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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Traveler Dress


I've been meaning to make a shirt dress forever, and bought some lightweight denim for one a while back. But the red-and-white seersucker from my stash won out over the denim, partly because it's a lot softer than denim and partly because I have a lot of it and didn't mind using it to test a new pattern.

The Lisette Traveler Dress (Simplicity 2246) is the classic shirt dress (although the pattern includes some variations on the theme).

Once you have the shoulders, fitting this is fairly straightforward since it has no waist shaping. The shoulder is always my nemesis area, though, and every new pattern company I try is a new shoulder-fitting mystery for me to crack.

The sleevecap for this one is tall and narrow with an extra two inches calling for you to ease them into the armscye (everyone's favorite sewing step, right?). I knew right that the shape would never work for me. And that much ease in a loose fitting sleeve is unnecessary. So, using my measuring tape to approximate the sleevecap curve, I drew a shallower, wider sleevecap (straight onto the fabric, eek!), removing the two inches of ease, and stitched them in. Perfect fit!!

Now that I know this pattern fits well, and  holds no mysteries, I think I will try it in the denim.

What do you think of my red belt choice? My husband thinks I look like a swashbuckling pirate. But I don't think pirates wore seersucker...




16 comments:

  1. Looks really good on you. Love the fabric & the rec belt looks great with it.

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  2. I love the shirt dress! I have yet to make one either. I need to get on that.

    I think the seersucker looks great! I'm sure the denim one will look equally good. I think it would look killer in a gray chambray!

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  3. This is another pattern I have in my stash! Thanks for the sleeve cap tip, I have problems in that area too (raglan sleeves are my friend!). Your version looks lovely and fresh and fits you very well.

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  4. Nice one, Joy! I was just going to say use a slim white matte leather buckled belt but then I scrolled down and saw the photo on the pattern cover. Ah. And anyway, your red belt brings out the darker red? pink? of the buttons. So it's good. And WHY on earth do patterns have you ease 2" (or even 1") of sleeve cap into an armscye? It's just asking for trouble... or puff sleeves. Quarter inch of ease, max (if really needed), in a nicely drafted cap, is just about right. By the way, YOUR sleeve cap is much better than the one on the model on the cover photo. Her sleeve cap is too pointed and her high bust/upper chest is cut too wide. Yours is great.

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  5. Looks very nice on you. I always struggle with belts. It's something I have too few of and not sure how to use them.

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  6. Great dress. I have this pattern in my stash I am sure, but have not tried it. Thanks for the tip on the sleeve cap. I'd have to do a forward head/rounded upper back alteration which affects anything between the neck and bust at the front (e.g. collars/plackets etc). So would have to fiddle with the upper bodice a bit for a good fit.

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  7. I love it and I think it would look fab in denim. Good to hear your feedback about the sleeve cap. I always struggle with a good shoulder fit too.

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  8. I like the shirt dress. I thought it could be too baggy given the design but it looks quite fitted on you. I like seersucker too. As for the belt, perhaps you could try making a belt with the same fabric and maybe buy a belt kit from Sunni http://www.afashionablestitch.com/2011/sewing/the-belt-kit-belt/

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  9. Well, I don't think you look like a pirate (unless you want to be a pirate). I also thought this pattern would be terrible because it lacks shaping, but you make it look rather appealing. I love seersucker for summer.

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  10. Oh, I love it, the pockets look terrific and it looks from the picture that the stripe placement looks quite interesting too? I really like that sleeve length too. It will be gorgeous in denim :)

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  11. I've had the full skirted version of this pattern cut out for probably about two years now. Must make it up after seeing your version! Especially since this would be one dress I could wear while nursing. I love the seersucker. One of my favorite fabrics.

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  12. I love seersucker fabric for summer blouses, I never would have thought to use it for a dress. Your is lovely. It looks like it would be very cool and comfortable. I like the red belt.

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  13. Looks great, Joy! Thanks for sharing about how you got rid of the extra ease in the sleeve cap...I'm going to do that the next time I sew this pattern.;)

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  14. This looks like a great dress that you will get a lot of wear out of over summer! A shirt dress style, belted, is very flattering and the softness of the fabric works well ...J

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  15. I have total shirtdress fever and this one is on my list. Yours looks great!

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  16. I am always hesitant to try a shirt dress pattern, but your version convinces me that it is well worth it. Love the fit you achieved!

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