In the details

crabandbee.com | altered Vogue 1367

I meant to blog about this dress sooner, but last week was truly strange. Seattle had a freak heat wave and my work drama was off the charts. Good stuff happened, too – I got to celebrate the release of Sanae’s new book and my scarlet runner beans quadrupled in size – but overall I was real glad to be on the right side of Friday.

So here I am, a week later and a little worse for wear, with some quick notes on this dress! This is a pattern I made two times in 2014, Vogue 1367. The tunic I made has become one of my most-worn and loved items.

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When I found myself with 2 yards of black linen on my hands, I set out to make another tunic and perfect it. I made the curved hem piece a bit deeper, and extended the bodice by 10″ instead of 8″ so I could wear it as a dress.

I also did my now-standard square shoulder adjustment, which lowered the bust point a bit as well.

crabandbee.com | altered Vogue 1367

I did try sleeves, but I added gathers at the top and the similarities to a choir robe was undeniable. I wish I’d taken a picture to share! Off came the sleeves.

crabandbee.com | altered Vogue 1367

I used woven trims in black and white to embellish it, and embroidered the neckline. Good lookin’ details keep me excited to wear a garment, so recently I’ve been trying to challenge myself to add one or two to each project. And, since I get irrationally angry making the exact same thing twice, the challenge helps me stay excited to sew patterns I’m already familiar with.

crabandbee.com | altered Vogue 1367

What are your favorite ways to customize your sewing?

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68 thoughts on “In the details

  1. Very cool. A perfect summer dress! This is great inspiration to actually use the trims I’ve been hoarding. I usually get excited to finish projects and don’t really take my time with the details, but I think you’re right that the details really help keep the garments exciting to wear.

    1. I am a trim hoarder too! I have a much more liberal approach to buying trims compared to fabric because good ones are hard to find and they don’t take up much space.

  2. Those trims were worth the effort! I really like how they give interest to the neckline!

  3. How chic! That trim is so perfect for the dress. Being a big repeat offender I find for me the customisation is more about perfecting fit or tweaking a finish or a style line here and there. I’m not really an embellisheuse!

    1. You make miracles happen with your fitting / finishing / pattern altering! I think whatever makes you excited to sew and wear your clothes is the right approach.

  4. I think this pattern was truly made for you, it looks great every time! Adding the centre front seam adds so much interest – and trim possibilities. I really enjoy making a pattern a second and even third time, because I love love love tweaking the construction. And I like to see how changing the fabric will change the look, too. Sometimes I even work on the fit, but I am lazy about that!

    1. Thanks, Chloe! I would like to make it up as-designed sometime soon – I never have! What sorts of things do you look for when you tweak construction?

      1. Lots of times, it’s the facing/finishing situation. Last summer, I made Butterick 6169, the dress (unclogged, sorry!) and the binding was just disastrous. You need a light weight, even drapey fabric, but then it’s finished with binding, that ends up in 6-8 layers of fabric at the shoulder. Seriously impedes the drape factor! I haven’t done more with that one yet, but if I make it again, I sure will. I’m always after a clean finish.

  5. I bought the pattern after seeing your versions and made up the top but had to make elbow length sleeves as I didn’t have enough fabric. Despite it shrinking after the first wash (I really thought I had prewashed my silk!) it turned out great, albeit a bit shorter than I would have liked. I love your tunic and might have to follow suit.

  6. You know, I don’t really think about trims but I am totally smitten with the look you’ve achieved. And I totally get that trims take up less space than fabric. I’m converted!

  7. I love your dress! This is one of the patterns that completely passed me by, but it really does have nice construction lines…
    I adore your embellishment, the trim and stitching are perfect for this. I notice that in stores I am drawn to embellished clothing and why not do this in the projects I spend so much time on anyway? Often I’m just too darn lazy… (especially since I often need to fit the patterns first anyway, being short… in the end I just want to get it finished and wear the thing and not bother with the detail 😉
    But you’re so right, it is really worth taking the extra time, because it makes wearing the clothes more fun and sewing a pattern twice or thrice definitely more interesting. I should challenge myself to embellish more often, too!

    1. If I didn’t scrutinize the Rebecca Taylor patterns in depth, I wouldn’t have noticed the lines either! I had the same realization as you, that I love the look of more embellished clothes, and wondered why I wasn’t sewing any.

