Tuesday 10 February 2015

Technicolour Sheath Dress

I'm a big fan of colour, so when I saw this fabric at Spotlight I had to buy it. The rainbow tesselated triangles were just too much fun to pass up. Of course, given how bright the fabric is I had to find the right pattern so it wouldn't be completely overwhelming - something fitted, something simple. I've been using Burda Style for years, so when they had a pattern sale late last year I had a look to see whether there were any good patterns and found this, the Scuba Dress

Normally I'm not a big fan of print at home patterns because they're a bit annoying to use, taking so much paper (I think this pattern was more than 40 pages) but the pattern was just what I'd been looking for to use this fabric. I think I used half a roll of sticky tape just putting the pattern pieces together! 

The pattern has curved seams on the front inset piece, and curved darts in the back. I cut the two side front pieces the opposite direction to the front insert and back pieces, to subtly accentuate the seams. Because the pattern isn't solid stripes but coloured triangles mixed together, the differing lines/colours complement, rather than clash each other.

The pattern is a petite size, and the length was just perfect, finishing just above the knee. But I have a long torso and short legs, so had to do some adjustments to the bodice. It fit well to just above the waist, but then expanded out for the hips almost two inches above my actual hips, with a lot of loose fabric at the lower back. So after some trial and error with the back darts I managed to fix it up.

To match the bright fabric, I used a neon lemon-lime Mettler poly-sheen thread, seen on the left in the stitching for the neck and arm facings, and also a few millimetres from the seam of the front panel, as well as on the hem and the zipper. I'm not a big fan of visible stitching unless it's going to work as an accent to the piece, but hiding thread was always going to be too hard with this fabric. Given the fabric is so bright, I thought the brightest thread possible was the best choice for any visible stitching. 

This close-up photo also gives a better view of the actual fabric print, and how multicoloured it actually is, with different colours of triangles contained within each row. You can also see how the front inset and side front pieces work, and how the fabric is reversed on the side front pieces compared to the inset.

It's probably not surprising that this dress is fairly tight, given how fitted it is. But it's not only due to the cut being fitted, it's also because the fabric I chose to use isn't really the right fabric for the pattern. The pattern specified it was only for stretch fabrics, but I like to ignore those sorts of instructions. This fabric isn't completely stiff, but it's definitely not stretch! Still, it worked out in the end, although I can't move my legs too far apart or bend down all that easily in this! But that's ok, I'm happy with how it turned out.


  1. those triangles!!!!! drooling...you look lovely!

    1. Thank you! The triangles are amazing, aren't they? I did think the crazy colours would be right up your alley.
      Also, an oona comment as the first ever comment on my blog? Sewist life mission achieved.