It's raining and drizzly outside, and I have another hour until I need to leave for Sunday School. I realized I have not written on my blog since before my trip, so it's about time! I will be catching up with Uganda pictures, but that will be another day. Today I bring you my Tobin James Dress!
This is the Etra Pattern from Tina Givens. I don't usually make something in exactly the same colors as the envelope, but this time I was falling in love with that mustard linen. When I saw the similar color at Joanns several months ago, I had to get it. I decided to use an eggplant color (actually more of a dark red violet) for the trim. So in that respect, I guess I did not use EXACTLY the same colors.
TG patterns usually leave a lot to be desired in the drafting department, but this one had no problems. Well, I say no problems if you don't count the bottom trim. Since the sides of the dress end at an angle, it's better if you cut the joining part of your strips at an angle as well. Of course, if you don't, it gives you a different look, which might be your preference.
The one thing I always change in TG patterns is the pocket. I don't like her pocket shape since the top of the pocket seems to flap over. If you are stitching the pocket to the front fabric as a design feature, then this shape of pocket will work, otherwise, I trim off the top "hump" of the pocket.
When I first saw the picture for this dress, I thought the black part was an underskirt or separate layer. It is just trim sewn on, so the picture is a bit deceiving. Also, the picture looks like it has an asymmetrical hem, but in reality, the hem is straight. There are strings on the inside so that you can draw up one or both sides to get a different look. Maybe that is what they have done here.
I'm calling this my Tobin James dress because I got this little sun emblem last year when we visited Tobin James Winery. It is their logo. When I decided to make this dress, I knew I had to incorporate it somehow. I love how this design feature turned out.
I really like how comfortable this dress is and the sleeves really do fit well. I often have trouble with sleeves being either too tight. or too loose at the lower arm. These fit the way I like. The neckline was too low and I raised it about an inch or maybe more. I will raise it even more next time. This fabric is medium to heavier weight linen, so I think I will use a lighter weight linen next time. It is a lot of fabric.
On this pattern I cut a small at the shoulders and drew the underarm seam out to a medium. I made no other fit adjustments. I did try to add a dart, but I did not leave enough room for the dart leg, so I ended up easing in an extra inch of length in the front. I'm not sure if it is needed, but next time I will try for the dart.
In addition to raising the neckline, I thought the neckline was too plain, and the gold, even though it is in my color pallet, looked too blah against my skin. As an afterthought, I added a bias binding inside the neckline. The inside edge is stitched, but raw.
I used the same finish on the hem strip.
Here is the dress with the ties done up on the sides.
I'm wearing this dress to church today, but when one of our friends came to pick up DH this morning, he commented "nice nightgown." Hmmm...