Friday, June 06, 2014

Blue Birds of Happiness

Last summer when I was ordering fabric for my Jamie Dress, I found Jennifer Paganelli's West Indies collection and fell head over heels for Matilda in Cocoa. The birds were too pretty to pass up so I ordered 2 1/2 yds. I had no idea what I'd make with the large overall print. Initially I had thought perhaps another School House Tunic. Maybe a Torii Tunic? Or a skirt? I knew to really let the fabric shine I would require a pattern with simple, understated lines. Nothing fancy or finicky. I mulled over possibilities throughout the winter, unable to decide until suddenly, a few weeks ago, I remembered a pattern I had picked up on sale at some point last year. Sis Boom's Rebecca Shift. It fit the bill perfectly!

For a PDF pattern, you just can't beat the Sis Boom patterns.  I could go on and on about them. Seriously! First off I hate having to print off a gazillion pages only to find out that for my size half of them get cut away. The beauty with Sis Boom? You're given a table that tells you exactly what pages you need for your size. And with a pattern like Rebecca that you may want to "Frankenpattern" using different sizes she breaks down the pagination for each of the components. LOVE this feature!!!!!

And I may have grumbled, muttered, cursed on more than one occasion about my dislike of the pasting together and cutting of pattern pieces. But let me tell you, these are the stuff pattern putting together dreams are made of. It doesn't matter if preschoolers have "helped" by rearranging my pages from one end of the house to the other. I can easily tell which piece belongs where with the shaded sections that clearly not only tell me what they should be joined to but show exactly how much they should overlap each other. I can't even begin to describe how much quicker and easier this is than trying to match up tiny bulls eyes or little dots like some other PDFs utilize.  Anyways enough gushing about the pattern. I actually have gone on and on so it would seem.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty. It turns out I am sort of a weird combo of sizes. I should have "frankenpatterned" (she explains how), but I didn't. I should've made a muslin, but I didn't.  I should've, maybe once, in the sewing of the dress, glanced at the instructions and not gone off memory from when I had taken a brief look at them a few weeks ago, but I didn't.  What I did do was sew a perfectly lovely dress for someone definitely not my size or shape. Thank heavens it was on the too big side of not fitting instead of the too small.

So me and my trusty sidekick the seam ripper had an epic rendezvous. Princess seams taken in, armscye reduced, zipper removed, back seam taken in to the proper width (could've avoided that one if I'd bothered to read...), side seams of the skirt portion taken in, taken in again, - what the heck... where did the saddlebags come from??? - and taken in a final time. Done!

The dress is on the roomy side still, but it's a comfy roomy not a "who's dress did you borrow because it totally doesn't fit you" roomy. I can definitely live with it and it will be perfect for those hot humid days of summer when I just want something easy to pull on! Plus the blue birds? They just make me happy!

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