Completed: The Out & About Dress

28 Mar

Hey everyone! Today I’m participating in the tail end of a blog tour for Sew Caroline‘s newest pattern, the Out & About Dress!

Out & About Dress

Described as a year-round, day-to-night sort of dress, the Out & About dress is a simple knit dress pattern with a scooped front neck, gathered skirt, and binding to finish the neckline and sleeves. The pattern comes with two hem options (knee-length and maxi), as well as two sleeve lengths (elbow and full). It’s also pretty easy to customize, based on your styling whims.

Out & About Dress

Since the dress does not have a lot of pieces – just a front, a back, a skirt, two sleeves, and those bindings – it’s ideal for using large scale knit fabrics that may be difficult to print match, since you really only have to worry about matching the side seams. Even easier, cut the bodice in a solid color and the maxi skirt in the print and let it really take center stage!

For my dress, I went the simple route and let this cool striped fabric steal all the thunder. Yay stripes!

Out & About Dress

I wish I could tell you where the fabric is from, but it was actually a stash busting gift from my gal pal Elizabeth, so I have no idea of it’s origins. What I do know is that it is super slinky and fun to wear, but that also meant it was a gigantic bitch to work with since the fabric wanted to shift around the entire time I was cutting and sewing. Don’t look too closely at my waistline seam, because the stripes get a bit funky over there. Oh well! It’s a loungey happy dress, not like I’m going to the Oscars or anything in it 🙂

Out & About Dress

Like all other knit patterns I love and trust, this one was super easy to sew up. Caroline’s instructions are all full-color photos, which makes things very clear if you’re a knit n00b and can’t swing the diagrams (I personally loove me some diagrams, but I know from experience that a photo is MAJORLY helpful when you’re a beginner!). The dress is assembled with the side seams sewn last, which makes it easy to tweak the fit to your preferences.

Out & About Dress

To make this bad boy, I cut the size XS, but ended up taking another inch out of the side seams because I wanted a fit with negative ease (and also because my fabric is reeeeal stretchy!). Since the fabric is so drapey, I stabilized the shoulders and waistband with 1/4″ elastic to prevent those areas from drooping over time. This is not something that is included in the instructions, but it’s SUPA easy to do – just align the elastic on the wrong side down the middle of the seam line, sew it down with a zigzag, and then put the pieces together as normal. I also cut about 4″ off the skirt, because I just don’t care for anything knee-length on my frame.

Out & About Dress

I used the included neck binding to finish the neckline, but I did not bind the sleeve hems and instead just topstitched them down with my twin needle (same as with the hem). Other than the twin needle stitching and zigzagging on the elastic at the beginning, this entire dress was sewn up on my serger – even the gathering was done on my serger. Wooho!

Out & About Dress

Ok, party time fun aside, here’s my secret shame – the stripes on the side seams don’t match up perfectly! Wah! I did cut these with matching in mind, and they were beautiful and straight and matched when I first closed up the side seams… but then I took that extra inch in, and things went haywire. Since this is a knit, i definitely could have manipulated those stripes to match by stretching one of the fabrics, but then the waistline seam wouldn’t have matched. I figure it’s better to have a nice waist seamline (even if I wear a belt over it) than perfect stripes, so the stripes had to bear the brunt of my wrath. Actually, it’s not so bad now that I’m looking at the photos, but I was PISSED at myself when I was staring at it in the mirror. Ha!

Out & About Dress

But, hey – at least the skirt side seams match, as do the sleeves. So there’s that! Maybe I’ll just stand with my arms down my side all day 🙂

Out & About Dress

I really like how this black and white striped fabric looks with other colors – like turquoise (don’t groan yet, but I was definitely belt-inspired after seeing how the fabric looks with my hair lolz). Makes it a little less Beetlejuice, don’t ya think?

Out & About Dress

I love my new dress and I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can give it some proper wear out and about (see what I did there? :)). Right after I took these pictures, the weather got all stupid and cold again. ARGH! I swear, I’m not taking any more bare-legged photos outside… clearly I am angering some Winter God or some shit.

