Mad at the Plaid...

Sunday, January 13, 2013
I made it through my first week back at work barely, but I made it! It's also been incredibly hot this week, we've been faced with 41 degree heat in Sydney (that's 105.8 farenheit) and there have been major fires across Australia, especially inland where it's been even hotter. It's much cooler today which is a relief (the cats are also much happier) and David comes back from the USA tomorrow (he has been at conferences and academic-y things for the past 10 days) so hopefully the coming week will be a little more bearable.

Enough complaining, let's talk about the dress!

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I worked on this dress in stops and starts for a few weeks towards the end of last year. We were quite busy during those weekends celebrating things like 30th Birthdays and 2nd Wedding Anniversaries.

I love plaid/tartan but completely understand why I don't often sew with it - it makes me mad. Getting everthing to match and line up is time consuming and, let's be honest, a real pain in the bum! It also doesn't help when the plaid I'm using is rectangular as opposed to square, but that's what you get when using fabric from your stash that you thrifted years ago for about $4. You can't have it all.

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Wow! I got the back to line up!!

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I have to admit though, that despite the time consuming nature of the fabric, I am quite chuffed with how it turned out. Especially where the shoulder straps line up with the bodice. I think it's also a lovely detail the way the plaid in the straps is angled before coming into a nice matching line down the bodice front.

I'm not as pleased with the bias waist band though and really should have tried harder to make sure I started with the point of a rectangle in the centre top as opposed to the middle of one. I didn't really have enough fabric to recut the waist band but the print itself, luckily, is busy enough to compensate for that. You live and learn. 

Overall I really liked the pattern. I was worried about the bodice fabric bulging out the side of my arm pit because there are no side bust darts in this dress, but it sits really nicely. The bodice is fully lined with the same plaid fabric and the waist band is underlined with a plain white cotton (which I highly recommend if you are cutting this on the bias - it gives the fabric more stability.)

Overall I really love this dress. I wish I could have made the skirt a bit fuller but there just wasn't enough fabric, I added as many pleats in the skirt as I could!

I think it's going to be a great transitional piece as we head into autumn this year, and it works well as a summer dress that's more work appropriate. I can now tick number 3 off my sewing list!

Pattern 10

Do you use plaids in your sewing often? I'd love to hear any tips you have for making it less 'a pain in the bum' if you have them!

25 comments on "Mad at the Plaid..."
  1. This dress is gorgeous, Jennifer - you've done a great job with it! :)

  2. I am totally in love with your dress! It's fabulous. :) Wonderful job!!

    I love plaid, but only sew with it occasionally. That said, I made a plaid dress last Saturday. It was actually the first dress I ever took pains to really match everything. I even managed to get the 3/4 sleeves to match across the bodice! woo hoo!

    Again, fabulous dress!

  3. What a fabulous dress!! I'm yet to work with plaid but this dress is inspiring me!!

  4. Oh my, I have no right to complain about our measly 37 when you are melting in the 40s! I can't even imagine what that must be like...

    That dress is so gorgeous (and so are you!) I think it turned out really nicely and it would make such a nice autumn winter dress too :)

  5. It's gorgeous! I love the details in the cut of the dress.
    I really felt for you guys down south last week. 40 degrees is just not nice!

  6. It's beautiful! And you matched the plaid so well! I've been to scared to sew with plaid, even though I love it...may have to rectify that this year ;o)

  7. Thanks so much for all of the lovely comments! I think all of us perfectionists notice the flaws that others wouldn't if you hadn't pointed them out :) And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a fear of the plaid.


  8. I think you're being much too harsh on yourself. This dress is great and it both suits you and fits you to a T.

  9. You're right, plaid is a pain, pain, pain. But you did well, it looks awesome! I'm also jealous of the fit...I've made two dresses in this style and I can't tell if they're just not flattering on me or I can't fit them properly.

  10. That's a gorgeous dress, Jennifer! You've done a brilliant job matching the plaids and I really like the bias waist band. :)

  11. This is SO CUTE! I love it! I wish I had tips for plaid matching, but I generally just curse and grumble while I'm pinning. It's a pain in the butt! You did so well, though-- it's perfectly matched!

  12. What a fabulous job! I love your dress (the plaid is adorable) and the pattern is gorgeous.

    I haven't been brave enough to try sewing with patterns that need matching.

  13. What a gorgeous dress! You have matched all the plaid up so nicely. I have sewn with plaids and checks before but they never turn out this good. That is due purely to my own laziness of course. I get so excited about starting a project that I just jump in and cut without thinking about matching up.

  14. You did such a brilliant job! Worth all the effort!

  15. Jen this looks great! My favourite so far :) And well done on the technical aspects like lining everything up, and the pleats. I love the back best, I think - it just fits so perfectly.

    Hope you're enduring the heat - it's snowing here at present, so I can't even imagine 10 degrees, let alone 41 degrees!!

  16. Really truly lovely work! And such a yummy pattern! Gold stars!

  17. This dress is absolutely gorgeous! The fabric is lovely too. Well done!

  18. Gorgeous! I'm glad I have rediscovered your blog again! I use to follow you when you were based in New Zealand.


  19. What a fantastic dress. I love it and the way you've matched up the plaid it fantastic. That pattern is just perfect for the fabric too.

  20. I love how the plaid highlights all the sections in this fabulous dress. You look amazing in it!

  21. Super amazing, super jealous! This fits you like gloves!!


  22. Just discovered your blog - some lovely dresses here :-) Do you know the pattern number for this dress please?

    1. Hello! The pattern is McCalls 5815 and I believe it's from the early 60s :)

    2. Thank you I'll keep a look out for it, I love the style. :-)


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