After last week’s unfortunate pants episode, I’m happy to say that I love this dress. It’s my second version of the Inari Tee Dress from Named Patterns. instead of a knit, this time I sewed it up in a soft, lightweight tencel-denim blend. Have you ever felt tencel? I first laid hands on a tencel shirt in my one of my favorite Chicago boutiques, Study Hall. (If that shirt wasn’t a gnarly shade of Barney purple, I’d probably be wearing it right now.) It was incredibly soft and had such a pretty, fluid drape. Bonus points that tencel turns out to be biodegradable and sustainable! Sweet.
This fabric was so easy to work with—aside from the fierce fraying—that I’m letting it dictate my next make. Fabric.com is out of yardage in this color, but I’m planning on picking up some similar tencel chambray in a darker color to make another Archer. (Maybe with cuffs and a pocket made from remnants of the lighter fabric?! The wheels are a turnin’!)
As I said, the innards were fraying like a beast after finishing them with a zigzag stitch, so I experimented with some binding for the side seams. Plus, the vented hem just cries out for a little extra something on the inside.
Experimenting is the key word here. I made some double-fold bias tape from leftover floral cotton and used it to create bias-bound side seams on one side (top image) and a Hong Kong bound seam on the other (bottom image). Honestly, I can’t remember my thought process or the steps I took when it came to the finish at the vent, but it necessitated a different treatment than the side seam. As you can see, things got a little wonky at both vent openings, especially on the Honk Kong side. I zigzagged any raw edges to prevent any further unraveling. Any tips for finishing a vented hem? I’m wondering if a simple zigzag finish (or overlocked edge if you have a serger) is the best option.
As if some janky floral bias tape wasn’t enough, I also added decorative stitches at the vent. I seriously felt like a kid discovering Doritos for the first time when I started playing around with the decorative stitches on my machine. I settled on these loops, which are inconspicuous because of the near-matching thread. It’s all about those little details, amirite?!
The Nitty Gritty
- Fit: Again, I sewed a US size 8. Since my knit garment was so large at first (like, large even for a fabric with lots of stretch), I sewed the side seams at a 5/8″ seam allowance. I should’ve stuck with the pattern’s recommended 3/8″ SA, though, since I could use a teensy bit more room at the upper thigh. I thought about letting it out, but the dress was still comfy after two full days of wear. Just no sumo squats in this!
- Neckline: I forwent the facing pieces and finished the neckline with a self bias facing. As always, I used the method outlined in this Grainline tutorial to get that sucker lying flat.
- Sleeves: I did a shoddy job setting the sleeves the first time around (I guess I’m rusty sewing them in the round?!), so I unpicked them and took my time pinning and easing. Unfortunately, the stitches from the previous seam are visible. Any tips for fixing that? I have enough fabric to sew new sleeves, but the marks don’t bother me too much right now.
- Sleeve detail: Again with the decorative stitches—I can’t stop myself! Instead of sewing the sleeve detail to the sleeve by hand, I used this pointed-oval stitch. It turned into a fish since I didn’t stop quickly enough. Kinda cute?
This dress is seriously so fun to wear. I’d say that after sewing two Inaris within a month, I should give the pattern a rest for awhile, but I can see making this up in a slightly heavier weight wool jersey to pair with tights this fall.
That gets me thinking: Are you geared up for fall sewing? I’m going to go with the flow this season and work on things as inspiration (or a new pattern!) comes along. And then there’s Halloween! But that holiday deserves its own post. Soon enough, my costume-loving friends, soon enough. 😀