Friday, April 26, 2013

"You Look Like Spring!"

That was the comment I heard most when I wore the dress to work on Monday. It was T-H-E perfect dress to wear on the first day of a workweek!  Here is how I photographed the dress Sunday afternoon...

Here are the pieces I wore to work...
(I did, however, wear the pin in the above pic!)

...sorry it's on Lulu but my work photographer is a little/lotta pregnant right now so I feel bad asking her to climb the stairs to take some pics...

Some stats:
Pattern ~
TNT dress pattern

Fabric ~
Lightweight wool crepe from Mood NYC

Notions ~
lime green rayon lining
22" lime green invisible zipper
2" white lace
white seam tape
white pre-made rayon piping

All of the construction information is contained in this post.  One more thought on construction - I'm normally a color match fiend.  Thread, rayon seam binding, zipper, etc. all must be the same color but this time I went with the white and green theme throughout.  I really liked adding the white lace and seam tape to the lime green fabric and lining. 

Wearability ~
Usually I sew a dress and then wear it days after I've posted it to my blog.  Since this was my April Mood Project, it appeared on the Mood Sewing Network blog first and since I knew it would be a few days before it appeared here, I wore it to work. So how did it wear?

  • First it wrinkled badly. I had huge wrinkles in the dress front where I sat and also in the back of the skirt where I sat on it.  Not only the fashion fabric but the lining fabric wrinkled too!  Will this cause me not to wear the dress again?  Heck no! *LOL* Because I love the way the dress makes me feel.
  • Next it grew from my body heat.  Now I know that wool crepe grows and yet I sewed it normal size instead of a little closer to my body.  Y'all know I like the image of close-fitting without the dress actually being close-fitted because no one should be subjected to my lumps and bumps.  I'm thinking of taking in the sides a smidge to help with this because the dress was loose in the back by the end of the day.  The cardigan helped disguise it but I knew.
  • I should have run the piping all the way to the hem. I don't know why I thought it would be cool to have it stop at the top of the pleat?!  Stopping the piping there causes the pleat to poof out when I walk. Now I asked two co-workers what they thought and they couldn't see anything wrong with it...but if I were to make this dress again, I would extend the piping all the way to the hemline.

Questions ~
There were a few questions related to the making of this dress that I'd like to answer.

Scenic Route asked:
"On a recent post you mentioned the need to use light interfacing on the neck, sleeves, etc that are to be piped.  However, I didn't see that step on this dress, is it not always necessary?"

The short answer is no.  The more involved answer is, it depends.  Why does it depend?  In this case, it's because the fabric is a wool which means that with a little steam, I can mold and shape it, manipulating the fabric to match the lining fabric.  The fabric in the Butterick 5147 dress was stretched out of shape due to the handling of it.  I should have noticed it sooner and added the interfacing instead of just plunging ahead.

Malady asked:
"I've never stabilized a neckline. Can you explain how?"
I've posted about this before complete with pictures.  This post details how to add the interfacing to the piece.  If you have any more questions, leave them and I'll answer them.

splainer asked:
"What do you like to use for piping on your wool crepe dresses?"
Honestly I'm lucky since I have such great resources in NYC.  At Daytona Trims, they sell rayon piping in a million colors.  Since I like piping so much I stock/stash it in several colors (black, brown, red, navy, white & creme). I've also picked up a few special combos to stash.  I've also made my own piping especially when I wanted a special look or for it to coordinate with my fabric.  There are a lot of great tutorials out there on how to make piping so I guess I would google it and figure out which one made sense to you. 

You can purchase piping at  Daytona doesn't have an online presence but they have an awesome amount of piping in their store.  Pacific Trimming also has piping in their online shop, although I've never purchased from them online. If you want something, I would call them with any questions.

A few more pictures ~

Conclusion ~
It's my TNT (tried 'n true) dress so of course it was a great place to start.  It was easy to wear and the fabric was a dream to sew.  It's the perfect dress for my Fun in the Sun Summertime Dressing Collection. always more later!


  1. You do look like spring, especially with your cheery grin - you must be glad to see the back of the cold weather so you can start wearing all your lovely dresses. The wrinkling sounds annoying, but it's the price to pay if you use natural fibres

  2. Beautiful dress and fabric Carolyn, it suits you very well:))

  3. that dress is gorgeous and I love the sweater you chose to wear with it!

  4. I am glad the dress passed the wearability test in spite of wrinkles and such. If you liked the way it made you feel, then that is the best measure for me about wearing something. Very pretty spring dress!

  5. Well don't you look marvelous!!! That really is a gorgeous color on you. I love the piping detail:)

  6. Carolyn,
    Love that spring green!
    You mentioned that you usually love to have all your details/notions (thread, zipper, hem lace) match. I think that you also have most of these notions in your stash...that you bulk order thread, zips, etc. (I learned about the now defunct ATS from you) several times a year. What I'd like to know is how you decide what colors in which notion to order and keep in your stash. Have you ever covered this topic? I've been trying to keep a zipper and thread stash on hand, but am never quite sure what to order. What if I suddenly decide that I need an orange top, even though I know orange looks terrible on me? (Yes, I do have a little orange thread in my stash). I'm also never quite sure just how much thread it will take to stitch up a certain project. Thanks!

  7. Yes, you do look like Spring!! I believe that the best wearability test is how one feels wearing the garment. You certainly do look terrific!!

  8. You do like spring, always so inspiring.

  9. The dress is very pretty and it does look like spring, but after the winter we have had, we can all use a little spring!

  10. Such a beautiful color on you!

  11. Oh I love this color! Such a very pretty dress on you!

  12. Hi, Carolyn -

    That dress looks is not only stylish, it seems to also be very comfortable. The piping accents at the front and sleeve hems really set the whole thing off. A perfect way to honor spring.

  13. I've pondered how you could have extended the piping to the hemline without an exposed raw edge on the piping. I'm having a mental block!

  14. Sorry to hear that it creases and grows - very glad to hear that you will still wear it because it is a beautiful dress and the colour looks so great on you.

  15. Gosh, I so much love everything about your website, and I LOVE your fashion sense nearly always. But I gotta VOTE NO on this dress...the piping stopped short strangely, the fabric didn't drape right. . . but the color was good on ya! :>


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