The insides. Silk lining with lace detail at the hem.
The pattern for this is from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing. She has a few "base" patterns in her book, as well as several ways that you can modify them. This is the Sultry Sheath pattern, modified with a square neckline to be a wintertime jumper.
I got this lovely wool fabric from Hart's Fabric in Santa Cruz, CA when I was out visiting for my sewing workshop. It's so soft and warm!
Oxford agrees. He found the scraps to be excellent for napping.
Matching Plaid is Hard
This was my first time matching plaid, and let me tell you, it's not for the faint of heart. Lucky for me, I'm stubborn and really love wearing plaid, so I soldiered on. I spent a lot of time pinning and basting while watching episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show".
What went wrong:
1. I like to have a glass of wine or two on occasion while I'm stitching away. This is less than an ideal combination for matching plaid. It usually results in stitch ripping and swearing.
2. This dress has four darts under the bust, and I've decided it's impossible to match plaid with two darts right next to each other. The first one throws everything else cattywampus. Maybe it's achievable by a better seamstress than I.
3. I selected an "uneven plaid", which isn't impossible to match, but definitely harder. Romy warned me about this, but like an idiot I said, "Oh, of course. Don't buy uneven plaid." without understanding what that was until I was sewing with it.
I later found this great documentation from The University of Kentucky on working with plaid that helped me understand this one.
Yup, I was sewing with uneven. Source
And sometimes you have to make concessions on matching areas like this. Source.
It would have been great if I found that in the beginning instead of the end, though. Instead I spent a week yelling at the plaid, "I'M PRETTY SURE IT'S AGAINST THE LAWS OF PHYSICS THAT THIS COULD MATCH." And I totally matched above the dart instead of below.
Good Tutorials on Matching Plaid:
Sewaholic- Matching Plaids: A Step-by-Step Guide
Coletterie - Tutorial: How to Match Plaids and Stripes
Drafting Necklines is Even Harder
This was also my first time drafting a neckline on a pattern, and I kind of goofed. Believe it or not, I did two muslins before I sewed on my fashion fabric, so I thought I had this problem fixed. I did a forward-shoulder adjustment, narrow shoulder adjustment, and added width to the straps all while in muslin form. Then I tried tweaking when I got to fashion fabric and found out it was still a problem. I was starting to muck up the bust area, though, so I gave up...
A wobbly bit I'm glad I can hide with a cardigan.
I don't think I understand enough about drafting, and clearly I had some fit problems here. So I think I will finally get around to reading Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis. I read The Dressmaking Book and loved how she explained why you do things in addition to how. Plus, she was a sassy writer and sometimes her prose makes me chuckle.
Adele will help me understand what went wrong!
Off to read and contemplate my next project!