Decades Everyday ESP Dress (Tribute Sewing)

For Sewcialist tribute month, Gillian asked me to contribute to the blog. I knew immediately who I was going to make a tribute to: Tanya from Mrs. Hughes.

I’ve been following Tanya since 2012. She is one of the reasons I got back into sewing in 2013 along with the other editors at the Curvy Sewing Collective. My adventures in sewing had been all over the place before. I was convinced that sewing patterns were incompatible with curvy women. I didn’t know about FBAs or other pattern adjustments. I still use Idle Fancy’s tutorials on that.  I also mostly saw bland clothing out there for plus sizes. Nothing colourful or interesting and certainly nothing with reasonable prices and shipping for a Canadian gal. I ordered some dresses from modcloth and eshakti, but I had to wait for sales. I knew I wanted to sew all my clothes since I bought a sewing machine in 2009, but I didn’t feel like the majority of sewing bloggers reflected my needs. When I started following Tanya, all that changed. Her style was exactly what I wanted to sew! Vintage, colourful, and lots and lots of dresses! 😀

Eventually after a million comments, Tanya and I became friends. She sent me the Decades Everyday ESP dress and Wonder Woman fabric and I knew my tribute to her would include both.

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If you don’t know, Tanya is the queen of the ESP Dress. She has several versions in all different kinds of fabric, including her very own Wonder Woman ESP Dress.

I love this dress!

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The ESP dress only goes to a 46 bust, though, which meant I had some pattern alterations to do for it. I did a 2.5 inch FBA on the largest size to give me 5 extra inches for my 51 inch bust. With the ease in the pattern, it worked out perfectly for me. I also did a large bicep adjustment on the sleeves. The sleeves weren’t tight, but I wanted a bit more ease of movement. For the future however, I will need to increase the armsyce just slightly since it is a bit tight and high.  The FBA added space to the waist. However, I could have made the waist darts a big bigger since the dress doesn’t quite come in enough at the waist without the belt. I also lowered the neckline since I knew that would be too high for me. After a muslin, I did a slight hollow chest adjustment at the neckline. I will also be taking a wedge out of the back neckline too next time.

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For the skirt, I was restricted with the width due to fabric constraints. I think the fullness works, though.

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I already have another version planned using nerdy Hello Kitty fabric.

While this dress isn’t going to worn to work that often, it will get a lot of wear at cons or on the weekends. Basically any excuse for Wonder Woman!

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Decades Everyday ESP Dress
  • Pros: Really well drafted dress with raglan sleeves and square neckline. Easy pattern for making alterations.
  • Cons: A good size range, but I do subtract meanly for it only going up to a 46 inch bust. Otherwise a 5 star pattern. (edit: Decades Everyday is going up to a 52 inch bust soon!)
  • Make again?: Already have my next one planned out.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars
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Paris, Cake, A UFO, and Andreas

Oh my, where has the time gone? I’ve been sewing a lot, but with no time to take pictures (ahem…make ask my boyfriend politely to take pictures). I did the old selfie thing so that I could stop feeling guilty and could post about the project I am currently working on.

Paris

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The above is my best impression of a sophisticated women from Paris (please read Paris as Paree everytime). I’m kicking myself for not taking a close up of the fabric and these are such low-quality pictures that I can’t even properly do a close up of the fabric. The print is pink* roses with “Les Fleurs” intermixed. I picked it up at a fabric store in Toronto’s fashion district for about $4 per yard a few weeks ago. I got three yards and used about 2.25. It’s adorable and totally not something I would normally pick up. You may look at me and believe I was very into floral fabric, but I’m generally not. Lately, it’s definitely been growing on me more and more. The fabric is a cotton knit with very little stretch. Almost no stretch to be honest. I chose the Moneta again for it and am in love with it. However, I really need to alter this pattern for any future makes, because the armhole gaping is really obvious without the right amount of stretch in the fabric. From cutting to finish, this took me about 4 hours to make. The BF was pretty impressed it came together so quickly. This is why TNT patterns are so nice to work on.

