For Work and Play

Often when choosing patterns, I have two goals in mind. First, to create something I (or someone) will wear many times. The second goal is to challenge my sewing skills. I am finding this is harder to do and still create something I can wear in everyday life. I may have to start costuming for the local theater to give myself an excuse to make corsets and hoop skirts!

I love linen! Well, linen look fabrics anyway. I haven’t been able to convince myself to spend the money to buy actual linen. I found this wonderful pink linen-look leaf print on one of my first trips back to JoAnn Fabrics when the summer started. Despite my goal to not buy fabric for new projects, I picked up a few yards.

I found the pattern a few days later, when Simplicity went on sale. The outlined seams are what caught my eye. I like the added detail it gives an otherwise simple summer dress. Let me tell you, it adds time to the sewing process. The pattern calls for bias tape to be sewn over the seams, but I felt that with the linen fabric, I needed something a little more subtle. After pondering for a couple of days, I decided to use piping to line the seams.

Using piping was new to me. I’ve seen it used, but hadn’t attempted it myself. My first attempts needed to be redone a couple of times. I soon found a system that worked for me. First I would sew the piping to one piece. Then, using a zipper foot to ensure I stitched nearly on top of the piping, I would sew the two pattern pieces together. To finish off the seam, I would top-stitch along the side the piping fabric was ironed to. By the time I finished the bodice, I decided not to add another seam to add piping to the skirt. I may do so when I use this pattern again.

Despite this being a sun dress pattern, I think the fabric I chose gives it a bit of a professional-ish look. I can’t speak for people who work in proper offices, but I fully intend to wear this during the first couple weeks of school. I just need to find a little sweater to go with it. Or make the jacket that comes with the pattern.

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