Army Green Archer Dress (My 100th Blog Post)

So… this is my 100th blog post which is bananas! I like documenting the things I’ve made but I’m also running out of free photo storage on wordpress and I’m not sure that I want to pay to have a blog. I would still document the things I’m making on instagram and take more notes in a journal or just on my personal project tracking spreadsheet. I should look in to the options and maybe re-upload some of my earlier photos in a more compressed size before I do anything too drastic.

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This is my fifth time making the Archer Shirt by Grainline studio but this one is a bit different from my previous versions. In the past I made a green and navy plaid flannel version (which was the second thing that I ever blogged and probably one of my most worn makes!), a chambray dot version, a white and grey plaid flannel popover version and a red flannel version. This is the first version where I’ve done any hacking. The most obvious change I made was to lengthen to a dress. I added a bunch of length and flared it out starting at the waist to make sure I would have enough room in my hips. I ended up taking it in a bunch in the hips after basting the side seams because I went a little overboard when adding extra room.

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I left the dress a midi length with a lower hem in the back than the front which I think looks modern and cool but may not be the most flattering on, especially with these boots. I also made a belt to wear with it which gives some waist definition. For the belt I just used the belt from the Closet Case Patterns Amy Jumpsuit which I had used before with my actual Amy Jumpsuit. Just like my actual Amy Jumpsuit I had to add a seam at the back of the belt because there was just no way that I was going to be able to cut that as all one piece.

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The other change I made to this pattern was to hack the pockets to give them more of a military vibe to go with the army green fabric. I used the same pattern piece as the original archer pattern but I added two inches to the width. I then just folded the pocket in half and sewed one inch from the folded edge. Then when you lay the pocket flat and iron it then it creates the pleats on the front pocket. I basted those down at the top and bottom and then continued with the pattern as directed. For the flap I just used the width of the original pocket and then just made it as long as I wanted it to overlap plus seam allowance.

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The fabric is tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. I originally bought this fabric a while ago with the intention of making an Archer button up with these pockets but I just sat on the idea for a long time. I finally decided to do it but I realized I had enough fabric for a dress length version. I honestly feel like I would get more wear out of a shirt than the dress (in part because its really cold in Wisconsin and I’m not wearing a lot of dresses right now). I figure I can always change my mind later and make it in to a shirt. But if I made the shirt, it would be much harder to make in to a dress later if I changed my mind.

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I’m super happy with how this turned out – especially the pockets! They ended up being pretty easy to put together and I’m excited to have another long sleeve dress since I don’t have many.

Leopard Print Fringe Dress

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Last week I posted about my top version of the Fringe Dress by Chalk and Notch and immediately after making that I made the dress version. I definitely wanted to make the Fringe Dress this year (it was on my 2019 Make 9) and I figured that if I was going to be able to wear it before it got too cold I needed to get on it.

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My measurements put me at a size 0 bust and a size 6 waist. I decided to grade from size 0 bust to size 4 waist since I would still have plenty of room at the waist with a size 4. I also shortened the bodice by 1/2” and shortened the skirt by 2” (I’m 5’2″ for reference). I modified pockets to be sewn in to the waist seam to keep them in the front. I didn’t top stitch the pockets down. I also attached the waist ties to the front bodice darts but I’m not sure that I love them there. I’d probably either add them to the back darts or side seams or leave them off completely next time. I also left off the sleeve cuff and just turned up the edge twice and stitched it. 

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This fabric is a bit out of the norm for me. It is a viscose crepe from Blackbird Fabrics. I’m not usually an animal print person but I decided to try it out. I love that it is neutral colors but still fun and interesting. I’m excited to wear it with tights and boots and cardigans this fall! I also have a little bit left over and might be able to squeeze a tank top out of it.

Fringe Top Hack

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This is the a hack of the Fringe Dress by Chalk and Notch. I have the Fringe Dress on my 2019 Make 9 and I figured I need to make that soon before the weather gets too cold to actually wear it in 2019. The Fringe Dress Pattern was on my cutting table but I hadn’t yet put away my scraps leftover from my Amy Jumpsuit and I got the idea in my head that it would make a really cute Fringe top. Unfortunately I didn’t actually have enough scraps left over from that project to make it work but I did have enough scraps left over from my Burnside Bibs!

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I did not come up with this hack – I copied this directly from Kelly at athreadthatbinds on Instagram. I made a size 0 and since I’m pear shaped I generally need to grade out at the waist and hips. For this version I didn’t grade out because I omitted sewing the darts which gave me some more room there. I also shortened the bodice by 1/2 inch.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what I need in my wardrobe since starting the Love to Sew Podcast worksheets to Create my Dream Wardrobe. I definitely want more tops that are a little bit nicer than t-shirts and this fits exactly what I was looking for. This is so comfortable especially in the Robert Kaufman Brussels linen/rayon blend! Its easy to throw on and feel stylish without actually putting more effort in to getting dressed. The only issue is that I need more high waisted pants to wear with this cropped top.

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Now time to get on to making the actual Fringe Dress… I’m glad that I did this top version. I’ve been thinking of this as a muslin of the dress but when I make the dress I am going to be using the bodice darts and also grading up a size at the waist and I think I’m also going to leave off the sleeve cuffs so really it isn’t giving me a ton of information I will actually use for my Fringe Dress but I did get to practice the facing.

Black Linen Sway Dress

I made this dress back in 2016 and I’ve only worn it two or three times and only as a beach cover up. This is the Papercut Patterns Sway Dress which was super popular especially in black linen in 2016 when I made it. I had seen so many amazing linen versions that I wanted one too. I’ve been going back and posting makes that never made it on to the blog and I’ve learned a lot since making this dress. There are a couple of things that I don’t like about this dress which is why I haven’t worn it but I’m hoping to come up with a plan to make this more wearable.

