Perplexing Plaid

Plaid Shirts-FI

So, yeah. Plaid.  That was last week’s Project Run & Play challenge…”Mad About Plaid.”

I am not naturally drawn to plaids…I tend to stick with solids or nice simple prints (dots, stripes, etc.)  Plaid tends to be too busy and fussy for my tastes.  BUT one thing I like about participating in these PR&P challenges, is the opportunity to stretch myself, my skills and to try something new once in awhile.

And, so, my search for plaid begun.  Our Joann here in town is pretty small and doesn’t have a ton of apparel fabric options, so I focused my search efforts online.  On Fashion Fabrics Club I found three plaids that were the same print, but were in three different color ways.  (My original plan was to make each girl their own colored dress.)  When they arrived I loved the colors still but I was a little uneasy to discover that the fabric had a weird stretch to it.  Like, it stretched a billion different ways, in different sections, but with no rhyme or reason like with a knit.  It was described as a chambray, but to my knowledge chambray doesn’t stretch.  Right?  AND after I washed this crazy fabric I discovered that it rejected pressing.  For real.  Even with tons of steam.  Still all wrinkly and weirdly stretchy.  That made it very, let’s say “interesting” to cut.  (It wasn’t until halfway through my second cut of Esther’s shirt that I discovered if I sprayed the fabric with water and pressed it while damp that it would actually de-wrinkle (weird stretch was still there though.))

I am insane and a tiny bit OCD so I was pretty crazy about matching up my plaids.  Thank goodness I ordered a TON of this fabric.

Oh, and did I mention I was wanting to do all of this on the bias?  Yeah, insane, this girl.  And after an entire re-cut of Dinah’s shirt I discovered I STILL cut her shirt skirt wrong and didn’t have enough to do it again.  So, her’s is just sewn as is.  I got pretty fed up with hers and left it un-hemmed and without buttons and moved on to Esther’s shirt.

After I figured out my mistake(s) with Dinah’s, I completed Esther’s fairly quickly.  Because of the (weird) stretch it isn’t quite perfectly matched up in front, but it is pretty good!Plaid Shirts-4

Because I was trying to make the submission deadline I went ahead and did my photo shoot with just Esther.  (It rained almost all of last week, so forgive the sad pictures on our porch.)

I am pretty proud of how well I got the plaid matched up on the shoulders and sides. (Even with the pockets!)

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I used the Geranium Dress pattern, but made a few alterations.  I sewed the bodice pretty much as is, except I had to adjust the shoulders to be perfectly symmetrical.  The way the pattern is originally drafted the back piece curves over the shoulder slightly on one end and that was making it impossible to match up the pattern.  (Hence all the re-cuts.)

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I cut the tunic length pleated pattern piece, but I eliminated the pleats to make it more narrow fitting.  And I added flat piping between the bodice and the skirt.  (Also, I have to say…look at this poser!  I didn’t tell her to do this, I promise.  She just comes by this naturally…silly girl!)

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That foot!

I also made the front and back skirt pieces the exact same, which eliminated the back seam and slit.  I just overlapped the button plackets and basted in place along the bottom and then stitched on the skirt.

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The fun thing about this photo shoot was that Dinah wanted to get in on the action. At first I thought she wanted me to also take pictures of her, but no, she wanted to also take pictures of Esther.

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She used her little Fisher Price camera and it was so cute.  And she actually got a couple good shots!

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And some not so good.

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I did finally get around to finishing Dinah’s shirt and they wore them to school on Friday.

They like them and they look really cute.  And I am getting over the lack of perfection in Dinah’s. 🙂  Because it is still (really) warm here I just paired them with some black capri leggings.  But I think these will be cute with jeans and a long sleeve white shirt underneath during the cooler months.  (Not that we have many of those here!)

As you can see I never did make Miriam’s dress with the third plaid colorway.  Mostly because I decided I was going to use that fabric to make something for all three of them.  When I was brainstorming this project I kept going back and forth between using the Geranium Dress or the Oliver+S Ice Cream Dress pattern.  Obviously I chose the Geranium, but I just love the Ice Cream Dress so much that I am going to use the third fabric to make matching fall dresses for all the girls.

Oh, and finally, I don’t know if you noticed my alliteration post titles during this season of PR&P, but that is on purpose.  Katy over at No Big Dill is doing a series of sewing projects based around all 26 letters of the alphabet and I think I will join in here or there depending on my work load.

So far I have B, L, P, and next week will be S.  This S has been a looooonnnnggg time in the making (I started them way back in March!) and I finally have them finished just in time for the Signature Style challenge.  Here’s a sneak peak:

I’ll see you later this week with more details!

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2 Comments on “Perplexing Plaid

  1.  by  Rae

    CUTE!!! Love the plaid. Really really great. So question: can they get it on over their heads OK when it’s just the top part that opens in the back? Looks like a nice mod, would love to try it!! 🙂

    •  by  Harmony

      Thanks!! I am so glad you like my little modifications! The shirts definitely go on…they are a bit snug, so the girls need help getting dressed, but it actually works pretty well. It helps that I cut them to be a bit bigger so they can wear them over long sleeved tees this winter. If I wasn’t crazily matching plaids I would have just done your normal back closure. 🙂

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