Pattern Hacking and Mashing

One night about three months ago I was bored and frustrated with a failed muslin, so I started thinking about hacking a pattern that already works for me.  You might remember this picture if you follow me on Instagram.  Armed with some sticky tape and a few I ideas, I played around until I had some design lines I liked.   The line at the shoulder in particular stood out to me.  
IMG_20150330_221411

Here’s the final result:

contrast shoulder Emery

The bodice is based on the Emery Dress.  I eliminated the shoulder seam and added a contrast shoulder piece. I also added a waistband.
Shoulder Contrast Emery

The skirt is the pencil skirt from Gertie’s first book.  Surprisingly, the skirt pattern pieces matched up to my bodice pieces really well.  Got lucky there.  🙂 contrast shoulder Emery

The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen that I bought at B&J Fabrics in NYC last fall.  I found B&J to be a bit pricey for me, so I only got this one piece of fabric there.  However, I did appreciate how clean and nicely organized the store was.  The solid black is from somewhere online.  (I don’t remember where.  I tend to remember all of my in-person fabric shopping experiences, but online is like a black hole.)

Here’s a closer look at the shoulder detail.
shoulder contrast Emerycontrast shoulder Emery

And the inside.  Nothing to fancy this time around.
Shoulder Contrast EmeryShoulder Contrast Emery
Shoulder Contrast Emery

I’m really happy with this dress, it’s great for work and is pretty comfy because of the slight stretch in the fabric.  One thing I would do differently next time is to add some light interfacing to the waistband.  It’s not too apparent here, but the waistband gets a bit saggy looking after wearing it for a while. contrast shoulder Emery
I’ve got another hack or two up my sleeve, hope to get to those soon!

Completed: Another . . . Emery

Okay, I will own it right up front – I am a Pattern Repeat Offender.  I made another Emery.
Emery

I did it for 2 reasons.  First, I needed a palate cleanser after my Dahlia experience. Second, I lost one of my other Emery’s – I think I left it in a hotel room.  (RIP Border Print Emery.) I don’t have much new to say about the pattern, so I’ll keep this short.

Emery

Emery
The fabric is rayon challis I got from Fabric.com.  (I don’t see this print right now, but they have lots of other options.)  This feels super girly and more floral than I usually go for.  But I’m kind of into it for some reason.  Maybe it has a slightly 90s vibe that appeals to my inner teenager?

Anyway, onto a couple flat shots:

Emery Details

I lowered the neckline a little bit.

Emery

One minor difference is that I used one of the zippers I picked up in NYC.  I hadn’t used a YKK zipper before, but I like it, the zipper tape is just a bit more flexible and softer than the Coats and Clarks zippers I’ve always relied on.

Emery Details

And that’s all I’ve got to say on this one.  Thanks for bearing with me on a boring pattern repeat post.  😉

Emery

Completed: V-Neck Emery Dress

Guess what, I made another Emery Dress hack!  I know, I’m surprising no one with this.

V-Neck Emery

But this dress is special because it’s NYC bound!

V-Neck Emery

Yep, next Saturday, I’ll be shopping in the garment district!  I’m so excited, and can’t believe the trip is only a week away! Broadway shows are also on our agenda, so I wanted to make a new dress to wear.

V-Neck Emery

For this version of Emery, I re-drew the neckline into a v-neck, and added the skirt from Simplicity 2444.

V-Neck Emery

I found the fabric at a local shop.  I’m pretty sure its 100% poly, but I liked the texture and color.

V-Neck Emery

Because the fabric is pretty heavy, I knew gathers wouldn’t work.  So that’s why I used the Simplicity 2444 skirt. Now that the dress is finished, I’m wondering how a half-circle skirt would have looked.  I also made a tie belt, but am not sure if I like it.

V-Neck Emery

I stabilized the v-neck with twill tape, and it worked well.  It doesn’t gape, which is nice.

V-Neck Emery

I kept the finishes pretty simple.  The bodice is lined per the Emery instructions.  I finished the armholes by sewing them on my machine using this method from Colette patterns.

V-Neck Emery
V-Neck Emery

I also used lace hem tape.  I haven’t used this stuff in a while and I forgot how easy it is.

V-Neck Emery

The other bonus to this fabric is that it’s wrinkle resistant, and with the crinkly texture, any wrinkles it does get won’t really show.  So it will pack well.  Speaking of packing, I’m trying to plan strategically so I have enough room in my bag to bring fabric home!

V-Neck Emery

Along those lines, does anyone have tips or suggestions for the garment district?  I’m putting together a list of stores and a list of fabrics I want to look for. I plan to wear comfy shoes and am prepared to be overwhelmed – hopefully in a good way! 🙂

Completed: Polka Dot Emery Dress Hack

I had an idea for an Emery Dress hack floating around my head.  I was also feeling the need for a new polka dot dress.  This is what I ended up with.  Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those projects where the fabric was not a good match for the pattern.

polka dot Emery hack

Wrinkle and pucker city, ugh.

The fabric is a polka dot cotton shirting that I got at Mood L.A. over a year ago.  I bought it with the intention to make a shirt.  I should have done that.  This fabric just does not have the drape necessary for this dress.

polka dot Emery hack
polka dot Emery hack

I started with the Emery bodice, and redrew the neckline to match the one from the vintage pattern on the right.  Then I added the skirt (view A) from Butterick 5951.

plans
polka dot Emery hack

I lined the bodice with bemberg rayon, as usual.

polka dot Emery hack
polka dot Emery hack

A couple bright spots are the catch stitching on the hem, it turned out really even. 🙂

polka dot Emery hack

And the armhole finish turned out nice.

polka dot Emery hack

I kind of knew this fabric wasn’t going to work, but I went ahead with it anyways.  Oh well.  I may revisit this hack again with a different fabric.  But not right away.  For now I’ll consider this my ‘live and learn, and move on’ dress.

polka dot Emery hack

Completed: Emery #??

I can’t stop.  Last weekend I cut out two more Emery dresses.  Here’s the first one I finished:

Green Emery

I’m not sure how many Emerys I’ve made at this point, I’ve lost count.  I think I return to this pattern repeatedly because I know it works for me, and sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) I just want to sew without all the effort of fitting.

Green Emery

On this version I lowered the neckline a little bit and used a different skirt.  The skirt is from Simplicity 1803, but I pleated it instead of doing gathers.

Green Emery

Green Emery

The fabric is rayon challis, which has become my favorite summer fabric.  I ordered this particular one from Fabric.com, but I don’t think its available any longer.

Green Emery

Green Emery Details

I lined the bodice with Kaufman lawn.  I really like the challis/cotton lining combo, it gives the challis just a bit of structure but stays nice and cool.

Green Emery Details

Green Emery Details

I also used matching serger thread on this project. Lately I’ve been branching out and using colors other than black and white. 🙂

Green Emery Details

When I was checking the placement of the pleats, I tied a piece of quilt binding around my waist as make-shift belt.  I kind of liked the look, so I stitched the ends and made it an official belt.

Green Emery Details

Green Emery

Now that I’ve got another Emery in my closet, I’m think I’m ready for the One Week One Pattern challenge in September!

Green Emery