Thursday, 9 October 2014

SEWN: INDIGO ALDER

 

We thought we'd never get there (that's the royal "we"), but good god we've done it!

If you read my last post where I lamented my complete and utter lack of sewing time of late you'll understand the delay in this. It's been something like 10 weeks since I started! I got off to a flying start with the sewalong, but it all went pear-shaped and I've only just picked it up again and finished it off.

Check it. Like. A. Boss


If you follow me on Instagram (go on, you know you want to), you'll have seen me post on my most amazing topstitching. Truly - it is amazing. Well on the pockets anyway. That collar stand leaves a lot to be desired.


This was my first proper collar having only sewn the Negroni shirt previously which has a "camp" collar. And let's not even talk about my pirate clown shirt distaster (sob, it still bites).

After reading through Jen's instructions for attaching the collar (which I'm sure are impeccable to the average person but made my brain bleed with my inability to decipher what the hell was going on there) I decided to follow Andrea's tutorial "Sewing a Collar: A Different Order". This tutorial comes highly recommended throughout blogland and I can see why. It does make more sense to brains like mine.

I have to say though I still had a bee-atch of a time with finishing the front edges of the collar stand. You can see the fraying edge of the stand seam allowance poking through. No matter what I did I couldn't solve this - I tried leaving a decent seam allowance as advised by Andrea and when that didn't work, trimmed it back a bit. But good lord that edge is impossible to finish cleanly when topstitching through about four layers of denim, one of which is interfaced. Any advice peeps?


I cut a straight size 6, choosing my size based on my intention to conduct a 1" SBA. I totally did not think about the front shoulder seam being forward though and when checking the bust dart point I lined up the top edge of the pattern with my actual shoulder line. The marked dart very suspiciously lined up well with my bust point. I should have trusted my gut. I had to adjust the bust point up for my Tiny Pocket Tank and would have expected to need to do so with this and any other Grainline pattern. Bugger. Those dart points are at least 2 inches too low, but thankfully the pockets cover that faff up. Will fix for next time.

I also wonder if I couldn't raise the armscye a bit too. Looking at that photo above, whilst it's not revealing my bra or anything, it does seem a bit too deep.



Nice fit across the back, but perhaps could size down a little??

In general, it was a beautifully drafted pattern with everything lining up just perfectly. I love that.

The instructions were brief, but adequate. I would advise that the sewalong posts are well worth looking at as they give other very useful hints and tips of value to even experienced crafters.

In the end I adore my new dress. I can see it on high rotation during the coming warm months and transitioning to cooler times with the addition of tights, boots and a cardigan.

And there are definite (maybe) plans to get started on the gathered View B, but maybe with the v-neck variation...

In the meantime, I'm a very happy camper.

27 comments:

  1. So glad you finished this! My advice for the collar is to make some tiny handstitches to hold the frayed edge. If it won't conceal the bad edge, then make it a satin stitch around the bad part, nice and neat and call it a design feature. It will wear better than a frayed edge. :)

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  2. I'm sure you'll get a lot of wear out of this one, it looks great!

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  3. Bam! J, this is FIERCE! So glad to see it finished for you- well worth the effort, you rockstar!

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  4. Woohoo! Yep, I can see this one being a real workhorse. Don't be too hard on yourself about your topstitching- I have a heck of I time with it too. By the way, I love your button choice, they're a perfect compliment to the denim. I can spend just as long trying to choose buttons as on sewing a garment :p

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  5. Wow, I think it looks perfect! I didn't think I needed this pattern, but now I'm not so sure . . .

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  6. Looks amazing. It's been ages since I've seen a great denim dress. I love this. I too, hate sewing collars...I'm yet to sew one breezily and perfectly....they are always such a fiddly bundle of stress for me. I mostly do them the way you mention since learning that way from a vintage shirt pattern. It makes so much more sense.

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  7. Oh I hate a collar as well, it never seems to go well... but hey, who notices when you look as fab as this and the top stitching on those pockets is perfect! I love the fit and don't think you need to tinker with it at all. Go forth and make the gathered one now!

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  8. Love it Jillian!!! Looks beautiful, I'm amazed by the level of finishing. The topstitching is just perfect ... now I'm off to check that collar tutorial ;)

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  9. Ugh, collars. And yes a very big bundle of stress. Luckily I am not a shirt girl at all, so my next collar could be a long way away. I'm obsessed with denim, and it presses like a dream!

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  10. I can see this on you Gail! Go forth and buy...

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  11. Thanks Jenny, I knew what type of button I wanted from the start, and luckily found them in the third shop I searched. Love a match made in heaven!

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  12. Like. A. Boss. Makes me a feel a bit of a rockstar :)

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  13. Thanks Nilla, I can see myself wearing it until it literally falls off me!

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  14. That's great advice and I will give it a go Christy. By the way I love both your versions. You make and wear a shirtdress well!

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  15. that denim is gorgeous! fantastic job on the topstitching too. collars... if you don't do them frequently, they just don't go together quickly. i've done many, and it still takes me an hour from start to finish! i think yours came out just fine, wear it proudly!

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  16. Thanks Myra. And go girl, go! You can get that project finished

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  17. Yeah, the collar is pretty good, especially for a first one. And I'm wearing it proud as we speak!

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  18. Fab-u-lous! All round awesomeness. I have yet to attempt a proper collar but on my list of sewing "must conquers" — I'll book-mark your tutorial link!

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  19. Naw thanks Alex. You know I have no real drive to conquer "things" in sewing. I don't see sewing as a mountain to conquer or overcome. I like sewing easy stuff, and I'm good with that. But if collars are something you want to wear then the tutorial is a must read!

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  20. Oh it looks wonderful! I wish mine looked as glamorous all loose and drapey! Yeah the collar stand is hard work in denim. My top stitching was totally dodgy and I was regretting doing it in white at that point! I like the idea of a collarless ruffle bum version.....

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  21. Thanks Sarah. It's weird, I don't always look ok in loose silhouettes, but this one has enough structure in the denim to work on my body I think. And whilst I did not like doing the collar, looking at the photos I think it adds some visual "bulk" to my top half to balance my pear-shape. I may end up doing it again on that ruffle bum version ;)

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  22. Just found this link - another collar stand trick......
    http://sunnygalstudio.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/cotton-blouses-with-variations.html

    Sadly came to conclusion on Sunday my alder just doesn't fit properly. Am cannibalising for a denim Beignet and sizing up for version 2.... So sad!

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  23. Hello, I have just found your blog, and I love it. Especially this dress, great colour.

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  24. Thanks for the link! So sad about the Alder - just make sure you do get that second version... such a great dress

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  25. Thanks Sarah and welcome to my blog :)

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