Oh, the plaid

2017-03-21 009

I started this project with a scant yard and a half of this vintage blue and rust plaid wool, begging for something wintery but not nearly enough yardage for a full garment on its own. The best thing about winter wear, in my opinion, is the way you can play with textures, so when I decided to pair two fabrics together, I knew I wanted something that would compliment the tightly-woven and slightly flanneled wool. After some daydreaming while perusing the always-tempting shelves at Treadle Yard Goods, I settled on this Kaufman linen/rayon blend, which is navy with just the slightest flecks of lighter greenish blue. The drapey, crinkly texture of linen is just right for my autumnal/wintery vision.

2017-03-21 035

I had originally picked up the 3/8″ copper woodgrain buttons as a possibility for another project, but as soon as they arrived I knew they would be perfect with the plaid fabric, giving it a woodsy vibe.

2017-03-21 034

The pattern started with Colette’s Hawthorn, which I had made previously as both a dress and a top, and had a decently-fitted version ready to go. However, to make full use of the plaid, I knew I wanted to switch from the single vertical dart (already a bit tricky for the busty!) to princess seams. Wearing it, I think I could use a smidge more room right across the widest part of my bust, and I might re-draw the princess seam curve to end a little lower if I make another.

2017-03-21 039

I knew I wanted a winter dress, which means long sleeves, so I extended the sleeve pattern, using the sleeve and cuff from my Cashmerette Harrison shirt as a guide. I gave this a bit more volume because I like the look of the double-pleated cuff on a casual garment.

2017-03-21 014 (2)

Finally, for the skirt I knew I wanted to repeat the plaid by adding a bias-cut border; for ease, I decided to eschew the flared, curved hem skirt that comes with the pattern in favor of one that would have a straight hem. It was not hard to decide on box pleats! I placed them at the seam lines and inserted small pockets into the pleat fold on either side.

2017-03-21 040

The bodice is lined with cotton voile, which I treated as a mesh between a lining and interlining, assembling both bodices first then basting them together to add the collar, skirt, sleeves, and facing. In retrospect, I wish I had lined the sleeves as well, as the linen is just a little bit rough on the sensitive skin of my upper arms. Nothing that will impede me wearing it, luckily!

I still find pattern matching on a button-front garment a challenge, but I think I did pretty well here! The Hawthorn has a very narrow overlap built in, which I might redraft a little for next time – a tiny bit more overlap in the front would feel more stable. I find the collar on this pattern tends to pop up in the back, too, so here I’ve tacked it down with a short thread chain anchor just at the base of the neck.

Long-sleeve winter dresses are too rare in my wardrobe, and given that I’m in Minnesota are something I’d like to increase! The vibe here feels like a mashup of lumberjack and Sound of Music – you know the dress the poor didn’t want? – in really the best possible way. I predict it will get some good wear in, as while spring has begun on the calendar it has not yet begun in the weather here.

4 thoughts on “Oh, the plaid

Add yours

  1. Well, get ready for people to start asking you to make THEM this dress. Great job! Love doing plaid or stripe princess lines w/ side bias, such a great look! ❤


  2. I love your mix of fabrics…I’ve been hunting for a linen/rayon blend! It’s a hard fabric to get my hands on and I love the colour of this with your plaid. Beautiful job with this Hawthorne!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