I discovered Sew Liberated’s Clara dress in the April/May issue of Sew News. In fact, Sew News featured it as part of a sew-along. The magazine showed the dress on a larger model, and it looked great on her.
I am late to the sew-along, which finished up at the end of last month, but I did buy the pattern. I already had a great fabric that had recently joined my stash — a navy and white paisley shirting I picked up at Jo-Ann’s. Here’s the mood board:
Mood board for the Clara dress. I’m not sure which thread I will use, the navy or the white. It may depend on whether I’m sewing construction seams or visible stitching.
The Clara dress is a shirtwaist dress, with a bodice that has a bit of a blouson effect. It has a collar, front placket and keyhole detailing on the sleeves.
The fabric pattern is pretty busy, and I want the collar and placket details to stand out, so I searched for a white trim of some kind. Since I had just used packaged piping on my coral wrap dress, I wanted something different for this dress. But all of the laces, chocheted laces and eyelets I considered got lost in the paisley. Instead, I opted for more of a cording.
Pretty, isn’t it? I imagine this shiny cording was intended for use in a bridal gown. It only came in white and ivory.
It stands out, but it’s a little different from packaged piping.
I always have a terrible time looking for buttons. In fact, I can spend 30 minutes looking for just the right button. It doesn’t help matters that Jo-Ann’s has reduced its garment button stock by about 25 percent in favor of stocking more “craft” buttons. I sat down on a low shelf and went through an entire clearance basket of La Petite buttons to find something suitable. I wanted a shirt-type button, but not any of the usual styles I see all the time at the store.
With four holes, edge detail and a bit of a wavy texture, these are a little nicer than the shirt buttons that come eight to a card for a dollar. Plus, you can’t beat the price!
I want to sew the buttons on using navy thread and a different pattern than the usual “X” or parallel stitches.
But first, I need to trace the pattern pieces and do a muslin. A muslin will be particularly important because I haven’t used a pattern from this company before. The sizing is likely to be different from the Big Four pattern companies. I don’t know how much (if any) I’ll need to add to the waist length, for example. I’m hoping the fact that the dress isn’t closely fitted will make fitting a little easier.