Long sleeved t-shirts have been a staple in my wardrobe ever since I moved to Scotland, and I have acquired quite the collection of these long-sleeved-lovelies so I want to let them be seen. The answer came to me after I made Butterick 5523 in May this year. I could make this comfy and practical knit dress without the sleeves and collar in a neutral tone that would blend in with lots of my long-sleeved-lovelies and let their colours and prints really sing. But the colour would also need to go with my boots - I practically live in boots during the cold months and have 2 great pairs: tan and navy blue. And so my blue tunic was born!
Lucky me - beautiful country!
I am loving this dress and have already worn it to work, to meetings and on this day for a long car journey. It looks great with a blouse underneath too and the fabric is quite a thick two-way stretch knit that doesn't crease too easily and is very warm.
I still love the back tab and pleats too!
I added 4 " to the hem and made some cutting changes to the neckline. The original pattern has a collar but without the collar it would be too low, so you can see on the right hand piece in this photo I kept a bit of fabric in the dipped curve of the neckline. On both the back piece and the front piece I folded the shoulder pieces in to eliminate a bit of width on the shoulder - I folded it to the 5/8 stitch line (you can just see these folds on the far left and far right of the photo below)
|back pattern piece and front pattern piece|
Now that it is finished and I have worn it a bit, there are three things that I am going to change about this dress. Firstly my stretch stitch. I chose a stitch that does 3 stitches then jumps to the side for one zig zag. I used this on my other Butterick 5523 and it worked a treat. But this time it looks awful. The point of the zig zag stitch is really visible. I should have had the bulk of my fabric inside the arm of my machine so that the solitary zig zag would point inwards towards the seam allowance, then the 3 long stitches would have created a sharper more regular seam line. I am going to do the waist, side and shoulder seams again. You can see what I mean about the visible solitary zig zag points along the waistline in the photo below.
The second thing I am going to change is the method I used to edge the neckline and armholes. I just made it up as I went along when really I should have searched for a tutorial first. As soon as I had cut out my bodice pieces I stitched a strip of white woven tape to the stitch line, 5/8 from the edge. Then I folded over the seam allowance to the back and stitched it down onto the woven tape. It does give it a firm edge and from the outside I am very pleased with the way it holds the shape of the fabric. But the problem is that I can see the white tape! I should have used black or at least have folded the seam allowance over further so that it would cover it up.
Thirdly I wish I had made it two sizes smaller. Now that there are no sleeves there is a lot of gape in the bodice beneath the arms. I am going to take in the side bodice.
All in all, I do love this comfy, just-throw-it-on dress and it will get a lot of wear this Autumn. This is also the first of my Fall Essentials Sew Along completed. One down, four to go!