Friday, April 17, 2015

Thrifty Thursday/The Peasant Dress or Top

Well, it just wouldn't be Friday if I wasn't skating in late with my Thrifty Thursday post!!! At this point, I might as well make a joke about it ;)
Before I get started, I thought I would tell you a little story. My grandmother made the best pie crusts. One day, I decided that I wanted to make a pie, so I gave her a call and asked for the recipe. We lived in Illinois, and she in Texas, so it wasn't like I could pop over for a little instruction. But, she assured me that I should have no problem with making the crust. I followed her instructions, thinking that I too would have a perfect pie crust. Once I had it all together, I rolled it out on wax paper just as she would do, and then....I couldn't get it off the wax paper. I was so upset and ended up shaking the wax paper which meant that the pie crust went everywhere. What did I think, that the pie crust would actually feel bad about not coming off the wax paper??? Have you ever been so upset with something that you felt that you wanted to shake out your frustrations? 
Some time back, I found a cute summer hat pattern on the Martha Stewart website that I thought would be great for a Thrifty Thursday post. Well, it wasn't. It was the most poorly drafted pattern that I have ever seen. Now, most of you know that I do not like to speak badly about a pattern, and if I don't like something, I just move on, and that's what I did with that pattern, But to be honest, I was rather aggravated with the good people at Martha Stewart as I felt that they had the expertise to do better. Now, I tell you this as the Martha Stewart team has redeemed themselves as I found this pattern for a peasant top/dress, and I really liked it with 1 exception and it's an easily fixed exception. 
The pattern comes in sizes small/medium/large. It has 2 length options, a dress or a top, and there are 3 sleeve length options. You can find the free downloadable pattern HERE.
I made up the dress length and I added 3" to the hem length, and gave the dress a 2" hem. If you scroll down, you'll see that the dress is still above my knee, which is great for a summer dress, but keep this in mind if you decide to make the dress length as you may want to add a little more to the length.
Here's a schematic of  the pattern once it has been taped together. There are only 3 pieces to the pattern, a front, back and sleeve pattern.
Here's the finished dress on me. Please forgive my lily white legs. This is the first time that they have seen the light of day since last year!!! I chose the mid-length sleeve, so you can see that the mid-length is actually above the elbow. The long sleeve would be more of a 3/4 length sleeve.
I did say earlier that I had 1 issue with the pattern, albeit, not a big issue, but it is with the hem of the sleeve.  
The sleeve pattern is below. You can see how the hem of the sleeve has a curved hem which allows for the graceful aspect of the sleeve.
Here's the problem, when the sleeve is put together along the underarm sleeve seam, it forms a "V" shape. A "V" shape is impossible to turn up for an elastic casing. One way to remedy this would be to make a separate casing pattern, but you can also straighten out the "V".  
On the front sleeve, bring the underarm seam down 1/2" and square the line over to meet back up with the curve of the hemline. For my example, I should have extended my line into the hemline a little more, but hopefully this gives you the idea.
You will need to extend the front of the sleeve 1/2" to coordinate with the front, and blend the line back into the sleeve hemline.
Now when the front and back are matched up at the hemline, there will be a smooth line that can be turned up for the elastic casing.
All in all, I liked the pattern. It was very easy to put together. You could leave it as a plain piece like I did, or you can embellish the top and make it unique. Other than the small "V" issue on the underarm seam of the sleeve, the people at Martha Stewart have redeemed themselves with this pattern.
Now for my shoes. I just got these and I think they are so cute! Believe it or not, they're from Payless. Just in case you're interested, HERE'S a link :)  
Hope you are having a wonderful day!

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  1. Super cute and beautiful color on you!

  2. Lookin' good! I just love the color you chose! The sash really works, too; it's such a pretty and unexpected combination with the coral.

    (And oof, my legs, too--it was a long winter!!)

    1. Thanks! As for skin color, it was a very long winter ;)

  3. Love it, Rhonda - very cute! And the shoes - wow! Reminds me of the ones I have, originally from Famous Footwear. I wore them out, and my great husband found me a new pair through some internet source, surprised me last Christmas!http://www.famousfootwear.com/ProductImages/shoes_ia99739.jpg?preset=details

    1. Oooo, I love the side zips. What a sweet husband you have :)

  4. Rhonda,

    I just stayed up late last night perusing the pattern book companies online. I looked at Vogue, Butterick and McCalls until my eyes refused to stay open another minute. I certainly never thought to look at Martha Stewart for the exact style of a simple peasant dress I was searching for! Thank you for this timely Thrifty Thursday post!

    Your new dress is adorable. What a comfy outfit, and your Pay Less tennies are previous! I live in the tropics (not this year, of course) and they remind me of "home!"

    Hugs and a happy weekend,

    1. Well, this is what Thrifty Thirsday is all about!!! So happy to have helped :)

  5. Call me a copy cat--it's your fault! Went by Payless today and got this fun tennis shoe (and another pair of slip on canvas cause there was the BOGO going on and I had a $10 off coupon). Two pairs for just $30--now to just find a place to put them in the closet!!!

    1. I'm wearing mine at this very moment!! I knew about the sale, but didn't want to sound like too much of a Payless pitch man ;)
      Hey, there's always room for another shoe!!

  6. Your dress is cute and so are the shoes. I remember seeing this in the magazine and wondered how it would sew up. I've tried a few MS projects that had errors in the directions. Glad to see this worked out.