Friday, March 16, 2012

Pattern Runway Easy Kimono Short-Sleeved Dress

Well, it turns out today is a sunny day after all!  This morning I convinced Hubby to take some pictures before he left for work, which means you get to see more of my plain, grey wall!  I intentionally don't hang any pictures there because it seems to be the place in our house with the best light for taking photos.  I had really wanted to get outside and do the photos there, but time was of the essence.

In order not to spam the place with pictures of my new dress, I made a couple of collages on Picnik.  I'll be so sad when that service is not available any more;  so far it doesn't appear on Google+.  Big pouty face.

I did two looks:  a fancier one for going out in the evening, and a casual one for day.  I have SO many things in my closet that go with this dress, it was a little hard narrowing it down!  It appears I like coral.  A LOT.

First, the fancy look:


It's probably too small for you to see, but I've got on some high-heeled bronze leather slingback sandals, a bronze metallic braided belt, and plenty of gold jewelry.  The good thing about having the photos a little smaller is that you're spared seeing my veiny old-lady hands too closely.  I've had those old-lady hands since I was a teenager.  Sigh.

Here's a back view.  In the photo on the left, notice that the facing is flipping out a little.  The pattern has you tack the facings to the dress at the shoulder and just under the arm, rather than stitching it all the way around.  It mostly stays put, so I'm not really sure why it's flipping here.  You may also notice that I got about 8" of hair cut off!  Today it's in its natural "wild child" state, since I was in a hurry.


Moving on the the casual look, I took off the heels and jewelry and added a scarf and some bronze metallic leather flip flops.  I actually prefer this look!


I like the center photo:  I'm looking at a big dust bunny on the floor!  Maybe a little less knitting and sewing, and a little more housework is in order?

So, do I like the dress?  Yes, I like it.  I LOVE the color and the feel of the silk.  My workmanship is still not as fine as I'd like though.  This silk twill was easier to work with than some of the others I've used, but it's clear I still have a way to go before I master silk.

I used the step-by-step tutorial on Pattern Runway's site.  Odd that someone who loves words as much as I do will generally choose to just look at the pictures rather than read the instructions!

The only thing I did differently from the pattern was to add a casing for the elastic, rather than sew it onto the seam allowance on the inside.  But now I'm wondering if that was a good idea - the gathers tend to shift when I move very much, and not always in a figure-flattering way.

So there you have it.  I was so glad to get this off my guest bed after looking at it in its half-finished state  for the last two weeks.  And if this weather keeps up, I may even get to wear it soon!  But not today:  it's laundry day again!

35 comments:

  1. OH MY GOD I LOVE IT! Gail, it looks awesome on you - casual and elegant at the same time. I also really like the coral & gold combo. This one is a winner!

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    1. Thank you, Andrea! I think I like it even more now, since it has the Stitch Parade seal of approval! ;-)

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  2. I love it too and am in awe at just how multi-talented you are! You look just right for spring and I didn't even notice your ol' veiny hands! Ha, you are funny! You dear Gail are beautiful! :)

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  3. And I was right! The dress and color look gorgeous on you. It's such a great spring/summer dress.

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    1. Thanks, Mela! You've been knocking it out of the park too lately!

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  4. Both looks are great ... and to me, the fancy and casual can easily be worn in exchange for the other. Hmmm, I think you need to make another one of these, perhaps in a graphic print?

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    1. I will probably make this again :-) I think it could also be done in knit of gauze for beach wear!

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  5. Woo hoo! You are ready for every occasion now! Lovely! :D

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    1. Or rather . . . all dressed up and nowhere to go! LOL!

      I may be trying the Souvenir blouse soon - got some fabric yesterday!

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  6. This is sooo lovely, I love the subtle sheen of the silk. And I also love your styling! Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Jo! It does have a really lovely sheen. I wish this one came in more colors. But if only one color is available I'm glad it's this one!

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  7. cuteness! so springy and fun

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  8. Very cute and elegant, and such a gorgeous coral color. It fits you perfectly, Gail.

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  9. I love this, Gail! The color and the cut are so beautiful on you! Your styling is great. I want to make another one now. Interesting about the casing. It's something that I've wanted to do on the next one I make but hadn't thought about the shifty factor.

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    1. Thank you for introducing me to Pattern Runway!

      I thought I was making it easier on myself with the casing, but I think I'll just bite the bullet and sew the elastic to the dress next time.

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  10. Yep! ! !
    Gorgeous ! ! !
    It's a casual fit, but fits the bill for either dressy or dreamily casual.
    This will remain a most-worn outfit the Spring-Summer-Fall, I'm betting.
    hugs
    Gerry

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    1. I hope so! Despite making all this stuff, you'll still mostly find me in jeans and t-shirts or yoga clothes! I guess I'm a process sewer as well as knitter!

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    2. Is that why there's a drawer chock full of shawls, most never worn. There's only two that I really grab, both the Multnomah Shawl.
      hugs

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  11. So beautiful! You've got such a great sense of style.

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    1. Thanks, Pam! What polish would you recommend?

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    2. I was just looking through my stash, saw Express Yourself to Yourself (the dumbest name ever thought of) from the $OPI Glee Collection, and thought it would look great with your dress! It's a very pretty, shimmery coral.

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    3. Oooh - I just looked at some swatches online of that one, and I have an OLD China Glaze that's very similar! Thanks for the tip!

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  12. Your dress is amazing !! I die !!!! The colour looks just great on you and you should be super dooper proud of this make. Just gorgeous ! xx

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    1. Thanks, Kirsty! We've got a mutual admiration society going on!

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  13. Ack!!!!! This is GORGEOUS! You look so beautiful in coral, and the style is perfect for you! I was afraid this dress might be a bit baggy and unflattering (just based on the line drawing), but it's perfectly feminine and modern! Love love love it!!

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    1. Thanks, Ginger! I think this style would look good on you too. As someone else said, it has an easy elegance. It's actually a pretty quick make too, if you're not fighting with your fabric.

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    2. I seriously can't get over how great this looks! Everything you wear should be this color! And you're a killer accessorizer!!

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    3. Don't encourage me! I think I can still get this fabric, and I've been trying to figure out what else I can make from it!

      And thanks - I feel like I have a hard time accessorizing, so it's interesting to me that you think I'm good at it!

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  14. Oh my goodness... while I was away from blogland (in workaholic and try-to-spend-some-time-with-your-family land) I missed this post!!! But WOW. This is wonderful! I've been thinking about making this dress ever since I put my hands on some really nice silk the other day. This is definitely making me tip in favor of buying and making the pattern.
    Great simple dress and it looks great on you. It's so nice to have some solid color "plainer" dresses that are easy to accessorize in different ways!

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    1. Thank you, Emilie! I did wear it to one of Hubby's work functions and I felt very pretty :-)

      I think you would enjoy this pattern. The construction is pretty simple and you can easily grade the skirt up. Even so, I learned a couple new techniques from the tutorial online that I've used in a lot of subsequent garments!

      I'd like to make it again, and when I do I'll insert the elastic in the manner recommended in the pattern. I made a casing, and my elastic tends to shift around. It's the only thing I'm less than thrilled with about this dress.

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  15. I'm just about to attempt this dress, but I'm not sure what size to cut. I'm right in the middle of two sizes. Did you make any alterations to the dress pattern (length, etc.)?

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    1. I didn't add any length (I'm on the short side) but I did cut a size small bodice, and for the skirt I graded from small at the waist to medium at the hip. I'd say which size you choose depends on the fit you like and the amount of blousiness you want. In general though, I think a little closer fit makes the dress feel more kimono-like and less sack-like.

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