Windowpane Concord Dress

Windowpane Concord Dress

In the least surprising news ever… I made a dress! From knits! With a Cashmerette pattern! It’s short, I like it, and I can wear it with any colour.

There. That’s 75% of the review sorted… on to a few details and ramblings! πŸ˜‰

Windowpane Concord Dress

The fabric is a textured polyester double knit that I bought last year, and I finally decided I should sew it before windowpane goes out of style! I initially hemmed the sleeves one half-row of squares longer, but I found that when my arms bent, the whole sleeve and shoulder rode up awkwardly. This new length seems a wee bit short, especially on the inner arm, but the dress sits better now, and hopefully no one is looking at my inner elbow, right?

Windowpane Concord Dress

As with my other Concord ponte shift dress, there’s some awkwardness in the back. I don’t think it’s a swayback issue – instead, I think there is not quite the right distribution of width over my lower hip, where I’m widest. The annoying thing is that I had added additional width at the sides, but ended up shaving some of it off because it was sticking out in wings instead of pulling back to accommodate my rear. Is there an adjustment I can do to improve the fit next time, or would I need a centre back seam/waist seam? Would fisheye darts help?

Windowpane Concord Dress

I’m getting sick of taking pictures on my porch while I wait another month for grass to make parks, sidewalks and other photo locations pretty again… so I tried taking pics on my steps instead. That brought me back to one of my favourite posts from the Better Pictures Project last year: Sittin’ Pretty: How to sit and still look pretty in photos!Β This time with the extra challenge of a short skirt!

Windowpane Concord Dress

Speaking of Better Pictures… I’m still learning new skills! The bottom board has fallen off our stairs, so every picture had a gaping black hole which really annoyed me. I messed around in Photoshop for the first time, trying to fix it… to mixed success! By which I mean, I did a horrifyingly bad job, but I’m hoping you didn’t actually notice which of the pics at the start of the post had been tampered with, until you go back and look closely. I copying and pasting, and also used the lasso tool the filled with “context-aware”, but it always pulled black from my leggings into the surrounding white stairs. Can anyone tell me how I really should have done it, or direct me to a good tutorial?

Windowpane Concord Dress

I’d love your advice on fit and Photoshop! Thanks!


27 thoughts on “Windowpane Concord Dress

  1. Nice one- suggestion for the minor fit issue- just cut the back a size larger. This technique of cutting fronts and backs to different sizes to accommodate lumps and bumps is used to brilliant effect by Truly Victorian patterns, who use a unique sizing method. Saves a lot of bother!

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    1. That’s a good suggestion! I usually try to grade out the back more than the front on the fly, but I find it hard to pick the right point to start flaring out. Doing the whole thing a bit bigger would probably fix that!

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  2. Cute dress! I suspect the “fit issue” would resolve in a more draft fabric, but a back seam would probably help in the ponte. Darn ponte.

    As for the missing board, personally I wouldn’t bother with the photoshop because I don’t mess around that much with blog photos, but we all know I have terrible blog photos. πŸ˜‰ if I were going to fix it, I’d take a separate photo of the steps without you on them and borrow the board from one of the other steps, with a bit of feathering around the edges to blend it better.

    You’ve reminded me I think the last of the snow in my back yard is gone now! (Slightly) better photos may be a thing in the near future!

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    1. OH! I never thought of taking a photo of the steps without me, but I can see how that would work well! If I end up taking pics out there again, I’ll try that out! (And you don’t have the worst blog pics by any stretch! Because a)the worst blog pics are the ones never taken or posted, and b) in my head you are always flitting around your house like a dancer or fairy, because all your pics have so much movement!)

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  3. A great, and very versatile make! Yes, it can be easily coordinated. With everything but brown I think! (Eeek!)
    Speaking of better Pictures, Do you have any suggestions for smiles? Yours are great, and mine are always awkward. I’d hazard a guess: I always feel like I’m smiling at an inanimate object. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. (I’ve tried a couple of your “sittin’ pretty” relaxed poses to some success.) Apparently I did not practice enough in high school!

