She’s finally finished! Lately, my sewing time keeps disappearing so I took my own advice during the 30 Minutes A Day Sewalong last week and worked on my dress in 30 minute chunks to get her done. It really works to tackle a project in little bites to get it done and I’m really pleased to have finished this dress. We went out to central Brisbane (where I go to run printing and scanning and supply errands) to take photos the other day, I hope you like seeing a little more of the city…
This was the original inspiration. For my own dress made using the Hummingbird Top as a base, I wanted another type of neckline interest and plain sleeves rather than pleated.
This is my version. I used a lycra-rayon blend jersey, white with a black pinstripe. The fabric is a little on the hefty side for a top and just a touch on the light side for a dress. I cut a 30-length peplum in four pieces using this cutting layout, which is also great for directional fabrics. After I tried on the dress with a single peplum, I decided to add a second, longer black peplum.
I felt more comfortable with the extra layer of lightweight jersey, and I like the way it highlights the peplum. I think the lower layer affects the overall drape, however.
Pinstripes are hard to photograph decently! Does anyone have tips? I can’t tell you how many times in the past couple of years I decided against using pintstripes purely because they don’t photograph well. I just couldn’t summon the strength to say “no” one more time, and I’m glad I used the stripes for this dress.
The back came out pretty well, too. I took a little wedge out of the lower edge of the CB top until the back wrinkles disappeared. I do this reflexively and don’t have many problems with lower back wrinkles. I also reduced the width of the sleeve hem for a closer fitting sleeve at the elbow, tapering my stitching into the existing under-arm seam.
When I cut the top, I marked the stripes on one pattern piece and transferred the stripe matching points to the front pattern piece. You can see them in my photos of cutting the top here. Due to the angle of the seams, I had to choose where to match the stripes along my arm as I cut. I chose the shoulder! It starts to go a little off further down the sleeve, and I’m ok with it because it’s relatively unobtrusive in the thin stripe and I worried this fabric would ripple. Meanwhile, in the sewalong, Kelly made some perfect sleeve chevrons in a heftier stripe.
The Soft Bow Dickie is one of many dickey inspirations I’ve been dying to try with the Hummingbird Top neckline. It’s made of the same soft, fluid jersey as the second peplum. The bow section is quick and simple, easy to slip into a too-long neckline or even as a re-fashion to spruce up an old top.
I thought about making the sleeve bindings in black, but I opted instead to offset the stripes because I’m addicted.
The entire hack of this dress including neckline drafting, simple knit straight skirt draft and Soft Bow Dickie drafting and sewing notes are at sewingcake.com.
Once we finished (I thought) taking photos, I slipped into my Pinkie Pants and ballet flats to take a walk through Southbank and have sushi with Lila & Stephen. Surprise! During construction, I wore the top around the house for a while to check that the bow covered what it should and that the binding didn’t buckle.
I fell in love with this as a standalone top, so I used a simple quartered elastic waistband to create the skirt. The skirt slips under the peplum so I can wear it as a dress, but since I work from home I don’t wear as many “pretty” dresses as I used to. The pretty top slips right into my wardrobe and means I get more wear-time for my sew-time.
Funny story- we passed this train station and I thought it would make a striking backdrop for photos. I got bold and stood up, and the second I turned around I saw an older, fatherly ticket-taker sternly shaking his head at me. I hopped right down.
As a dress or a top, I really dig this latest Hummingbird. I’m also pleased at how different it looks to my others. It has style and a certain heft for a top, but also great recovery. If I were to make another Hummingbird Dress at some point, the only thing I’d do differently is to choose a slightly beefier knit- maybe a nice doubleknit or ponte. This is almost the right weight.
If you haven’t yet, check out the Hummingbird Sewalong schedule for links to each day’s lesson. We’re on Day 8 and I slipped in a few extra house point challenges for fun. The deadline to finish all challenges and Sewalong makes to be counted for the house prize is July 1 at midnight in Anchorage, Alaska. Then we can count up your points and assign the House Prize.
Do check out the Hummingbird Flickr group, there’s some REALLY nifty skirts and tops already being shown off. I didn’t get a chance for a big 3 Hours Past group post for Pavlova (opting instead to create the Community Galleries), but maybe we should do something special for Hummingbird? What do you think?
Find the Hummingbird Top pattern on Etsy, available for immediate shipment/download.