Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sleeveless Out and About Dress

Another dress--my favorite thing to make!

This dress is a sleeveless version of the Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline.  I sewed up a 3/4 sleeve one from a thick knit a few months back, and knew I would need a sleeveless one for summer. When I found this lightweight knit for 100 yen per meter, it was time to give it a try!

I struggled a little bit with the sizing on this dress--as a matter of fact, it was an issue the last time I made it as well, but in that case I was using a more unfamiliar fabric and thought that was where the problems came from.  According to my measurements, I am between a medium and large for this pattern, leaning to the large.  I cut out the medium but used slightly smaller seam allowances than the 1/2 inch the pattern calls for...and it was really too big. 
First I thought I would try adding elastic to the waistline on the inside, maybe giving the top a loose, blousy look.  But it didn't really work; the whole bodice just seemed to pull to the back.

well hello there, munchkin.
I actually wore it out like this, with a belt, but decided by the end of the day that it was a no-go.

In the end, I had to remove the elastic and re-sew the side seams an inch further in on both sides (so removing almost 4 full inches from the bodice!)  Also (and this actually made the biggest difference, I think), I shortened the bodice by about 2 inches.  

That's better!
This was a problem I had the last time I made this dress too--the bodice just looks too long on me!  It doesn't look that way in the pattern photos, so I don't know why mine keeps coming out wrong.  It's also strange because I have a long torso--I am typically lengthening things, not shortening them, but I guess when it comes to a bodice seam line I just like mine a little north of the natural waist.  Looks like it's time to slice the bottom of off my bodice pattern pieces!

Other modifications: surprise surprise, I made the neckline a little bigger, as usual.  I also made the skirt panels about 3" narrower so that I could just use the whole width of my fabric.  The pattern calls for the skirt panels to be 30" wide, but my fabric was 54" wide so I just cut two 27" panels.

All that said, I really do like this dress and this pattern.  Now that I THINK I've got the fit dialed in, this dress should go together really quickly.  It's comfy and it's got great pockets and lots of sleeve and length options, so I'm glad it's a pattern that's in my repertoire.  

Oh, I also wanted to show you a close up of this fabric.  It's really light and soft, with a neat diagonal texture to it, and I like the way it looks on the neck and arm binding:

I'm sure that part of my fit problem was because the fabric is verrrrry stretchy, so I should have cut it smaller to account for that.  Ah well, you live, you learn!  It's pretty great to be able to buy fabric so cheaply so I'm not afraid to just mess around and try new patterns--if it didn't work out, I would only have been out about $2!  Plus my time, of course.


  1. Looks great on you Beth. When I come back to Japan to visit my daughter, I want to know where you go fabric shopping.

  2. Lovely dress again, the hand in the pocket, putting pressure on one leg is your signature pose :)


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