28 April 2014

FO: the Tattooed Grandpa dress for Sew Dolly Clackett

Tattooed Grandpa dress

Tattooed Grandpa dress

Pattern: Simplicity 2444 with a gathered skirt - $1.99 pattern on sale
Fabric: Sailor Jerry fabric purchased in 2007(ish). Dyed from white to grey with Pearl Grey Rit dye - $??
Mods: Obviously, gathered skirt. Used bias tape for binding neckline, armholes, and bottom of skirt. Wish I'd thought to put piping in the waist! Graded neckline down from 18 (main size) to 12.
Total cost: $1.99 + $4 zipper + $2 bias tape + $?? fabric =

This is seriously my favorite thing that I have ever made.


I found this fabric at my LFS sometime around 2007- long enough ago that I don't have a clue how much I paid or why I had something like 2 1/3 yards. Maybe a little end of blot bit? Who knows. I do know that I went absolutely nuts when I found it because I love Sailor Jerry tattoo flash. (My first tattoo was a Sailor Jerry piece, though sadly not one of the ones on the dress.) This fabric sat in a drawer for 7 years before Sew Dolly Clackett came along and I knew this fabric was a perfect fit. My only problem was that it had a white background. I never wear white because A) I hate it and B) nothing stays white. I'm too messy! So I dyed it.

I highly recommend dyeing with Rit in your washer. It was super easy to do and I got great results! I used two packets of Pearl Grey, with one cup of salt, as per the directions. (I had to heat it on the stove beforehand to mix the powder so I'm sure with the liquid dye it would be even more of a snap.) The directions suggested  washing for at least a half-hour and I definitely did that. I think it went through at least 4 periods of the agitation cycle. The longer you leave it in and the more constant the agitation is, the more even the final color will be. Since I am not a tie-dye kind of girl, the washing machine was ideal and made it a lot easier than trying to do this by hand for an hour. Everything went very smoothly and I highly recommend trying this process if you have some fabric that you like but want to change.

Tattooed Grandpa dress

This was my first 2444 finished dress, and I love it! I consider the first FO of any pattern a wearable muslin, because you really never know how you will like a fit until you wear it a few times and really get the feel of it standing, sitting, in the car, etc. I like 2444 a lot, although it could be improved on. I would like a scoopier and less boat-neck neckline. The facings for this just ... UGH! Did not work. I'm not sure if it was weirdness because I did a little grading of the neckline (Used 18 width but cut down to a 12 to make it scoopier.) The binding was perfect, regardless. I wish that I had thought to put piping in at the waist, because that really would have completed the whole thing.

I ended up being able to squeeze this out of less than 2 yards (because of the gathered/dirndl skirt) and ended up with enough to make a(nother) Datura blouse out of the leftovers. More on Datura in a subsequent post. I haven't actually started that one yet.

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