Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mixing stripes and florals: the Jaywalk dress

Gosh, it has been a while hasn't it?  I've been sewing though, in fact I spent the entire Queen's birthday sewing.  Gloriously immersed in sewing with 12 other sewing ladies at Sewaway organised by the  lovely Kat.  *Sigh* total bliss.  And I got stuff finished too, and more stuff started (and finished again) which I will now get round to blogging.

First up, the dress I entered into the Tessuti jaywalk competition. No I didn't win (did you see some of  those entries? Amazing.) but did have a whole heap of fun making the dress and I admit that having a competition to enter did make me do things a bit more carefully and properly than I might have done in normal circumstances. 

Those stripes would totally line up if that floral wasn't in the way.

This dress started off as the lady skater bodice, which I've made before here and here.  There was a little extra bit of fabric at my bust in this pattern so I made a small dart and then converted this into a princess seam. Finally putting my pattern drafting class learnings into practice!   I also knew that I wanted to mix up the stripes with a floral or another colour. Actually I got the idea of 'replacing' the stripes with different fabric from a boys T shirt  pattern in Ottobre magazine. 

Originally I had the side piece cut from the Jaywalk but in the end decided to make the side insert floral too.   I self-lined the bodice using the Colette tutorial which did my head in for about half an hour until I had an ah-ha! moment (aided somewhat by Nic) and it all came together, and magically I had a finished armhole. In hindsight I should have added a little bit extra to the armsyce too compensate for the lining rather than adding a sleeve because the arm holes are a leetle low. But you can't see my bra so whatevs.

The floral 'stripes' and inserts are a scuba knit leftover from my (unblogged) Mabel skirt.  The Jaywalk was  lovely to work with but the fabrics had different amounts of stretch and I was a bit worried that there might be some puckering going on, but it worked out ok in the end.  I played about a bit with the placement and decided that a thicker and thinner one looked best.  Then, it was just a case of cutting out a slightly A line rectangle or the skirt front and back, slicing and re-joining the florals and stripes (I tried to get a whole black stripe on either side). 

Originally I tried to pleat the skirt but it was a big floppy fail so I used Megan Nielsen's method of gathering with elastic thread in the bobbin, same as my drop waist lady skater.   I did match the stripes on the side seams (honest!)  but I don't have a very good picture. I did this by 'sticking' them together with Vilesofix before stitching.  Works a treat. 

Most of the construction was done on my sewing machine with just some finishing on the overlocker.  Normally I would have used the overlocker more, but I didn't want wobbly stripes, or big holes in the bodice.  See? Told you I took care over this one.

End result?  I really like it.  It feels a bit more interesting to wear than a regular striped dress and I've already worn it to work with a black jumper over the top.   I did contemplate adding sleeves, but I want to be able to ear it in the summer, but as I have more of the Jaywalk fabric left over I might just make a top (Nettie perhaps?) to wear underneath.

And my favourite picture?   Bimble and Pimble photobomb!



  1. Looks great!! Well done on the awesome dress. If I had of remembered to vote, I would of vote for you!!

  2. Absolutely love how the floral contrasts with the stripes, particularly around the hem. Great work!

  3. Great vision, Helen! I can't say I would ever have thought to combine stripes & florals but WOW! Brilliant combination! Last pic gave me a good giggle too :D