Love the Out & About and want your own? Get your copy here! Now, go forth and check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour:
Adventures in Dressmaking
Four Square Walls
Alida Makes
Paisley Roots
Lexi Made
True Bias
Sewing Like Mad
A Golden Afternoon
LLADYBIRD (that’s meeee!)
House of Pinheiro

Out & About Dress


24 Responses to “Completed: The Out & About Dress”

  1. S B Web March 28, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Love it. You can wear this with any hair colour as long as you can find a matching belt. It would look great with yellow, orange, red, green, purple, etc. How about matching tights?

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      Oh yes, matching tights for sure 😀

  2. Lisa March 28, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    I love that your belt matches your hair, and how cute both colors go with the black and white stripe. SO CUTE! I am looking forward to the weather improving FOR GOOD, SOMETIME, COME ON, SEASONS too!!

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:39 am #

      FOR REAL. What is up with this weather? Snowing one day, 70* the next? Make up your damn mind (and stick with warm) already!!

  3. carolinascallin March 28, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    What a fun dress! Love the knit you used – it’s a great foil for your colorful hair, too 😉 I’ve been watching people’s results with this pattern, and LOVE yours. I’m hoping to one day sew knits even half as confidently and ably as you!

    Thanks for some great inspiration 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:40 am #

      You’ll get there! Just practice a lot and show those knits who’s boss 🙂

  4. Kim March 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Great dress! Love the fabric too.. And I think the turqouise belt looks awesome with your hair!

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:40 am #

      Yay for matching accessories to my hair 😀 haha!

  5. amynxdx March 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Looks great! I love the stripes!

  6. Blue Sunday March 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Cute!! How did you gather using your Serger? I’m learning more about my serger every day, and didn’t know gathering was an option.

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      On sergers, you can adjust the differential feed so it pushes the fabric to gather while the edges are finished. Here is a video demonstrating gathering on a Babylock (that’s the serger I have, but I *think* most, if not all, sergers are capable of doing this), although I don’t actually have the ruffling foot… I just use my standard foot 🙂

  7. SeeKatSew March 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Oohhh super cute! It really is an out and about dress! I just made a stripey gathered skater dress, looks pretty similar to this pattern. But…….can a girl really have too many patterns?

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      Having sewn both, they are pretty similar, although there are a few differences (the scoop of the neckline, the way the bodice curves down at the skirt seam, and of course, the skirt itself). But… I think you know my answer. NEVER TOO MANY PATTERNS 😛 hahahaha!!

  8. homemaker4hire March 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    Cutie patootey dress, dearie! That’s what I tell myself when my plaids or stripes don’t quite match up, it’s not like I’m entertaining royalty or anything. No one but me will notice most of my non matching pattern problems!

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:48 am #

      Exactly! Plus, most stuff in RTW doesn’t match up at the side seams anyway 😛

  9. Anonymous March 29, 2014 at 2:38 am #

    Darn….I really like this dress, but I hate PDF patterns because of all of the work that is required to put them together and add seams, etc, etc.

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      I hear ya, I hate PDFs too and rarely sew them. In defense of this pattern, I will say that it wasn’t painful to put together (sit on the floor and listen to bad pop music you can sing along to, that helps :)). Also, the seam allowances are already included in the pattern!

  10. Laura March 29, 2014 at 3:15 am #

    It pleases me that you’ve matched your belt to your hair 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD March 29, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      I’m glad you appreciate it 🙂 Matching accessories is the best part about having weird colored hair haha!

  11. Kerry March 30, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I love the combination of this stripy dress with your hair, it looks ace!

  12. missjoiedevivre April 6, 2014 at 2:58 am #

    Very cute, and the stripes are fantastic! Wide stripes don’t get enough press I reckon, and you’re proving they should.


  1. Out and About Dress Blog Tour: Day FIVE - SewCaroline - April 1, 2014

    […] Out and About Dress :: Lladybird […]

  2. Completed: The Colette Moneta | LLADYBIRD - July 3, 2014

    […] but it did take some forethought to make sure the stripes all matched up right. After making the Out & About Dress, I was (and still am, to some extent) super butthurt about the way the stripes look on the skirt. […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: