watching a 10-minute tutorial video would be too time-consuming. Ha! Another lesson learned. Feeling productive a couple days later, I unpicked the zipper and re-inserted it and now it looks much better! I mean, I spent so long on the dress anyway, so why was I willing to settle for the ugliness that was the zipper?

Not very flattering in hindsight. PASS.
Not very flattering in hindsight. PASS.

I made this dress out of cotton that I got in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong. Mummy picked out the fabric for me. Sham Shui Po is fabric HEAVEN!!!! Blocks of streets lined with shops filled with fabric swatches, and roadside stalls with fabric on bolts and rolls. Roadside stalls selling muslins and rows of shops selling buttons, zips, leather, and all kinds of other sewing bits and bobs.

Here are swatches of the other fabrics I got! At 35 HKD a yard (around 5 CAD)… how could I say no?!

Fabric Swatches from Yu Tex Company in Sham Shui Po.
Fabric Swatches from Yu Tex Company in Sham Shui Po.

I’d gone to Sham Shui Po by myself earlier but was not confident in my Cantonese skills to actually try buying anything. That, and I was scared they were all wholesalers. With Mummy’s help, we were able to determine that you have to order a minimum of 3 (or was it 5?) yards of fabric and then return to the shop to pick it up a couple days later.

Oh, and I learned how to slip stitch for the sash. Cool!

Rectangle Dress

This was my first attempt at, um, making up my own design. Basically I cut out two slightly-wider-than-me-sized rectangles, sewed them together (with French seams), bias-bound the neckline and armholes, hemmed the bottom, and made a tie belt. Oh, and I put in a pocket.

The fabric is from a thrifted bedsheet from Value Village.

i'm in ur neighbourhood wearing ur bedsheet
i’m in ur neighbourhood wearing ur bedsheet

After making that, I decided to make my twin sister Jessica and me matching dresses out of blue linen.

asian twins wearing matching dresses
Who wore it better? jk jk don’t answer that.
lion hitched to bicycle with pretty girl
I love this photo of Jess. This lion was hitched to a bicycle outside a dumpling restaurant in Beijing. Also I think she looks really pretty here.

 

Update: I have since given my dress to Diana because it is a bit too short for me.

Circle Skirt Dress

I don’t quite remember how but I came across this awesome video tutorial by Annika of the Pineneedle Collective and was inspired to make one of my own.

Ta-da!

circle skirt dress
Posing in front of a hilarious fountain in Beijing, 2014.

The bright blue exposed zip.

circle skirt dress zip
Check out the bright blue zip!

I think I refuse to ride a bike in anything other than a dress.

circle skirt dress on a bicycle
Circle skirts are great for cycling.

Sewing Notes

I fudged a bodice out of the Wiksten Tank pattern, used bias facings on the arms and neckline (as per the Wiksten tank) instead of lining it, and I left out the waistband.

The only thing is I regret not staystitching the waist of the skirt. It’s stretched out a little bit.Oh, and I wish I’d done a neater job with the zip. But it was really fun to make.

The End.

Wiksten Tank Dress with Elastic Waistband and Pockets

So after making a bunch of Wiksten Tanks (pics later), I bought some cool fabric thinking I’d make matching tank tops for my twin Jessica and me. My thought process behind choosing this fabric: we are pisces and her wardrobe is full of black, white, grey, and stripes. So I thought this might add a bit of colour. Um, a lot of colour.

fish swimming in pink, orange, and purple waves
UMMM what was I thinking???

Lucky for Jessica, I didn’t have enough of the fish fabric to make two tank tops. So I decided to make myself a dress instead. With an elastic waistband (because the dress looks like a mumu on me otherwise) and pockets (because I hate carrying a purse. In fact, I don’t really own one).

wiksten tank dress
Evan took this picture of me when we rode our bikes up to the bluffs. FUN!!! Filed under “Photos taken by ex boyfriends”

Mods

  • raised neckline by 3/4”
  • S in armholes, neck, but traced between XS and S for side seam
  • added pockets using this tutorial. (Next time adjust from 1/2″ to 5/8″ to match the 3/8″ seam allowance. I don’t know what I’m talking about here but I feel like I should remember this note for next time.)
  • added an elastic (made it up): cut out a bias casing from fabric, 3″ wide, as long as the dress. Sewed it along waistline.

Mistakes

sewed the dress upside down
LOL the fish are upside down.
  • the fish are upside down!!!! What was I thinking?
  • the bias tape facing at the neckline and armholes doesn’t lay flat. I think that next time for the first step I’ll sew it at a 1/4” seam allowance (instead of 3/8”) — is this an error in the pattern? I don’t know. Or use this tutorial from grainline for getting bias necklines to stay flat
  • the bunching of the fabric because of the elastic waist looks a bit awkward but I don’t really care that much.

NEXT TIME:

  • Try cutting the top part and the skirt part separately. Would eliminate some of the bunching.
  • Don’t cut fabric after midnight.