Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Southport Dress Two \\ Summer Plaid

After wearing and enjoying my first one last weekend, I decided to make a second Southport Dress by True Bias, View A, yesterday. This fabric had been in my stash since last summer and I had intended to make a Cashmerette Springfield top from it.  I hate to say it, since the Springfield does fit me pretty well, but I think the neckline and shoulders fit me better in the Southport Dress! I see Southport tops in my future...

This was super quick to sew up. I cut the fabric one day and then it took me another full day to sew everything up.  Not bad for a custom new dress.

This fabric is a 100% cotton, and it's kind of a partial seersucker. It has stripes of seersucker and striped of plain fabric, which makes for a fun texture. I really like the idea of this fabric, but it is super flawed. After washing it, it has become obvious that there are several spots that look like what I can only describe as 'weaving errors' - it looks like the weft threads never passed through the warp threads in certain areas.

That's okay though!  I was treating it as another wearable muslin, and will enjoy it while it lasts. And hey, I might get to try out some decorative patching.

The fabric was a very small monetary investment ($10 or so), and any time investment I put in was after I knew what the problems were with the fabric, so that's on me.  I have decided that I will not be purchasing more fabric from the place that I bought this one, as they seem to have frequent quality issues, aren't close by, and have terrible customer service. I'll focus on getting my fabric from one of the really lovely local purveyors.

Back to the dress...


I cut the front bodice piece on the fold at the 'center front' line, which is clearly marked on the pattern, for a non-buttons version, and apart from keeping my 1 inch (total) bust adjustment, and adding 2 inches in length to the skirt, everything else was as drafted originally.

When I wore my polka-dotted Southport Dress on the weekend, it seemed to be riding up in the front a little bit. You couldn't tell by looking at it, but I definitely could feel it.  I thought it might have been because I had moved the shoulder seam back by half an inch, which is part of the reason I wanted to muslin this again.  I'm also pleased to say that moving the shoulder seam back to where it was originally in the pattern has put the seam right exactly where it should be on my shoulder.

I'm feeling the same pulling with this version, and actually it's not really 'pulling' as much as it feeling like there really just isn't enough fabric length to go over my bust in the front of the dress.  Somehow, it's up about an inch from my natural waist at the I'll be adding an inch to the bodice length on my next version.

I think I'll also leave out the pockets next time. I LOVE POCKETS!! I do not love the excessive bulk that these ones are adding to my hips.

I ended up cutting the drawstring casing on the wrong grain, because I had 45 inch wide fabric, and the casing piece is over 46 inches that wasn't going to work. My fabric didn't have much more stretch one way than the other, so it worked out just fine.  Also, because the dress cinches in with the drawstring, there's not really any stretch needed in the drawstring casing.

The one other change I think I'll make next time is having the bottom of the skirt come in less at the bottom. It feels just a little more restrictive than I'd like.  I'm not set on this though, and will likely make - or not make - the change at the last minute when I sew this one again.


I really like that I was able to make matching bias tape to finish the armhole and neckline.  I actually managed to get into a real groove, and ended up chain piecing it - and making an absolute ton of it.

chain pieced bias tape in the making

I also figured out that I had been using my bias tape maker upside down (???), which was making it much more challenging to press the bias tape properly, but once I switched it over, it was easy peasy (with the raw edges facing down instead of up).

I love the summery red plaid! It is light weight, interesting to look at (but not too interesting - neutral lover over here!), and just has a perfect summer feel. Perfect for escorting the kids to the splash pad or playground on these hot July days.

I was a little worried that omitting the button bands and cutting the front on the fold would effect the fit (I'm not sure why), and make it not fit as well in the shoulders/armholes, but it didn't, and it fits well.

I'm excited to continue to play with this pattern and further perfect the fit. I think I'll likely tackle a maxi dress version of this next, and then maybe make some shirts with the bodice pattern. 

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