A striped Deer and Doe Givre dress for Frocktails 2018

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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.

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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!

Sewcialists8Frocktails 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!

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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!

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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.

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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 DVF hackDD Givre numero uno

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DD Givre numero dos

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 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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Determine where you want your chevron to be.

IMG_20170712_112117Cut the pattern.

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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.

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Flip the upper pattern piece over the middle one, right sides together and align them so that the lines match perfectly.

 

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Remove the upper portion and cut the middle one.

 

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You got your first chevron. Repeat process for the bottom portion.

 

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Final check before pinning like crazy and basting before serging. That’s the golden rule of stripe matching.

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Voila! The finished dress.

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The second one is more of a fun experiment I was trying.

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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.