Monday, April 16, 2012

The Zebra Effect

My BFF loves zebras, and she's told me more than once about how their stripes keep them safe(r) from lions and the like:  when they run as a herd, the stripes create such visual confusion that the predators can't really pick any one animal to attack.

My new dress is a lot like that.


This is the Lisette Traveler Dress, view A.  I worked on this little by little over the last week, but did the majority of the sewing over the weekend.  And friends, it was not easy.  But only because of this cotton/poly seersucker I used.  My eyes just couldn't stay focused with all those stripes!

But the pattern itself was great!  This one has been on my list for quite a while, and I bought the fabric over two months ago.  I really love shirtdresses, but if you're curvy like me, you know that the RTW ones are not always suited to our shapes.  I was really excited to be able to make my own shirtdress, in a size that fit me.  I cut a size 10 on top, grading to a 12 in the hips.  In reality, I'm more like a 14 in the hips in Simplicity patterns, but my experience with them has been that they have a fair amount of ease, and at least with this pattern, it worked out for me.


It fits great, and on a day when I've washed my hair and put on some makeup, I'll put it on and take some pictures for you.

You probably can't tell, but this dress has four patch pockets:  two on the chest and two at the hip.  I won't lie: they were kind of tedious to make, but honestly, I can't imagine the dress without them.  Plus, now that allergy season is in full swing, I need a place to put my Kleenex.

No, I didn't even try to match up stripes!

I'm thinking that when I wear this for real, I'll pair it with that voile infinity scarf I made a couple weeks ago, and roll up the sleeves for a little more insouciance:


I like how the stripes and flowers look together:


I will be making this again for sure, in a fabric that won't fight with me.  In all these months of sewing, I've really only been using cotton and silk (with my first Jasmine being the only exception).  When I was prepping the fabric, after it came out of the dryer I was really excited because it was so wrinke-free!  (Well, except for the seersucker wrinkles that are supposed to be there.)  That should make this a pretty good traveling dress.  But after I cut it, man, did it fray!  Good thing Sergio was there to help me out with that.

In other news, I also did a fair amount of knitting over the weekend, but not on Miette!  I felt like I needed to get going on Winnie, because even though I told everybody to buy extra yarn for their Miette sweaters, I didn't buy any extra for Winnie!  (In my defense, I usually do buy extra, but I was already buying 9 balls, and I felt like that should really be enough for a short cardi.)  Anyway, after I finished the first front, it looked like my supplies were dwindling a little too fast.  So I powered through the second front and almost half the first sleeve, trying to gauge if I'll have to order some more.  But I think I'm going to be OK!

For the knit along, I know that Heidi has cast on, and I think by the time I publish, Jo will have too!  I'm really hoping to see some pictures other than mine on the Flickr group soon!  I think I won't need to do any more posts on it for a little while, until we get closer to removing the sleeves.  But if anyone has any questions they'd like me to address, please let me know!

29 comments:

  1. Ooh, this is so cute! I'm glad you were able to power through the stripey madness, cause this will be ADORABLE on you! This was the first pattern I bought on my own (ha-- I clearly had no idea how difficult sewing would be), and I haven't worked up the nerve to try it. Was it difficult? Buttonholes! Plackets! Collars! Sleeves! Oy vey!

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    1. Ginger ! Why do you feel you could you not make this ? You soo soo sooooo could ! :-) You made WEDDING outfits !!! (I could NEVER do that!) You can do it ! Lets see your version next xx

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    2. Oh my gah, the bridesmaid dresses nearly broke my brain! Oof!

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  2. Oh, and the stripes look AMAZING with that floral scarf-- great pairing!!

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    1. Thanks, Ginger! No, this is a pretty easy pattern. I totally think you can do it - it's easier than the dresses you did for the wedding I think! I actually enjoy doing buttonholes, and they're not a big deal if you practice. But it would also be great with those pearly snaps you pound on with a hammer, with the added bonus that you can strip super fast if you have to!

      Over the last few projects, I've learned that for me at least, the trick to getting sleeves set in well is to hand baste them first. That way I can sew them in with one smooth seam, instead of having to stop every couple inches to remove pins. It makes a big difference!

