named dakota shawl collar dress

nameddakotashawlcollardress01The Named Dakota Shawl Collar Dress is done!

nameddakotashawlcollardress02The first step was printing it out. Which took a while since it is too large for US Letter sized paper so I kept putting it off. I gave the file instead to someone who printed it on 11×16 paper though legal sized would’ve worked fine.

nameddakotashawlcollardress03Then I went to the kitchen and grabbed parchment paper to do some tracing. “Great for cookies, brownies, cakes, and more!” – more is right indeed.

nameddakotashawlcollardress04I cut out the remaining pieces that didn’t need to be traced. Except later on I realized I missed some markings so I dug my scraps out to retrace. So lesson is: don’t throw away anything until everything is sewn.

nameddakotashawlcollardress05This was my initial fabric choice. Except I (obviously) did not have enough.

nameddakotashawlcollardress06I ended up using a Japanese cotton from Taiwan that has been sitting in my stash for a year. My goal is to use up all these non stretchy cottons I bought a while ago. I’m over them, but I’d like to use them up to make room for other fabrics.

nameddakotashawlcollardress07The neckline on this dress is deep. The model for Named is shown wearing a bow-tie blouse underneath, but that wasn’t going to work with me. My dress did not have enough ease to wear a shirt with sleeves underneath, so I thought I would be clever and sew a triangle into the gap as a modesty panel. Looks great, right!?

nameddakotashawlcollardress08Except I put it on…

nameddakotashawlcollardress09And all it did was wrinkle and poof out. I found a spaghetti strap tank top to wear underneath instead. That worked better.

nameddakotashawlcollardress10Meet Nadeeka. And her dog Daisy. The thing about Dallas/DFW is that I don’t have any friends here. They’ve all moved away. But their parents are still here, so I can always count on Thanksgiving for them to drive up/fly in and then I can kidnap them for a few hours to hang out.

nameddakotashawlcollardress11We’ve been lucky this fall in that we’ve had a real fall. With red leaves. Usually they just turn brown and drop to the ground, but not this year. So the goal was to find red leaves.

nameddakotashawlcollardress12This dog was not very cooperative for a photo shoot.

nameddakotashawlcollardress13Step 1: Brace the cold and hang up that jacket.

nameddakotashawlcollardress14Purse too. Gotta love trees for being a natural coat hanger.

nameddakotashawlcollardress15Photo shoot time! There are actually two as I did a redo later, because this first one was a complete failure. You can see the beginnings of it now…

nameddakotashawlcollardress16Meet photo shoot enemy #1: static cling.

nameddakotashawlcollardress17! ! ! ! ! ! I don’t know if it’s the fabric or the weather or the tights or me or what but I could not get this dress to stop sticking to me.

nameddakotashawlcollardress18Holding a dog probably didn’t help. But Daisy was too cute to not hold. Also, don’t admire my background too much… that’s a giant landfill behind me. Yep, the only way to get some nice scenic nature views where I live (within a 20 min radius) is to go visit a landfill.

nameddakotashawlcollardress19I found out that if I gave the skirt a tug and didn’t move, it was fine – but as soon as I moved the dress would cling and wrinkle.

nameddakotashawlcollardress20I also realized that I had forgotten to slit open my buttonholes… (Also, yes, I know I made my buttonhole/button placement a bit odd, but that’s what ended up happening because my buttonhole maker doesn’t like working through uneven thicknesses, so I changed the design to avoid the thicker corner. Next time I’ll do a better job of trimming off my seam allowances.)

nameddakotashawlcollardress30Nadeeka didn’t tell me that my pocket flap wasn’t laying flat. When there are problems, they tend to pile up.

nameddakotashawlcollardress21Anyway, I decided to forget about trying to photograph the dress and decided to work on Nadeeka Cathy Daisy photos.

nameddakotashawlcollardress22But man… that clingy skirt is distracting.

nameddakotashawlcollardress23Nadeeka tugging on it didn’t fix anything either.

nameddakotashawlcollardress24A hug, now that works wonders.

nameddakotashawlcollardress25Daisy is ready to go and done with this photo shoot business.

nameddakotashawlcollardress26I put my jacket on as it was too cold to keep it hanging on a dress, and Daisy was the perfect hand warmer. This photo is perfect. Nadeeka wanted one for herself as well.

nameddakotashawlcollardress27Except Daisy refused to partake. Hah! I think she likes me more.

nameddakotashawlcollardress28Nadeeka decided to just force the poor dog to sit up to get her perfect photo.

nameddakotashawlcollardress29Hmm, it helps to have out of focus photos and a cute dog to distract from my clingy dress.

nameddakotashawlcollardress31Here’s a photo of the Trinity River, where we tried out the not so successful photo shoot.


nameddakotashawlcollardress32A few days later… another friend also came back into town! Meet Priscila.

