The best dress ever that I will wear forever, all the time.
One of my favorite patterns, this. The Carolyn Pj by Closet Case Files. This is my fourth make, this time a dress I'd long been plotting. PJ for daywear trend still going strong in my house.
This is a size 10, the only alteration was to extend the line of the top to dress length, add inseam pockets and...thats about it! I did make the piping with ivory satin of a decent quality, I've worn the other Carolyns so much that the piping fabric has suffered & hasnt lasted too well, so I went upmarket for this one. The heavier weight has bulked up the diameter of the piping but to me this just looks a bit more luxurious & I'm very happy with the result.
Aggressive notching on the collar, due to bulkier piping. Collar block fused prior to cutting: good move. The fabric is a printed rayon from Spotlight, I absolutely love it.
I made this soon after my show had finished, November last year. I worked so hard to make that exhibition's worth of work & I missed my sewing so much! So I did take my time with this dress...also I was pretty much tapped out, creatively, hence not even posting a finished pic on Instagram till last week. But rest assured, I have worn this dress PLENTY & want another five of them. At least five. Stealth pjs mmmm.
I cut the pocket piece from cardboard (glued the paper piece to an empty cereal box & fetched the child scissors) & pressed around it to make a nice sharp shape (not my idea, a really good one I read somewhere else).
Sketched the hem shape from the top, the dress having a bit of extra width at dress length.
Made a narrow hem, the fabric being weighty enough to hang well without a deeper one & I like narrow hems.
Retro-fitted in-seam pockets. Annoying I didnt do this earlier but I didn't want that extra flappy fabric at the sides. After its first wear, I went to put my hands in the pockets so many times! They weren't there so went back & put them in even though it was deeply annoying to unpick through the overlocking.
Next time, I'll french seam the side seams as they do show through the center front, particularly when seated. And next time too, I'll try modifying this to a knit, tshirt style, with no centre front opening.
Furthermore, remember the piped top/blouse-off? Here you go. The results of that road test is: I wear that purple Carolyn top nightly, it gets washed in mornings to be available again that night and have worn the Keana exactly ONCE. Pretty clear result: I absolutely love the Carolyn top. I love the style and the slim cut and above all else, I love that it taught me to pipe. My many thanks to Heather Lou for introducing me to it; excellent make-your-own bias tape and piping tutorial here. This really is an excellent set of instructions/guidelines, you cant go wrong! I love piping now, a lot, I love making the satin bias tape for it & find sewing it oddly calming, which is good because its an activity that calls for patience, and lots of it.
I've found the whole experience a slow-in-a-good-way project but all the same, it took just over a year in between the first and subsequent iterations so clearly there's not often a chill enough window of time in which to tackle this sew.
I highly recommend it, a lot, its lovely. And I totally won the project I was pitching for that day! Go me and my dress, BOOM!