      And the collar on this one is easier than most, because the collar and collar stand are all one piece!

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    2. Oooh-- I think I HAVE to have a version with pearly snaps, now that you mention it! They're so cute!

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  3. Seersucker always makes me happy, and I love how it looks with this pattern. I can see how it would be difficult to focus on those stripes while sewing, though!

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    1. Me too - I LOVE seersucker, and when you add in oxford stripes, so much the better! But extremely tedious to work with! Before I started actually sewing, I was thinking to get some more in another color, but now I think not!

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  4. oh I love this pattern ! and your version looks to have done it proud ! I cant wait to see it on. I think you did a damn fine job of not lining up the lines, they look fab! Have you any tips for silk by the way ? I am trying to make up some silk pjs for the pyjama party but uh oh ! I am not having a good time of it ! :-) xx

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    1. Thanks, Kirsty!

      Silk jammies - mmmmmmmmmmmm! I wish I had some tips for silk, but sadly, I haven't been 100% successful with it, although I keep trying! I did buy finer needles - but then forgot to use them on my last silk project! Doh!

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  5. The stripes and the florals are wonderful together. I love a shirtwaist dress also and collect every pattern I can.

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  6. It's so classic! Looking forward to seeing you wear it :) It looks so simple and clean.
    p.s Good job sneaking the word "insouciance" in there. Haha :)

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    1. Hehe - now you think I'm smart, don't you!?!

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  7. You are so chic, I can hardly stand it! I also love the stripes/flowers combo. I'm excited to see you in this one!

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    1. Thank you! I'm really happy that it looks so good on, because I was a little sick of looking at that fabric while I was making it!

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  8. I am working on one this very day. I got the facings on one front side and had to quit. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish cause I want to wear mine right. now!!
    I was excited to see yours pop up in my reader today. It looks great, and I love the scarf with the seersucker. I've had that fraying experience with seersucker as well. It can be a total BEAR!! But it's oh, so cute!

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    1. Ohhhhh, I'll look forward to seeing yours too! I keep trolling Flickr for finished versions, looking for more fabric ideas. I still can't get the idea of white/flax seersucker out of my head. I can't even believe I'm considering it after this one, but it would be so cute!

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  9. Oh this is going to look darling on you. I love stripes even if they don't always love me back :)

    I got my yarn! I got my yarn! I will be working on some swatches today! Can you tell I'm excited!

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    1. I think this was my first stripey thing to sew. Knitting stripes is a whole lot easier!

      Yay for getting your yarn! Looking forward to seeing your swatches!

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  10. KAL- I am on row 14! It was a little rocky at the beginning as there are a couple of stitches that are new to me (kfb and m1). But I think I'm on a roll now. I will try to take some pics today. I want to be sure I get to row 25 before you leave because I don't understand the instructions ;)

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    1. Wow, you are zooming through! You're catching up with me! I guess I'd better get cracking!

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  11. This Traveler is going to be a staple in your wardrobe. I love this style and - - - dare I say it. It's practical. Pockets are a must have. I could wear this shirtdress day after day.
    And in seersucker to boot ! ! !

    Love it ! ! !

    hugs

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    1. Thanks! I love that it's practical! I may not even have to iron it - woot!

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    2. Oooh, please don't flatten the puckers LOL

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  12. I love your dress and I've always loved seersucker. Last year I bought my husband and son seersucker golf pants and shorts and they wore them all summer! Wah, I wish I was knitting Miette with you guys. I raided my stash and did not have any yarn the right gauge and just felt wrong to buy some. I can't wait to see all the FOs.

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    1. I think we're going to be doing this for a while, so you can join us later if you want to!

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  13. You and me both, on the kleenex part of spring...

    Hey, when you get a chance to take those photos of you wearing the dress I'd love to feature you on the Lisette blog for one of our Wear Your Style Friday posts. Your dress looks terrific, and I think people would love to hear about it if you'd like to write a few sentences about the dress, your choices, etc. Email me at liesl (at) lieslandco (dot) com if you're interested, ok?

    Great dress!

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    1. Thanks, Liesl! It may be a while - it's not showing much likelihood of warming up soon - but I'll send you a note once I wear it "for real!"

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