I’m glad I have some of this fabric left, because I am hoping to make it into some pajama shorts for the summer.

*See? It’s pink! I do sew pink!

Cake

This is my first make from Sewing Cake patterns. It’s the Pavlova skirt, but I changed a few elements. I added a few more inches to the waistband and then added in straps for a jumper skirt look. I came in with this concept of what I wanted and wasn’t taking no for an answer. To preface the next bit, I want to say that Steph’s instructions and her pattern were totally fine. The alterations I made to the pattern plus having a few bad sewing days are what made this so difficult to make. I ripped out every seam after I sewed it more than once. Eventually, I just ripped out all the seams and then started again. I will say, though, that because I chose a high-waist skirt for this, there was far too much ease in the pattern for that, but Steph states that there is 2 inches of ease in the waist of the skirt. Keep that in mind, if you want a more fitted look for a high-waist skirt. For next time, because I am definitely making this pattern again, I am choosing a smaller sized waist.

In spite of the trouble this skirt gave me, I was determined to finish it and I am glad I did, because I adore it. The fabric was a wonderful find at Value Village and cost me $5 a few weeks ago. It’s a wonderful fabric, but I have no clue what kind it is…Cotton something or other, I think.

I originally wasn’t going to add the scalloped pocket to this skirt, but am glad I did, because I think it’s an extra bit of cuteness and uniqueness. I finished the skirt and immediately tossed it on with a Led Zeppelin shirt and headed to Stage Select Gaming Expo for an improv performance as the Dandies. I had so much fun there and even got myself Mario mushroom earrings and a Kirby necklace from a vendor, Stitch N Clay.

A UFO

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Look at the sky! Is that a bird? Is that a plane? Nope, it’s Andie tossing aside an unfinished object. Two months ago I started this dress. McCall’s 6504. I was really excited about it going in. I had some lovely fabric and colourblocking lined up: black, grey, purple, grey, black. It was going to be gorgeous. My first issue was grading the pattern up. No, scratch that, my first issue is that McCall’s adds so much ease into their patterns and doesn’t really specify that in the finished garment measurements. I shouldn’t have graded the pattern up at all, but just given it an FBA and left it at that. The fabric I used was scraps from other projects, except for the purple, which I picked up for very little and didn’t get enough to make a full dress. So, I wasn’t worried about using the fabric I wanted right off the bat. The first fitting of the dress was ridiculous. It was enormous, but I persevered and was certain I could fix it. I pinned like crazy and then got the top to fit better and then put the facing on only to discover there was a huge amount of excess fabric in the straps. I also decided that I hated it at that point. I hated the straps and wanted a new look. I’ve made a decision to cut off the straps and cut the bodice top to a sweetheart neckline and then add in straps like on Sewaholic’s Cambie dress. It’s still a UFO and still needs me to do that. I am definitely reluctant to touch it again. Too much heartbreak. Too many tears.

Occasionally, Dale gets to see me throw pieces of fabric about. Poor guy. I should really work on that.

Andreas

I am an Andrea. Did you know that Andreas stick together? Until I was about 26, I didn’t know that. I’d never had another Andrea as a friend. Now I have tons. That might be why I was fine with Dale calling me Andie. One of my friends is a mutual friend with Dale, her name is….duh duh….Andrea. I nominated her for a Liebster award for her sewing blog (she writes about things other than sewing as well). I don’t know if you know this, but Andreas think alike. They talk alike. Heck, they even walk alike. Andrea was planning on nominating me for a Liebster award. So, she went ahead with it anyway. And I encouraged her. Andreas are very encouraging with other Andreas.

I will answer her questions and refrain from adding in more nominations, though, because figuring out who to nominate was tough work!

1. Why do you blog?

I blog because I love writing and I also need motivation to sew. With a blog, I am forced to keep going. I also love the feedback aspects of having a blog. I love hearing from other people about their thoughts on sewing and other things.

