Finished - denim perfection, pocket perfection.

Today I'm sharing with you one of my favourite makes ever - it's turned out exactly as I'd planned, right down to my favourite little detail, the pockets. This is another version of my favourite frankenpattern - New Look 6808 and the Colette Laurel (see other versions here). This is my first dress version and I couldn't be more pleased.





The fabric is a wonderful lightweight denim with a little stretch, from G&J Fabrics in Brunswick East. They've got a great range of denims and heavyweight cottons at the moment (most including this one around $15/m no matter the width) - this one is lovely and I'm probably going to get some more for some trousers. It is a bit wrinkled in these pics but I had worn my little treasure all of last night and this morning so I'm not too fussed.


I've been wanting to make a denim shift dress for ages - I love Caroline's tencel version over at Sewaholic, and Kirsty's Sigma denim dress. I knew I wanted pockets, and was considering regular patch pockets, a pocket style particularly common on shift dresses in the 60's (and a Laurel variation) but I was worried that if I didn't get them perfectly aligned they'd look a bit too homemade. And lets be real here, they're not that practical. Then somewhere in my brain I had the vague memory of seeing a 60's shift with crazy round pockets in the side seams. Cannot for the life of me find that image again. So I decided to draft my own. The beauty of this style of pocket is that you can make them an obvious feature with contrast stitching/lining/seam binding or a subtle feature as I did here, AND they can be totally french seamed! Floats my tidy-innards boat big-time. And you could make them less circular, just a subtle curve - I think I'll try this on my next Beignet....

 

I faced the neckline and the pockets with a lovely scrap of quilting cotton I've been hoarding for a few years - I can't remember the name of it but I think the muted brown colours match the top stitching perfectly, and I love having such a nice hidden detail.


The side seams and sleeve seams were frenched, and then topstitched from the outside to give the appearance of a flat felled seam. I know it's an extra line of stitching, but I think it's less fiddly than a true flat fell seam. I only used the topstitching thread in the top, and regular thread in the bobbin. Because it was through a few layers I used a stitch length of 3.5, increasing to 4 (the maximum for my husky) when I crossed over the pocket seams (my machine doesn't cope awesomely with thick layers and the stitches tend to get really small so increasing to the maximum length offsets this a bit). 


I was planning to do an exposed jeans zip in the centre back but couldn't find one long enough, and had a brain fade cutting the back pieces out and forgot to add a seam allowance. Fortunately my frankenpattern is pretty generous in sizing and the little bit of stretch in the fabric meant I could have back seam and get it on easily enough without a back opening. 


Thus far this dress has scored 10/10 for wearability - I've worn it 3 times this week already, once to a business meeting, out for dinner and drinks last night for my beloved's birthday, and shopping this morning and each time it felt totally appropriate and stylish for the situation - how versatile is that?! I love its simplicity. I wish I could go back in time and give my beginner sewist-self advice and suggest that for every bright, printed purchase/garment made, I made 2 others out a solid, simple fabric! That's my pearl of wisdom for the day!


I did take some pics of my pocket construction, so let me know in the comments if you're interested I'll do a how-to post.
















Comments

  1. I am coming over right now to steal this. And I'm not joking. I love love love it. Yes, I'd love a tute for the pocket constuction.
    Also, I think???? you might have won my giveaway. I'm not sure but I think it's you :)

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    1. Thanks Kirsty! And yay it is me - so exciting. Pocket tutorial definitely will be done.

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  2. I really love this dress - it's really stylish. I love the fabric & those pockets are ace. I'd love to see a tute on how you made them.

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    1. Thanks Melanie - will get onto a tutorial.

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  3. Lovely pockets- I would love a tuto on pocket construction!

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  4. Oh my gosh, I want this, I need this and hence yes please for the pocket tutorial! Sarah you just keep outdoing ourself. So perfect. How will I find a pattern to let me make this. Pretty please for the pocket tute!

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    1. Haha, would look great on you I have no doubt! Tutorial will be done,I promise!

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  5. This is wonderful! I love everything about this dress! The simple lines, the gorgeous details... the pockets, the topstitching, everything is just right.

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    1. Thanks Sara, I tried to hard to make it perfect, it's just about the best thing I've made I think!

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  6. I love everything about this dress too. The zipper would have been awesome, but it looks just as nice without.

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    1. Thanks Kristi! I was a bit sad about it too..... But I still love it! :)

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  7. This looks awesome! And yes, love those pockets!

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  8. Oh, I LOVE those pockets and would love a tutorial. I love that they take the dress from straightforward, to a more "designed" aesthetic. Love it!

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    1. Thanks Helen! It won't be far away!

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  9. So nice! I've been wanting a denim dress too, and yours is adding to my inspiration. Maybe this fall . . .

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    1. Thanks Gail - it's even easier to wear than jeans!

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  10. Wowza! I love those pockets!
    It would be great if you posted the construction of your pretty pockets, I can see a few of those franken-patterned into a couple of skirts and dresses that I'm planning to make this summer / autumn ; )

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  11. This is perfect and combines two of my favourite things...denim and pockets!!! So great to reach sewing perfection!

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  12. Adorbs Sarah! And I noticed the French/felled seam option -nice!

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  13. Hello, dream dress! Like Kirsty, I kind of want to steal it away. Those are some great pockets!

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    1. Well it's probably about time that I admit I made it only to lure my sewing friends to my house and hang out with me.....

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  14. Fab dress! I've come to a similar conclusion on the fabric front recently too. I definitely need to purchase some plainer items next time I go fabric shopping. Love the cute pockets on this, well done!

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    1. Yeah - 2 for 1 I say, on the plain v pattern fabric acquisition! Glad you like it :)

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  15. I'm not surprised that you love it Sarah - I bet that you'll hardly take it off! I also suffer from the print versus plain dilemma (and you know in which direction I usually fall). This dress is a perfect canvas for so many outfits depending on how you accessorise it. I may have to copy.....

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    1. Thanks Lara - I'm pretty much on a no-pattern moratorium at the moment, when it comes to fabric buying (although really I need to be on a no fabric moratorium too!). I'm determined to get a bit of wardrobe cohesion going on!

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  16. Oh, this is just PERFECT! Everything about it is so exactly right :) Those pockets are genius.... I love how versatile it is too - I can totally see it working in each situation you mentioned. I've been thinking a lot about "multitasking" garments lately (probably because me-sewing time is so limited) and this is the ultimate example. Count me in as a yes for the tutorial too!

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    1. Thanks so much Danielle - you're the sweetest! Hope to get the tutorial up tomorrow, otherwise will be next week as me, the frock and the beloved sre off to sydney for the weekend....

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  17. This is perfect! I've been dreaming of a denim shift dress recently, I think might have to copy this.

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  18. I am so in love with this dress! It's so beautifully made and those pockets are just delightful! I am not at all surprised thats it has already been worn so much- it's the perfect dress: simple, chic and classic with lovely details to boot. I want one!!

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    1. Thankyou! It's definitely a style I can see on you of course :).

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