nameddakotashawlcollardress33We decided to go to the Ranger’s Stadium (a baseball team for those non USA or non baseball people) as there was a temporary German christmas market right next to it. Texas, believe it or not, has lots of historic ties to Germany. There’s even Texas German dialect which is gradually going extinct, but they’ve got vocabulary such as der cowboy or der hamburger! My favorite is stinkkatze for skunk.

nameddakotashawlcollardress34Anyway, back to the photo shoot. Same routine as before. Throw scarf, jacket, and purse off into a corner since there aren’t any trees around. However, see those black boxes in the far off distance near the scrawny trees? Those were fireworks – and we were warned not to get any to them. Glad I didn’t throw anything in that direction.

nameddakotashawlcollardress40As I’ve stated before, the instructions are text only so if you’re a visual learner this pattern won’t make you very happy. However, Rachel of House of Pinheiro and Marie of A Stitching Odyssey hosted a sewalong for this dress full of photo tutorials, tips, detailed instructions, guest posts, and more! I was impressed by how well they interacted with people in the comments – so this specific pattern from Named is worth a purchase just for the sewalong help. Thank you thank you thank you!

nameddakotashawlcollardress36To be honest I wanted to test myself and see if it were possible to sew this up without extra help (I was also ahead of the sewalong schedule and was impatient to start sewing). I managed, but got very stuck on the collar construction. It was my first time making a shawl collar so that contributed a lot to my inability. I made it work in the end but for Dakota #2 I’ll be sure to follow the sewalong tutorial so I can do it correctly. I also had to stare at Carrie’s Dakota photos to make sure my cuff looked right. PS Look how my dress is not clinging to me awkwardly!

nameddakotashawlcollardress35Looks MUCH BETTER this time around.

nameddakotashawlcollardress61The secret? A vintage slip! In the perfect color to match the magenta dots on my fabric. I’ve had it in my closet for years but never wore it – until today! It was a bit long so I hiked it up but you’ll see it peeking it later.

nameddakotashawlcollardress37Priscila gets extra points (sorry Nadeeka) because bent pocket tabs didn’t sneak by her.

nameddakotashawlcollardress38While the pocket placement for this dress is cute, it wasn’t really practical as I have to raise my arm a lot and bend my wrist at a strange angle to be able to use the pocket as it’s quite high on the waist. However that means they are secure and I wasn’t afraid of anything falling out anytime I sat or bent over – no missing items from this dress.

nameddakotashawlcollardress39Chapstick is what I carry in my pockets nowadays. I made this dress in a size 44, the largest for their range.

nameddakotashawlcollardress41A scarf was needed because winter is HERE. 55F/13C weather = winter for me.

nameddakotashawlcollardress42There’s a little artificial pond next to the stadium so we moved on over.

nameddakotashawlcollardress43Priscila, good job! I like this photo.

nameddakotashawlcollardress44We threw our stuff on the ground again.

nameddakotashawlcollardress45Buttoned cuffs! Yeah! I opened up the buttonholes so the buttons could finally slip through.

nameddakotashawlcollardress46I didn’t muslin this… I meant to, but I kind of forgot. I always lay out pieces on my fabric to test to see if I have enough, but I went ahead and cut before realizing that I forgot to adjust my pattern pieces. Oops! I should’ve done some sort of back adjustment here, but I didn’t. It still fits, but there are some lines. PS, anybody know what kind of “problem” I have? Is it: wide shoulders, square shoulders, sloping shoulders, round shoulders, broad back, wide back, etc, etc etc… too many similar fit issues for one area, I never know which one I should be doing for my body.

nameddakotashawlcollardress47I’ll work on fit next time. Look again at the non clinginess. And the prop. Not as good as a dog, but still nice.

nameddakotashawlcollardress48Priscila told me to sit on the ground but I refused because it looked a bit prickly. A squat was the compromise.

nameddakotashawlcollardress49Hello Fall!

nameddakotashawlcollardress50I finally found my red leaves. I told Priscila to go and stand still by them so I could adjust the focus for some self-timer fun.

nameddakotashawlcollardress51…This is the pose she chose.

nameddakotashawlcollardress52Here we are!

nameddakotashawlcollardress53We are looking for superman. Don’t forget to admire how my outfit isn’t being clingy!

nameddakotashawlcollardress54We jumped too quickly.

nameddakotashawlcollardress55There’s my slip peeking out!


nameddakotashawlcollardress58High five!

nameddakotashawlcollardress59High five again!

nameddakotashawlcollardress60Ok back to normal. In the end this is going to be a summer dress for me as I prefer to not wear a slip and tights with it. I also think I will be making this in a fabric with some stretch next time since it’ll be easier to get on/off as well as move my arms around in. Don’t forget to check out the sewalong if you plan on making this dress – so worth it! Thanks again to Rachel, Marie, & Named for making this dress possible.

Pattern: Named Dakota Shawl Collar Dress
Fabric: Japanese Cotton

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