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I shortened the dress because I’m 5’2″ and figured I would need to shorten it but I took off way too much. This dress is shorter than I’d typically wear which is why I’ve only ever worn it to the beach. However, black is not a color I’m drawn to when going to the beach and I don’t go to the beach that often so it really doesn’t get worn much. You can also see the bottoms of the pocket bags because its just too short.

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The fabric is  pretty heavy black linen with a lot of structure to it which makes it stand away from my body. When I wear it I’m nervous that a gust of wind will blow up the skirt. The fabric also frays like crazy which is causing me problems. I love the tie belt but when I turned it right sides out the linen frayed quite a bit and it ended up causing a couple of gaps near the seam. I ended up adding a line of stitching from the outside to keep it from unraveling. That seems fine now but there are a couple of spots that don’t look great. Good thing its black and you can’t actually see that! Also I did a hand stitched rolled hem and there are definitely some threads starting to stick out of it. The fabric also collects lint and cat hair like crazy so that is another reason I haven’t worn it much!

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So how can I fix this???? Here are my ideas so far:

  1. Add a piece of contrasting fabric to the bottom and make a matching belt.
  2. Embrace the short-ness of the dress and buy or make some shorts to wear under it so I’m not constantly worried about wind. Also either move the pocket bags up or shorten the pocket bags so they aren’t visible.
  3. Add a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt also in black linen.
  4. Shorten the dress in to a top.

I’m open to suggestions! What should I do to salvage this dress?

Floral Sew Over It Eve

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This is actually the second Sew Over It Eve Dress I’ve made. I made one other version for my mom but this is the first time that I made one for myself. Normally I grade out at the waist and hips since I’m usually a larger size at those points but for this dress I just made a straight size 8, which worked out perfectly. I did shorten the bodice by 1″ but I did not shorten the skirt to give it more of a midi length.

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I love the flutter sleeves and the high low hem on this dress. The wrap is super comfortable and I really like that it makes the dress adjustable. That meant I didn’t have to worry too much about fit on this one!

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I originally wanted to make this dress to wear to a wedding in August. I even included in my make 9 back in January. I was half way through making this dress when I found out that I actually needed to wear sage green to the wedding. I’m not in the wedding party so I thought I was free to wear whatever I want but apparently as the girlfriend of a family member of the groom I was expected to wear a certain color… so it was back to the drawing board for what to wear to the wedding. I’ll do another post soon on that 🙂

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I really love this fabric. It is a rayon voile and I originally got it from Blackbird fabrics but it looks like they are sold out. I’ve seen it at other fabric stores since then though so you might be able to find it. I really like floral prints but I’ve struggled to find ones that aren’t too young looking and in colors that I like. This one definitely checked all of my floral fabric boxes! I have a little bit of this fabric left over so I’m going to need to figure out what else I can make out of what I have left over!

By Hand London Anna Dress

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I already blogged by second version of my By Hand London Anna Dress so I figured it was about time to blog my first version! This version doesn’t get worn often but does get worn for special occasions. I’ll definitely end up wearing my second version more but I do really love this dress.

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The Anna Dress bodice is very distinctive and after looking at many versions I had an idea of how I wanted the bodice to fit on my body. I made 3 muslins for the bodice to tweak the fit and I ended up making a lot of adjustments to the bodice. I ended up taking a lot of height out of the bodice front – probably about 1 1/2 inches. I also followed the back neckline tutorial on the Ginger makes blog to fix the gaping at the back. I ended up taking 3/4 inch out of each side of the back. I’m also short (5′ 2″) so I had to shorten the skirt by 8 inches!!! I made some fitting adjustments before making my second version and I’m really happy with the fit on that version.

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I really took my time on sewing this dress. I used french seams on all the possible seams, and hand stitched many other areas (hem, slit opening, sleeve hems). I really love all of the beautiful finishing and I think that those touches really make the dress feel special. The directions do not have you interface the neckline facing and so I didn’t interface the facing on either this dress or my second dress but I wish I did go ahead and interface the neckline facing to help the facing lay flat and help the neckline keep its shape… Next time!

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The fabric is the Lottie Floral Rayon from the miramar collection by workroom social. I recently used a different fabric from this line for my Grainline Studio Hadley top. In both cases I absolutely loved working with the fabric both times. I really love the coral color on this one paired with bright blue and dark teal.

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While I don’t get to wear this dress often I did wear it to a Luau in Hawaii last summer and it was absolutely perfect.

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Midi By Hand London Anna Dress

This is actually the second By Hand London Anna Dress that I’ve made but I haven’t taken photos of my first one for a blog post yet. Hopefully I’ll get to that soon but for now here is my midi length version! For my first version I made several muslins and adjustments to the bodice because I wanted a more fitted look. I made a couple more adjustments for this version and if I make another version I may make even more tweaks but overall I’m really happy with how it came out!

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I used the April Rhodes Heritage Rayon for this dress and I absolutely loved working with it. I didn’t do any pattern matching on this (which would have been a huge pain with all of the skirt panels) and because the print is so busy you can’t really tell! I just barely squeezed this dress out of 2 yards of fabric!

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One thing I still need to perfect is the fit in the back neckline. I did take a pretty big amount out of the neckline but I could take a bit more out to get it to lay completely flat.

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I love the slit on one side! I don’t know that I’ll make another Anna in the near future but I’ve been thinking about making a skirt. I’ve also used the bodice for another project recently which will be on the blog at some point but maybe not for a couple of months!