August 12, 2013

Happy Accidents

Several months ago, I was gifted a Boden catalog from a lady I work with. It was love at first sight! This clothing company has the cutest, most tasteful and wearable clothing I've seen in awhile. I love how there is an abundance of flat shoes and comfortable, yet stylish clothing with color! whenever I look at their catalogs or website. It's like real life, my life, stuff that was designed with me in mind. It inspires and makes me giddy. I received their fall catalog a couple of weeks ago and carried it about with me for a week for fear of someone stealing it while I schemed about knock-offs I could make for my own wardrobe.

There was a particular ponte knit dress that caught my eye from the catalog. Oh so sixties inspired and oh so cute and yet, comfortable looking. Its a knit dress and that friends, equals comfort in my book. After mentally torturing myself that I didn't have the money to purchase said dress from Boden, it finally dawned on me that I had just the pattern and fabric to make my own version instead. This is vintage 1960s Simplicity 8381. Isn't it awesome, I mean a gas?

I scored this pattern from one of the ladies at Yellow Bird who was getting rid of some vintage lovelies. This one was a couple sizes too small for me, but I loved the design so took it home with me. Little did I know it was the perfect size for a knit! Yes! I love it when fate and fortune meet and end up with a happy snazzy result. I took the liberty of changing a few things about the pattern here. I hacked off the sleeve to make it 3 /4 length and turned the vertical darts in the back to a princess seam. Also chiseled out the neckline a bit and opted for a neckline binding instead of the facing situation the pattern had going on. As far as the fit is concerned, I just compared the bodice area to my favorite knit t-shirt pattern, just to make sure it was in the ballpark of where I needed it for a knit. And fantastically, it was. I made some small changes to the sleeve cap from my t-shirt pattern, but otherwise, this pattern is straight out of the envelope.

Aren't those silly little pockets, the best? I think they make the whole dress and weren't even apart of the original Boden inspiration. I didn't have the heart to not include them. Additionally, I have to state, that this dress is full of mistakes. One thing I've found is that mistakes and risks can lead to creative solutions. All the frustration that comes from doing one thing when you should have done another can bear some interesting results. Could not be truer in this dress. The center back, that was going to be an exposed zipper. Well friends, that zipper didn't end up working like I thought, so instead I decided to improvise with an appliqued tab. I think the tab is a little on the long side - sadly it couldn't be any shorter because there's slashes in fabric from the zipper, but I still think it works. Same idea at work in the shoulder seams. The princess seams from the front and back, though the middles match up, the topstitching lines do not. I folded one princess seam one way and the other in the opposite direction. So to fix this eyesore, I added applique strips and topstitched. Now that mistake is not quite so obvious and this ends up just looking like a fun added detail to the overall design. Hopefully this gives you some ideas as you sew. When working with mistakes, its always good to think outside the box or even get a second opinion from someone else.

The fabric here was from the stash. Oiy. My stash is so big and so I've finally determined that I must be better about using it up first before even thinking about aquiring more fabric. This is a ponte knit and if you don't know about pontes, you should. Its a double knit and the way rad thing about double knits these days is that they are kind of like stretch wovens, except better. You can end up using them instead of wovens for woven patterns and just go down a size or two and they can be unbelievably comfortable. Pontes in particular are also easy peasy to sew with as far as knits go - a great transition from working with wovens to working with knits - and they can be easy to wash and care for. I think I'll do a special post on this great fabric for y'all!

It's far too hot at the moment to be wearing such a dress (and this is the dress that I have to wear a slip with!) so it'll be a great addition the fall line-up in my closet. I really, really want a red one. We'll see. Do you like knit dresses? Ever heard of Boden?
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