One day I came across this fabric and it was exactly what I envisioned after the first one.
I always like a print that is white with one other color. A couple of years ago I made another red and white dress but I gave that one to my hairdresser so I have been thinking about making one since. This fabric popped up one day in an email from Fabric Mart, (where I have never ordered although I get the emails). It said it was a J.Crew fabric and came in a couple of colors, for a really low price, like under $ 5 per yard. I told myself I would order later that day, then promptly forgot and when I went back a day or two later it was gone. Oh well. Then the next day I walked into my local favorite Stone Mountain fabrics and there it was. Meant to be! This dress takes suprisingly little fabric but I actually was a bit short because it was only around 50" wide instead of 54" or 60" and the skirt with all the pleats running crosswise takes up a bit.
Consequently I had to do a little cheat on the skirt pieces so I took a tiny pleat in the pattern piece on some of the pleats, which are about 4 inches wide so it wasn't noticeable. Here is the back skirt and I did the same on the pleats on the front piece, so that narrowed the skirt by about 5 inches in total which you can't see. Sometimes you really have to improvise with fabrics that seem simple.
Front and back view
A few sewing notes. This very lightweight fabric needed something to provide a nice edge and crisp turn around the neckline but nothing that would show through so silk organza to the rescue. This is a very nice pattern that has all the pieces including those for the interfacings (much like the Vogue patterns I remember when I started sewing, every pattern piece you could need, separate lining pieces etc - they should do better with that now. And mark the damn roll line on jackets! as I have said many times before. That goes for all the pattern companies, Burda, Vogue, etc. ok, rant over)
I cut the organza interfacing piece and then use the paper pattern piece to make sure the shape of the neckline is still intact when I pin it on and then sew. I really don't like gapey necklines and this helps to avoid that.
I have no idea why I took this photo of trimming the neckline other than I am a trimming maniac. This neckline was trimmed, notched and then turned, pressed and understitched. In terms of construction order, I do the whole front with lining, the whole back with lining minus zip, sew up the shoulders, pull the backs through at the shoulders, sew ip the side seams, then the zip and center back last. It might sound strange but on a sleeveless dress pattern that I have already fitted it is really fast.
Here is a closer look at all the pleats in the neckline and skirt. So perfect for a really lightweight fabric. One of the suggested fabrics is silk duppioni which I think would be a nightmare!
I lined the dress with cotton batiste which I bought on a separate trip to Stone Mountain. They have every possible weight of voile, batiste, lawn and it was kind of fun to see them next to each other for comparison. White cotton voile is nice but it would have been slightly sheer. I wanted a super lightweight floaty lining but not a see-through one :). Here you can see the separate lining pattern pieces.
Back view on me. I love the neckline on this dress. If you remember the first version (here is the link to that post) I was kind of critical of the shape of the shoulder strap portion which I thought was too wide and chunky. So I took out about 3/4" in the width on this version, shaving off the outside edge and I hardly see a difference. I still think it is a bit chunky looking from the front, not really a delicate design in that area. But the back neckline I really like.
I guess the designer and I will have to differ on this point.
Here they are side by side. It looks really different to me in a solid vs. a print. Maybe that blue one is better than I remember!. In any case, LOTS of fitting information in that post so if you are interested in this pattern click over to my old post and check it out.
I guess I should remind you of the wackadoodle pattern envelope for this one. Her clown wig is a bit distracting but perhaps they were trying to get you to look away from the fabric which is hideous to me. And another time when the fabric completely obscured the design.
OK, one more garden shot. Get a good look at anything blooming behind me because they are drying up fast. August is always the least attractive month around here, everything is pretty much bloomed out and most of the plants are gasping in the heat, like the rest of us.
That is probably enough for this pattern, although it would be easily adapted into a very cool skirt. More pattern repeats to come but this was the one where I surprised myself in terms of sewing again something that I wasn't that thrilled with the first time. You are redeemed, Vogue 1353.
Happy summer sewing, Beth
and my very favorite rose in the garden. I would love to know the variety (planted way before my time) but whatever it is, it loves the heat and puts out these velvety big red roses all summer long.