Saturday, February 28, 2015

Complete: A Not So New Jacinta Dress

You know how sometimes the longer you leave something you mean to do, the harder it is to actually get down and do it?'s been a while between posts. Life got busy, as it does from time to time for all of us. I have however been putting non-blogging time to work as sewing time, and so I think for the first time I have a bit of a backlog of projects to catch up on.

First up is a dress I finished last April, that I've never quite managed to get around to posting. This is because I'd thought of it as a bit of a "meh" make. But, in the twin interests of honesty and posterity, here 'tis:

It's Style Arc's Jacinta Knit Dress, in a very ordinary stable black cotton jersey with self-fabric bands at neck and armholes. And that photo isn't doing anything to dispel the "meh" rating... Clearer design lines shown below:

It went together very easily although from memory some of the yoke (raglan-y bits) pieces were oddly labelled. It was almost as if the printing cut out partway through the words - both versions, sleeved and sleeveless, were labelled "version sl" with the final "L" partly missing. Going by the line drawings I assumed the narrower "straps" were for the sleeveless view. Since this was technically a muslin (with the secret hope of being wearable anyway) I didn't make any changes to the pattern.

It's shaped but not particularly fitted, which is best evidenced by the side view. (Figure? What figure?) When I first tried it on I was pretty underwhelmed. I really didn't think this one would get much wear at all.

But by the end of the year I was pleasantly surprised. Keeping a record /running tally of all the times I wore my own makes was an enlightening exercise; some things I loved when I made them had barely been worn at all, while some things - like this one - had been in much higher rotation than expected. This dress actually worked really well throughout winter for layering; boots, tights, long-sleeved tops, jumpers. In fact, this and my Beatnik jumper was one of my favourite outfits. I found one handy thing about wearing a dress under things is that there's no extra waistband bulk. Plus, the very unspectacularness (to coin a word...) of this made it easy to coordinate with lots of other things. Who'd have thought!

So, a tick for cooler weather wear. But how about the warmer weather it would seem to have been designed for? Here's a confession, and just another reason why I'll never be a stylist or a true fashionista: I'm not all that keen on wearing black in summer. I know it's very chic, and timeless and all that, but with the occasional exception, generally it feels a bit, I don't know, heavy to wear on a hot day.

But I actually don't mind this belted and with sandals...

 I usually try and post garments reasonably soon after making them (or at least take photos before they've been through the wash umpteen times), but I think the gap between completion and post has worked in this dress's favour. At the time this would have gotten a thumbs down in any review I gave, but it really has proved its worth since.

So much so that now I'm thinking a grey marle version with elbow length sleeves would be rather nice...

How about you? Have you ever had a make turn around and surprise you like this?