Silence Is … Not Sexy

Yikes! I had such grand visions of Sexy Month, and then I couldn’t even post for a week. I can’t change the past, but I can do better moving forward. #SexyWeek is going to be postponed to later in the month, because I definitely want to do that right.

Butterick 5166, look A + sleeve B

Happily, part of the reason I’ve been away from the blog has been adjusting to a new assignment which I am loving — and which also affords me several hours of daylight to sew when I come home from work. So I’ve got a couple of makes to show you, the first of which I “finished” yesterday. I still need to sew buttons up the back, but I never do that stuff when I finish my garments. I think it’s a holdover from my knitting days, but sewing and finishing are two different activities and occur on different days.


I love this dress.

So much love/Me went into this make. The technical bits are that I added 3/4″ to the front side seam at the waist, tapered to nothing at the armhole. I didn’t stitch any of the darts because my waist is currently wearing thirty extra pounds and needs the space. :p  I also shortened the skirt length in such a way that I simultaneously increased the hip. I shortened and tapered the sleeve by about 2″ each. I also narrowed the sleeve hem depth to a 1/4″ double fold. I used clear elastic to strengthen the shoulder, side skirt, and waist seams.

Chevrons neatly aligned at the side seam.

The artistic bits are so many. Firstly, I have no clue when or where I bought this fabric, so I knew I had one chance to make it good. I cut the skirt with the chevrons running width-wise and then got creative with the remaining yardage! I decided to cut the sleeves with width-wise chevrons and the front and back with length-wise chevrons. I inset a 1″ strip down the CB flanked by 1/4″ piping and self-faced it, to enclose all the seams. (So. Many. Layers.) The strip had width-wise chevrons to contrast with the back pieces. I cut the neck band also with the chevrons running width wise, for contrast. And I gathered the top of the sleeve for a slight puffed look, to give some width to my narrow shoulders.

button band
Sexy back.

The fabric I used had a wide, white selvage, which I used for the back piping and the neck band facing pieces. I then rolled the facing 1/16″ toward the front to make a piped edge to the neck band. I am extremely proud to report I did that BY HAND. In other words, no pins, no measuring, just really careful machine stitching. If you ever saw my first garments, you would know what a feat that neck band piping is. :)  Finally, I finished the skirt hem the way I love to finish skirt hems — I don’t. That’s right, sewers: I leave my hems raw as often as I possibly can. I hate rules, and so raw hems are my own private rebellion. (That being said, I’m actually quite good at hemming garments. Go figure.)

A peek of cleavage in honor of Sexy Month.

I’d wanted to wear this dress to work, but I think it would be too much on my current assignment. There’s a wedding in my extended family coming up next month, so my mother suggested I wear this dress there. Had I a husband/boyfriend, I’d totally wear this dress to celebrate our anniversary, or go to holiday parties, or something. But I don’t. So, it looks like I’m going to have to make up a reason to wear this well sewn, beautiful confection!

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