deviled egg emery dress

by Nicole on July 14, 2014

Oh, hi! I made a summer party dress! I have received more compliments on this dress than any other thing I’ve made. The first day I wore it, a girl did a double-take in the bathroom at work and told me, “That is super cool.” The second day I wore it, I got stopped by a group of girls at a coffee shop who wanted to know where I got it, and when I told them I made it, they begged me to sell them (not gonna happen, selfish sewist over here). When I wore it grocery shopping, a male Central Market employee told me it was incredible. And I pretty much agree with all of them, because I LOVE this dress.

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Let’s talk about the obvious part first….THE FABRIC! Eggs are my favorite food, so much so that I have seriously considered an egg tattoo for the past, like, FIVE years but cannot settle on a design or placement. So as soon as I saw this deviled egg fabric, I had to have it. I bought it online from Hart’s Fabric and it was awesome to sew with. The cotton feels great, isn’t too stiff or heavy, and has a tiny bit of stretch which makes it really comfortable to wear. (I also bought onion slices! and machine gun babes! at the same time, but I haven’t sew them up yet because I can’t decide on patterns.)

This dress was my first crack at the Emery dress pattern, which I modified to make sleeveless, with a lower front and a much lower back. Also, I live in Austin, Texas, and it’s summer, and since I also take the do-not-line-summer-dresses-in-Texas approach, I nixed the lining and opted for bias tape instead.

Want to see the back? Of course you do!

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In the summer, I seriously haaaaate sleeves and fabric touching my upper-back. And I’ve loved seeing everyone’s Netties lately, so I decided to see if I could make Emery lower in the back. And it worked pretty well, if I say so myself. I used my French curve to draw the new neckline (backline? whatever, you know what I’m talking about), and then added in two darts at my shoulder blades to bring the fit in. The left side is slightly loosier/gapier because my left shoulder is slightly lower and so I really should have taken that shoulder seam in a little more, but oh well.

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Let’s talk fitting, yeah? Before my first muslin, I did a 2.5″ FBA to the size 14, redrew the neckline/backline, and raised the armhole slightly since the dress was drafted for sleeves. For my second muslin, I added the darts in back, took out some excess fabric above the bust, and decided to sew the side seams at 3/8″ instead of 5/8″ since my first muslin was a little snug. After the second muslin, I decided I was good to go, but before I made up the real thing, I added an inch of length to the front and back bodice since I felt the waistline was maybe a tad high.

AND NOW I KIND OF HAVE NO IDEA IF I SHOULD HAVE MADE SOME OF THOSE CHANGES. First, I can’t tell if the waistline is now too low, and so I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t have added that extra inch. Or is the waistline too high?!?! Seriously, I can’t figure it out on this one. Also, maybe I should have stuck with 5/8″ on the side seams, because now the dress feels a little too loose after I wear it for a few hours.
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But also…I think I need to suck it up and learn the real way to address my fitting issues. Any fitting I’ve done in the past has basically been: make a muslin, pinch out gapey areas until it looks good, transfer changes to flat pattern, make another muslin. So I really don’t know what my fitting issues are, but I’m starting to suspect the following: swayback, since my waistline always seems to sit lower in the back than in the front; hollow chest, since there’s always a bunch of extra fabric above my bustline; uneven shoulders, because one side always looks great, while the other side always has wrinkles; perhaps a little forward shoulder/rounded upper back, because something weird is always going on in that area, especially when I make things with sleeves, and I haven’t quite figured it out yet. So maybe one of these days I should make a sloper so I can really try to understand my fitting issues, but let’s face it…I HAVE TOO MANY PATTERNS I NEED TO SEW FIRST. So my haphazard adjustments will have to do for now.

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Anyway, let’s talk more about why I love this dress. POCKETS, of course. I really liked how they were secured in the waistline of the dress. Every other time I’ve made something with pockets, they’ve just been these flappy bags that I’m afraid to put more than a chapstick in for fear of stuff falling out. These don’t feel floppy at all, although I kinda wish they were a little deeper because my cell phone peeks out and I still kinda worry about it falling out.wpid-20140713_124848.jpg

I also love the versatility of the pattern. It can be made up in a crazy fabric like this for a really cute casual dress, or it could be made up in something much nicer to wear to board meetings at work.

And I love what a simple, well-drafted pattern it is. It can easily be customized a ton of ways. I know a lot of sewists have basically started using this as their sloper, and that might be something I explore in the future, as I definitely plan on making more in the future. wpid-20140713_124930.jpg
All in all, I love this dress. It’s cute, it’s comfortable, and it’s great for summer frolicking.

If you’re wondering what summer frolicking looks like, apparently it looks like this:

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(Actually, that’s what it looks like when I ninja-kick around the yard because I can’t think of any more poses.)

A bit of housekeeping…Let’s be real. A conclusion post about my May creative challenges is probably not gonna happen. So now that I’ve got that off my back, hopefully I’ll just do a better job of updating this space with fun things, instead of feeling obligated to post about stuff I don’t really feel like posting about.

Gif Party!

by Darius on June 2, 2014

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update on may creative challenges

by Nicole on May 20, 2014

May is a little more than halfway over, so I thought I’d give a quick update on my creative challenges for May.

Me-Making-May is going…ooookaaaayyyyy. I definitely have NOT been sewing every day, but I think I’m okay with this. I used to be a serious all or nothing, black & white, thinker, and it’s something I’ve been working hard to overcome. That kind of thinking definitely puts me into a manic-depressive cycle–I’m on top of the world when I’m productive and doing everything the “right” way, but then I feel like I suck at life when I don’t do everything I feel like I’m supposed to be doing. So admittedly, perhaps challenges like this aren’t really good for me, as they can sometimes make me feel stressed instead of inspired. So, I’ve kind of flaked on the every day thing, but at least I’m feeling a little more inspired to get in my sewing room and just sew. I’ve finished two t-shirts, which I know seems like nothing, but I’m a slow sewist in general, but especially with knits because they’re so new to me.

I’ve been taking pictures pretty consistently for my Meals of May, but I can tell you I am REALLY starting to get sick of taking pictures of every meal, especially breakfast. I honestly just hate taking ugly pictures without natural light, so I really only like my dinner pictures. But still, it’s been really fun to look back and see what I’ve been eating, even if I have discovered that I eat waaaaaaaay too many tacos. I think at the end of the month, I’ll compile some statistics breaking down the types of things I ate, just because it seems fun to do.