2. How did you get into whatever it is you blog about?

I started sewing as a way of affording costumes for Halloween and burlesque. Now I sew because plus-size clothing is so expensive. My next venture is to sew garments for my boyfriend, because holy crap men’s clothes are expensive. I will also be taking a bra-making class in the fall at Hamilton Bra-maker’s supply, because bras are my most expensive piece of clothing (over $100 a pop to make my girls pop!). Sewing was an economic choice to begin with and still is, but overall I just love sewing. I didn’t really expect to love it this much, but I find it relaxing (unless things are just going horrible) and educational (even when things go horrible).

3. Which post you’ve written is your favourite so far?

I would have to say my Gold Moneta. I adore that dress and had a lot of fun writing the entry and including a silly bad drawing of a kitty cat club in it.

4. Favourite book/movie/TV show/webcomic/song (pick one, some, or all)?

Favourite book is and always will be Jane Eyre. I read it first when I was 14ish and have read it about 20 times since. I used to read it every year and sometimes twice a year. I did English lit in my undergrad and Masters and read it several times for that, as well as teaching it. My favourite book series is Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller series. Check it out. I love them so much. Kvothe is the ultimate protagonist.

Favourite movie is tough. Among my favourites are Up, which I love watching with Dale, because we are basically Ellie and Carl. Some other fav animated features: Finding Nemo, The Croods, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Inception, another I love watching with Dale. Funny Girl, which I haven’t seen in years, but jumps to mind right now and makes me want to watch it immediately. Charade, My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, Roman Holiday….and basically any Audrey Hepburn movie. Although, surprisingly Breakfast at Tiffany’s doesn’t hit my favs of hers. I still love it, though. Hitchcock’s Marnie, The Birds, and Rear View Window. A classic Robert Redford and Jane Fonda pic called Barefoot in the Park. Apparently, I love 50s/60s movies…. Huh…. I generally count a movie as one of my favourites based on the ability to rewatch it. Serenity would also be counted here and First Contact and Stargate and Aliens….and a lot of sci fi.

Favourite tv shows are a little bit obvious to my readers. I love Star Trek TNG (surprise!) and am watching Voyager for the first time and it’s definitely becoming a fav. Doctor Who is an old-time love from Tom Baker (my first doctor!) days. I was a big Buffy fan back in the day, but haven’t watched it in years. Orphan Black is a new fav. Tatiana Maslany is an amazing actress. I have started watching the new Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon was a fav from the 90s for me. The new show is so good and based off the Manga series and the original art. It’s so much prettier. ❤

Webcomics: Debs and Errol (Made funnier because I know them), Rock, Paper, Cynic, and I am Arg.

Song…. Oh man, I used to be such a music geek, but I’ve definitely been falling out of that for years now along with reading. Anything Led Zeppelin.

5. Pet peeve?

I feel like lately my fuse is really short with people who are completely oblivious that other people exist. People who stand in front of the streetcar/subway doors when it isn’t their stop and don’t move to let people off/in. People who walk in couples and don’t leave room for people walking toward them. People who are oblivious that people are walking behind them and don’t hold doors open for them so they don’t slam in their face….

Basically, these are big city problems. Luckily, I walk to work and don’t have to worry about most of the commuter troubles!

On the other hand, maybe my pet peeve is guys who catcall me as I walk. I swear if I get one more “Smile, honey” or “Nice tits” or “Helllooooo gorgeous lady” or “What curves!” I will clock them right in the face. I generally don’t respond to them and then get the wonderful “God, you’re such a bitch” or “The right response is thank you, honey!” Right….. because I want to thank you for sexualizing me and harassing me on the street or telling me how I should act for you.

Apparently, I have more pet peeves than I thought….

TL:DR

Whew, long post. Lots to say. Hope you made it to the end. If not, here’s a summary:

I made stuff. I like my friend Andrea. I like lots of geeky things. I hate catcallers and inconsiderate people.

Done.