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    1. Smiling in pictures is tough! I”m totally fine taking 50-100 pics of something I’ve sewn, but the moment I go to take a picture with someone else, where we’ll just take one shot, my chin pulls into my neck, my eyes shut, and my smile is wooden. I think the key for me is that I”m just taking pictures for my own eyes, right up til the moment I publish them! Because I use a remote, I’m not worried about what my photographer is thinking… and because I can delete as many pictures as I want, I’m not stressed or worried about any one shot. Does that help? Basically, practice makes perfect, and the more the merrier! πŸ˜‰

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  4. I adore this fabric!😍 I’d try the fish eye darts or adding a CB seam to be honest. I have no photoshop skill set but I think the pics came out nicely.

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    1. Thanks Abbey! I think a Centre Back seam is probably the answer… only time will tell if I’m always too lazy to try it!

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  5. You remind me that I need to make something out of the windowpane shirting I have before it goes out of style! Your dress looks great, and I didn’t notice the step for a second.

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  6. I don’t know if by “copy and paste” you mean you used the clone tool- but I think that’s the way to go in photoshop. Give it a google. Also, I have to say I’m a fan of the center back seam for dresses or tunics like this. For the concord I have to grade between 3 sizes (biggest being the hips) and the side seams look ridiculous on the flat pattern. If was to lengthen it I would definitely try out a shaped center back seam because I think the 10 waist to hip difference is just too much to distribute across two seams. Many of the Alabama Chanin patterns I have tried use both a center front and center back seam and I think it results in such a good/flattering-in-the-well-fitting-sense fit. I know exactly what you mean by flaps at the hips- I’ve been there!! haha.

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    1. Maybe it was the clone tool? I selected something, hit command-copy, then command-paste. I’ll give the clone tool a google!

      Yeah, I’ve got that same 10″ waist to hip thing, and you are right – one a paper pattern it looks crazy! Good to know you’ve found centre seams better for fitting.

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        1. Ooh, thanks for the tips! So much to learn… maybe I can figure out how to photoshop some spring behind me while I wait for spring to actually happen??? πŸ˜‰

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  7. Like the dress. You could pin out the pooling into a horizontal pleat at your waist. Then try to sit down and see what happens. I suspect you need the extra fabric for lengthways movement. Adding more width over your high hip & grading out to a more flared skirt can help. But it is best done at several points across your back, or at least CB and side seams. So yes – you need a centre back seam, and possibly fish eye darts too,

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    1. I probably do need that vertical length for sitting – it would very barely cover my tush when I sit if it was much shorter in back! I’m glad to have a second opinion on the darts and centre back seam – maybe I should go back to my proper shift dress pattern instead of being lazy with a lengthened t-shirt!

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  8. Fab dress! Your best bet with photoshop would be to make sure you have a clear shot of the stairs without you there – gives you the ability to grab info from that photo and throw it into the others. Drop it in as a layer, add a mask to reveal legs, feet etc (should be v easy as you’re wearing all black and would be incredibly easy to select against the wood). There are always many different ways of getting to the same result in photoshop – what you use depends on your skills – but I always tell my students if you have the opportunity, grab a shot of the background clean – it gives you options later. πŸ‘

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  9. I have chatted with a friend of mine about your fitting issues and this is what we think. It looks like the pattern needs to have the back pattern piece shorten at the waistline. Not necessarily put a seam in (I thought that a godet may work but my friend Sandy does not agree) the dress but alter the pattern. What a great job on lining up the pattern. This is akin to the Victorian pattern fitting idea above. You have come such a long way on your dressmaking keep up the good work. I am waiting to hear back from two other dressmaker friends and will let you know what their opinions are!

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    1. Thanks for putting thought into my fitting issues! How kind! You reminded me that I did originally do some kind of slash and spread to add width to the t-shirt pattern, and I wonder how that it playing into fit when I extend it into a dress. Hmmm… food for thought!

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  10. Mulling over your fit question… Does the dress hang level back to front? I.e. if you pull down the puddle at the lower back does the back then hang lower than the front? In a side view, the checked print might show up the balance lines and provide some clues.

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  11. Such a great print, I love windowpane fabric, it just feels so classic. As for the Photoshop, A) I didn’t even notice in the earlier pictures. As I usually suspect when I edit the background of my photos, people are here for the pretty dresses and will almost never notice small things like that, but B) for this case I would use a mix of the Patch Tool (hidden in the menu underneath the band-aid Spot Healing brush tool) for the larger areas, and the Clone Stamp for the smaller areas near your legs.

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