During the course of last week, I finished the second ruby dress (pattern, of course, by Made by Rae) that I had started on the weekend.
This version includes a black pinstriped lightweight wool blend suiting body, and a cotton linen yoke featuring rhinos. The black fabric is from The Fabric Store, now my shop of choice for garment fabrics, and the yoke fabric is this one from Stitchbird (I love it and now I want to make a quilt featuring it!).
Instead of binding the armholes like the pattern suggests, on this version I stitched both raw edges of the binding to the armholes and then turned it inside the dress and hand stitched it down, so it's more like a facing. You can't see it in these photos but I used a hot pink dotty fabric and you can catch a little glimpse of it now and then.
Because the body fabric was a lighter weight than the purple wool blend I used for my first ruby dress, I cut a size small body piece and paired it with a size medium yoke. I think that works better for me - there's not as much excess fabric and I'm still not in any danger of the dress being too small. This version turned out slightly shorter than the first ruby dress, so I'm writing this as a reminder to myself - I really need to add more than 2" to the pattern pieces to get the right length - more like 3" or 4". This one is fine as a winter version where I'll always be wearing tights with it, but it would be too short for me to feel comfortable without tights and therefore wouldn't work as a summer dress.
This photo is good because it shows the subtle pinstripe in the black fabric, and if you look at the neck very closely, you can see my hand stitching where I sewed down the binding/facing. I used a light grey Aurifil thread (number 2600 to be precise) and was quite careful to make my stitches small and evenly spaced, because they are slightly visible on the outside of the garment.
This version has actually had an outing to work already. I got a few strange looks on account of the rhinos, but very few comments. It's very comfortable, and I felt good about wearing something I'd made myself (and a little bit subversive with my rhinos in a corporate office environment). I'm really pleased to have another handmade addition to my wardrobe.
So are there any other quilters out there taking on garment sewing? I had some lovely Anna Maria Horner knit fabric arrive during the week and I'm alternately excited and nervous about making something out of that. I'm thinking that a t-shirt might be a good place to start...