Hello, sewcialists!! Pauline here. I’m a homeschool mom of 2 teenagers and a tween living in the Bay area. I blog at www.sewuthinkucan.blogspot.com and I’m @sewuthinkucan on Instagram. As a self-professed stripe nut, I got really excited when Gillian announced Stripes as the February’s theme for the Sewcialists blog and allowed me to share a finished project with you all.
I love stripes so much I have to literally restrain myself from exclusively sewing with striped fabrics. My all-time favorite sewing activity beside pattern hacking, is playing with stripes. Beth of the Sunnygal Studio blog dubbed me the “stripe whisperer”.
This year, I want to try to sew with a purpose and not just give in to my impulses, which are most mainly driven by what I love to sew rather than what I need to sew.
The things that are lacking in my closet are tops, bottoms and maybe some cardigans. That means I need to make fewer dresses this year! Yikes!! To help me in this endeavor, I recently joined the Seamwork Design your Wardrobe group. Hopefully, it’ll give me the necessary push to build a satisfactory wardrobe this year.
Without further ado, I present to you my Frocktails 2018 dress. Somehow, I managed to sew the very thing I decided to avoid making this year. Oh well, who said this was going to be a piece of cake? Not me!
Frocktails is an event organized by the wonderful Chuleenan for the Bay Area Sewists group. The first Frocktails kicked off last year and was such a success, that I was eagerly awaiting the tickets sale announcement for this year’s event. After all, this gives us sewists a pretext to dress fancy and enjoy cocktails and appetizers. What’s not to like!
I’ve been quite busy and haven’t been able to touch my sewing machines since December of last year. With Frocktails approaching, I struggled to make up my mind about my outfit. I then realized that in December, I cut a striped dress to wear on New Year’s Eve and never got around to sewing it. I pulled this metallic sweater knit dress out my UFO bin and then lightbulb!! I could kill two birds with one stone!
On one hand, I would have a dress for Frocktails and on the other, my finished project for the sewcialists blog post. In a practically 3-hour sewing marathon, my dress was completed on the Saturday of the party. Repeat after me: I will not sew under stress! But I digress.
I used the Deer and Doe Givre pattern. Givre, which means frosted in French, has become a TNT (Tried and True). It is very well drafted. I made 2 versions last year and absolutely love the fact that it sews up quickly.
DD Givre numero uno
DD Givre numero dos
DD Givre numero tres and not last because I love this pattern.
This dress needed a lining due to the lightweight and a bit see-through metallic sweater knit I was using. Without despair, I quickly cut a lining and added it to the dress before sewing in the sleeves.
The fabric is a 4-way stretch metallic knit from Califabrics bought before Christmas. My inspiration is this dress below worn by Beyonce. Don’t you love the vertical use of the stripe here?
Sadly, I ran out of fabric and decided to take a chance and squeeze some lantern sleeves out of the scraps. I’ve been obsessed with lantern sleeves after seeing Leila Rose’s Resort 2018 collection.
The drafting itself isn’t complicated. All it is is a rectangular piece of fabric sewn to a semi-circle. Easy peasy. As a matter of fact, I used those sleeves on my second Inari dress last summer.
Here’s a close-up of the process. On the Inari, I put elastics in the sleeve hem whereas for the Givre, I gathered the bottom and finished it with a black rib knit cuff.
Using a striped fabric definitely added some drama and visual interest to the sleeve. I love it and can’t wait to sew more lantern sleeves.
Regarding tips, here are some stripes manipulation pics I’m adding to give you some ideas for your next stripe project. The first one is a color-blocked Rumy tank dress by Christine Haynes made last summer. I used a thin stripe rayon knit fabric. My advice is that you should cut your teeth on larger stripes first before moving on to thinner ones.
Determine where you want your chevron to be.
Cut the pattern.
Play around with what direction you want your stripes to be. Horizontal or vertical. Keep in mind a 2-way stretch knit will be more restrictive in term of stripe direction. A 4-way stretch gives you more freedom to play. Start with the upper portion. Cut and mark the stripes on the pattern with a pencil.
Flip the upper pattern piece over the middle one, right sides together and align them so that the lines match perfectly.
Remove the upper portion and cut the middle one.
You got your first chevron. Repeat process for the bottom portion.
Final check before pinning like crazy and basting before serging. That’s the golden rule of stripe matching.
Voila! The finished dress.
The second one is more of a fun experiment I was trying.
The stripes are larger so there’s less pinning to do. lol
Stripes can be your best friend if you understand how they behave. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.
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