    1. Thank you, Hilde! I feel the same way; I thought for sure I would be tackling larger embroidery projects after doing this small one but I’ve stalled out. Hoping to dive into another one soon!

  8. So lovely! Great to see the details up close – that embroidery is ace. What is that kind of stitch called? I’d love to add more embroidery to my clothes, but I always worry it’ll look too shoddy. I’ve got plans to make personalised embroidered kimono style robes as a wedding gift. Should be good practise!

    1. Feather stitch! I had the same worry about shoddy embroidery, so I started on a scrap of my fashion fabric before moving on to the garment. That said, even if you get to your garment and the embroidery looks bad, you can remove it pretty easily!

  9. I’ve always loved the first tunic you made from this pattern – you actually inspired me to add it to my collection although I haven’t tried it yet. This second version is equally beautiful! Neat finishes and tidy sewing are what keep me engaged in a project. I really like your use of embroidery and trims, two things I never do but would like to incorporate,

    1. Thanks, Bella! I hope you try it some day as I’d love to see your take on it. I also love a good finish and tidy sewing, although I’ve been a little less motivated about them as of late! Not sure why, because not only are they fun to sew but they sure make the garment lovely to put on!

  10. A really lovely dress. Your use of trims and embroidery is inspiring…something I need to get better at. I’m sure this will be as much loved as your earlier version.

    1. I have to nudge myself to use more embellishments – it doesn’t come naturally! But it is fun, once I decide I’m going to do it. I have noticed that your self-drafted garment seam lines are very interesting, which is at least as good as embellishment!

  11. Oh, I love, love, love the trims you added! This is one thing I am not good at—I should study RTW details more often for inspiration. Great dress!

  12. This is the perfect summer dress … perfect length, perfect fabric, sleeveless and the trim choice is spot on – beautiful graphic effect

  13. I love the dress! The trim makes it so unique and beautiful. Thank you for the inspiration, I need to use trims more often!

  14. This is stunning. I love how simple details can make you feel so much more excited about a piece of clothing!.

  15. I love this! The details totally make it. I’ve been embroidering lots of little things lately, but have yet to add any to clothing … probably only a matter of time. The simple stitches you chose look great!

    1. Ooh, I’ll be keeping an eye out for embroidery on your projects! I had grand visions of doing a larger-scale embroidery project – something like Tanya Maile has been doing – but starting small was a good idea for me and can still make a nice visual impact.

  16. Great dress and the trims work so well. I love trims too, but it has to be the ‘right’ trim and that can be hard to find at retail level. For this reason I often settle for topstitching!

    1. Good trims are so hard to find! In contrast with my resolution to stash less fabric, I do stash trims I like because they are much harder to find (that and they take up very little space!) Thank you Sheryll 🙂

  17. I love the trim and stitching (and the hem shape!). I used that exact neckline stitch as a decorative hem on a garment ages ago and it’s reminded me I should use them more.

    1. Thanks for inspiring me, Andrea! I need to pick another embroidery project soon – my sis even gave me all of her floss so I have more colors to work with.

  18. This is beautiful!! That embroidery and trim is gorgeous and totally takes everything up a notch. I would want to wear this everyday!

  19. Wow, it’s gorgeous! The trims and embroidery really elevate the dress. I’m always scared to add stuff like that because I’m worried I’ll make it look too homemade or will add something that just ruins the dress, but this makes me inspired to give it a shot with my next simple make!

    1. Adding embellishments seems to double the time I need for a project, because I have to spend so much time evaluating how it looks! But it’s fun, and if things go wrong, you can usually remove the offending trim.

  20. Beautiful! I love customizing my clothes. Embroidery, lace insertion, applique, pom poms, rainbow tape – I’ve done it all!!! Especially when I was a young Uni student. Right now I’m learning crochet so I hope I can add that to the mix 😉

    1. Ooh, I’ll keep my eyes out for some crochet in your projects! What fun. And I’m just waiting for the right project to add pom-pom trim to…

  21. Beautiful dress and it suits you very well! I like your hack version a lot more than the photo on the pattern envelope. Those trims and embroidery make the dress extra special.

  22. This looks so good Morgan! I love the addition of the trims and embroidery, they really elevate it to something extra special.

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