An Inari for Spring! (aka Is This B*tch Out of Ikat Yet?!?)

(The answer is yes, except for some rather small scraps, so breathe a sigh of relief!)

Happy Monday! Somehow, I managed to finish my Inari Tee Dress exactly when I expected to–crazy, right?!? I’m really excited for you all to see my shiny new dress, so let’s get to it:

Inari Tee Dress in ikat

Inari Tee Dress in ikat

Front view + Mulder

Front view + Mulder

Side view, because THAT SPLIT HEM, THO.

Side view, because THAT SPLIT HEM, THO.

*insert witty caption here*

*insert witty caption here*

WTF?

WTF?

If I can sits, it fits

If I can sits, it fits

Sorry about the weird drag happening in the back view photo–that’s what I get for not standing straight in photos! For the record, I AM STOKED ON THIS DRESS. I love it. I adore the cocoon-ish shape and interesting hem detail, and my inner greaser wishes I smoked so I could cram a spare cigarette or three in those sleeve cuffs! I totally bit off part of the styling from the Named site for the dress’s debut outing (and subsequent photos)–I bought sheer knee-socks a few years ago when they came back in style, and loved the idea of them with this dress after seeing the styled photos of the Named sample. That being said, one thing I still cannot get behind is tights or hose or socks with open-toed shoes; these booties were my first choice and I could not be happier with how the entire thing came together. My only regret is that I cannot get away with wearing it to the office like this (big split hem + knee socks + heels = scandal in a corporate environment), but that’s why I have an entire arsenal of cute, mod-ish flats, including a pair in the perfect shade of yellow! :-D

Hopefully these photos show exactly how many elements I had to deal with when thinking about how to lay and cut out my pieces–shit got weird reallllll quick. See, apart from not being able to exactly center the pattern the way I wanted it (“arrows” pointing up and down instead of side to side, both to maximize usage of all colors and design elements and to elongate rather than widen my silhouette), I *also* needed to be cognizant of the potential for those diamond/arrow motifs sitting too low over my chest and giving the dress a very artistic “droopy, fried-egg-on-a-nail boobs” impression. (Go ahead: I dare you to un-see that now!) I managed to avoid that, thank goodness!! And my sleeves match each other pretty closely. I really wanted the black portion of the diamond motif to point downward rather than up, and to have my hem stop below the point–another “check” for my pattern placement list on this dress! (Can you see why I had so much trouble with the layout? I had a lot of arbitrary “musts” for how the pattern fell on the final garment, apparently!) On top of all of that, there were a few flaws in the weave of the material–they look like ladders in tights, but they aren’t tears or holes–which, although probably common in ikat (and therefore not truly considered a flaw), I did NOT want one of those front and center. So after working around all of that, I am very happy with the final dress! Motif placement struggles aside, the fabric and pattern combination really came together beautifully. This ikat is lighter than the other length I had, so it’s just drapey enough to feel nice while still having the body to hold the shape of the cocoon and angular splits on its own.

Construction-wise, this dress was pretty easy. Hooray!! I made zero fitting adjustments apart from copying the width of the shoulders from my Scout pattern to make sure I had enough room. (Concerning the length, Named drafts on a base height of 5’8″; if my doctor is to be believed, I am about 1/2″ to 1″ taller than that, but my legs also aren’t super long. Hopefully that provides a bit of a reference for anyone considering making this.) This was my second time making a Named Clothing pattern, but this one was obviously more involved than my Shadi knit skirt. The trickiest part was successfully sewing the splits at the hem, simply because my fabric is not stretchy and the maneuvering required under the needle is difficult on such a small hem circumference with no elasticity and those sharp corners. I also insisted on having my needle thread on the outside of the dress, which undoubtedly added to my difficulties (i.e., a whole lot of dress bunched up to the right of my needle). But I did it, and I think the splits and hem look really good:

Split hem: Outside

Split hem: Outside

Split hem: Inside

Split hem: Inside

The line drawing is very accurate as well, both in terms of the silhouette and the wrapping of the side seams to the front of the dress toward the hemline. The instructions were adequate and sensible, although I was confused by the technique used to begin sewing the splits. After sewing the side seams from the underarm up to the start of the split, the directions have you turn the hem allowance to the right side and sew the edge (at the splits) for the width of the hem allowance. (So if we imagine the side seam running all the way to the bottom raw edge of the dress, you’re basically sewing the hem’s width of that side seam and then stopping.) Then you turn that sewn corner (mine look SPECTACULAR thanks to my bone folder, FYI–get one if you can/want!) back to the inside, press well along the hem AND the open parts of the side seams that will create the splits (so basically, press those unsewn seam allowances under), and then in one swoop, sew the hem and splits, catching those pressed SA’s along the splits and hem. Turning the hem to the front and sewing any part of it made me side-eye this whole thing at first, but after practicing on a scrap, it all made sense. That technique also results in a nice clean finish on those corners, which could get sloppy and bulky really easily otherwise!

I have now worn this dress two days in a row, which probably sounds gross, but the first day was only for 4 hours so whatever. :-) It’s really comfortable, but obviously does not lend itself to extreme acrobatics or curling up in a fetal position to take a nap in the front seat of your car. Proportionally speaking, I think my hips are a little wider than Named’s base draft for my size, but not so much that I need an adjustment there with this pattern. I have already formulated a devilish plan to make the crop top variation to wear with version 2.0 of the Shadi skirt pattern, so I’ll be starting on that this week.

That about does it for me and this dress, but how about some Mads & Mulder outtakes??

"Do I have pizza stuck in my teeth?"

“Do I have pizza stuck in my teeth?”

Headpats for puppy!

Headpats for puppy!

SURPRISE FACE KISSES!!!

SURPRISE FACE KISSES!!!

Face of ferocity

Beast mode: Activated

Happy and tired and perfect

Happy and tired and perfect

If you’re still with me, thank you for visiting and checking out this post! Hopefully I’ll be back soon to share progress from my basic block pattern class–our second class is tomorrow and I still need to do my homework from last week! O_o

(Oh, and below is my supply list for the Inari dress.)
  • 2 yards genuine ikat from Michael Levine
  • Several yards of Hug Snug seam binding (100yd roll from Fabric.com)
  • Bone folder for turning points (I got mine on Amazon)
  • Gray Gutterman all-purpose polyester thread
  • 80/12 Universal needle
  • Small handsewing needle (for securing cuffs and tacking facing at shoulder seams)
  • Inari Tee Dress pattern from Named Clothing

 

**Disclaimer: I feel like this is really obvious, but I want to be clear that I am not affiliated with or compensated by any site that I link to for tools, fabric, or patterns, etc. I’m just sharing what I used and liked because I appreciate it when other people share that kind of information just because they had a good experience and want to give others a good resource. It also helps me if, in the future, I forget where I got “that thing that time,” which is sadly likely. =) **

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