Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'll have the scallops

Have you noticed that scallops are everywhere these days? I have been wanting to try them, but I wasn't quite sure how to incorporate them into a grown-up outfit. Scallops would look so sweet on a little girl's dress, like this one from the Cottage Mama, but I don't have a little girl. And my boys would probably not appreciate scalloped-hem cargo shorts.

A few weeks ago I was looking through an old Anthropolgie catalog I had when I came across a dress I hadn't noticed before:

source: Anthropologie

It's easier to see in the catalog, but it looked like they had done a scalloped-edge armhole facing that was turned to the outside so that the scallops fell along the neckline. Here is my version:

The fabric I used is kind of busy, so it's hard to see the scallops. I just wanted to try it out with some stash fabric. I will definitely make this again for next summer in a fabric that will show off the scallops more.

I used Simplicity 2599 as my starting point. It's a top pattern, so I lengthened it to be more of a tunic. I also added a yoke with a button placket to the front. Finally, I added an armhole facing and made it wide enough so that it extended past the neckline at the shoulder, and drafted the scallops over that line.

Here is a photo of my front pattern pieces:

To make the armhole facing I pinned the front and back together at the shoulder seam allowance and traced off a facing as one continuous piece (just ignore that extra line on the left there, where I drew it funny). Note that the scallop line is the stitching line, NOT the cutting line. Here is a great tutorial from pattern, scissors, cloth on doing scallops.

I really like this Simplicity pattern as a basic starting point for different modifications. I have made it a few times and have a couple more versions planned for the fall. My only complaint is that while it's supposed to be sized for B,C, and D cup sizes, I don't think they did a good job. I cut the B cup in a size 10, and it was still huge in the bust and waist area. But simply cutting a few sizes smaller would have made it too tight in the armholes. I needed to raise the bust dart by about an inch, and take it in from the bust area down through the waist. So, I would recommend this pattern, but make a muslin first and be prepared to make some bust adjustments. Fuller-busted women may find it to be a good fit straight from the pattern. Now that I have worked out the kinks, I'll be using it again.

This project got me thinking...what is it about Anthropologie that inspires so many people to create their own knockoffs? Apart from the fact that they have beautiful things that cost a lot! And not just clothing, but jewelry, too. There is even a group over on Ravelry dedicated to Anthro knits. For me, it's the details. Their clothes always have plackets, pleats, gathering, ruching, yokes, extra seams...all design details that make clothes look special and are more challenging to create than a plain pattern. Anyone else have thoughts on the collective Anthro obsession?


  1. Cool work with the scallops! Am yet to try it but geez, I shouldn't add anything else to my list too soon! ;)
    And oh my gosh LOVE Anthropologie.... of course there are no stores in Australia. Hubby and I went to the UK last year so I made sure we went to the one on Regent Street and I bought a few things. Of course I was 6 months preggers too so it made it hard to try clothes on. Anyway, I love their fabrics, and yes the details. But not their prices. hehe.

    1. I don't actually have one nearby either...I think I have been in their store just once. Sometimes it's just fun to be inspired by the photos anyway! (I think the original price on the dress I posted was $200-yikes.)