Recently in Tangerine Dress Category

Green tangerine


A big hello from beautiful Oahu! David and I are having a fantastic delayed honeymoon here; lots of reading, relaxation, snorkeling (for David) and beach reading (for me). This won't be a super-long blog entry, but I wanted to get some pictures of the finished Tangerine Rooibos dress up. David was kind enough to snap some shots of it for me yesterday, when we visited the Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu.


I'm really happy with how this turned out. One always has to pick one's matching battles when working with a print, especially on a pattern with as many curved seams as Rooibos: there's just no way to match across every seam. But I like the way the pattern "reads" almost interruptedly down the center middle, how it's centered left-to-right (love that single cross-section between the points of the collar!), and I'm especially chuffed with how the cross-section parts match at the top of the curved waist inset, and how the whole tangerines match across the tops of the pockets.


I remain totally sold on piping. So easy and cute, and I think, with this dress in particular, it really helps to define some of the pretty lines that might otherwise get lost in the print—particularly the pockets, but also the cute little collar.


As I mentioned, I did a full lining rather than the recommended partial facings, since otherwise the cotton lawn would have been a little bit too revealing for my taste. Here's the behind-the-scenes inside-out shot:


You can see in this photo that I cut the same pattern piece in shell, lining, and interfacing, then interfaced the lining before sewing all the same darts in the lining as I did in the shell. Below the bust there's no interfacing; I just put together the lining as directed for the dress, and attached as directed for the facings. I also attached the lining to the invisible zipper after installing it in the shell, which makes the whole thing feel very fancy and finished, and makes me happy whenever I wear it:


Well! This is turning into a long blog entry after all, and I have a beach to lounge around on! I'll leave you with a final profile shot (you can see that not everything could be matched as nicely as the front):


And, for a little perspective, here's the tree against which I'm leaning. Amazing!


Citrus love


Well, I fell off the Me Made May wagon for the second half of the month there, when my photographer left town and I was slightly under the weather. I have some sweater knitting to share, but I wanted to jump in and show you the in-progress project I'm most excited about at the moment:


In two weeks David and I are taking our delayed and highly anticipated honeymoon to Oahu, and one of my favorite ways to savor pre-trip anticipation is to make a new piece of clothing to wear on vacation. In this case, I wanted a new, clean little sundress, and I'm psyched about how my choice is turning out. It's a modified version of the Rooibos dress from Colette Patterns, and right there I already feel great about it because I've been meaning to try out Sarai's line of patterns forever and I'm finally getting around to it. Gotta share the Portland love whenever possible! I must say, I love the pattern: graded for a huge number of sizes, sews up smoothly and without any unpleasant surprises. The styling of this dress is very three-dimensional: lots of darts and curved seams, coming together in a way that seems a little different than most other, commercial patterns I've worked with. I like it! Plus, it's made me a total convert to piping: easy, cute, fun. What's not to love?


I'm making this dress in a much lighter fabric than the pattern calls for: a cotton lawn print from Spoonflower called Best Tangerine. The same designer has avocado and peach prints; I really dig the retro botanical vibe combined with the fresh, clean white backgrounds. I would seriously order three yards of each if only I could afford it.

The lawn base is gorgeous—soft, light, and airy—but it's also fairly transparent, so I'm altering the pattern and doing a full lining instead of the partial bodice facings recommended. What you see extending below the bodice is the cotton batiste lining, which I worked up while the Spoonflower fabric was being shipped to me, helping to cut my impatience. As you can see, I sewed the lining with regular seams, but the lawn is finer than the batiste and I'm working it in French seams throughout, which is always exciting to me. Quite a bit more work, but when I see the neat, clean finished product with all seams encased, I must admit it's a bit of a thrill.


It's super-easy to modify this pattern to be fully lined: I just set the facing pieces aside and cut out lining pieces for every piece included in the dress (lightly taping the upper and lower side-front skirt sections together to make a single piece, since I don't need pockets in my lining). I cut back and front upper-bodice pieces out of a light interfacing and fused it to my lining fabric before sewing the darts. Interfacing the whole upper section means there's no visible line where the facing piece leaves off (something I would worry about otherwise), and also that my bra won't show through the finished garment. I sewed the lining according to the instructions for sewing the dress, and more or less followed the instructions for working with the facings, except that I put together the entire front and entire back of the lining before joining it to the outer shell. Hopefully I won't run into any issues when I go to install the invisible zipper, but barring that it's been totally smooth sailing.


Memorial Day Weekend was typically gross here in Portland, but having this cheery project to work on, and a vacation to look forward to, has really raised my spirits. I may still be wearing sweaters, but at least I can sew sundresses!