Tuesday 5 May 2015

Spotted Stripe Shift and Me Made May

It's been a few weeks since my last post. I have been doing quite a bit of sewing, mostly of pajamas (more of the Carolyn pattern from Closet Case Files) because the weather is cooling down and the nights have become pretty chilly. All my winter pajamas were almost dead by the end of last winter, so I had to make new ones. I've been planning to do a post with all the PJs, but my brain has started rebelling against making the same pattern multiple times so I decided I needed a quick change of pace. Enter this dress.

I bought this fabric at Tessuti in January during their sale. It was actually a last minute choice; I'd had in the back of my mind making a shift dress like this with a mid-weight fabric and cap sleeves but it was really just a vague idea with no specific plan. I saw this fabric while wandering the shop looking at everything and picked it up for a closer look, thinking it would be a good choice, but then put it back because it wasn't something near the top of my sewing list. I kept wandering and was just about to go pay for the rest of my fabric when my mind came back to this, so I went and had another look and decided to pick it up.

I always forget to write down exactly what the fabrics I'm buying are, so I can't specifically remember the details of this one. It might have been a Japanese fabric, even Nani Iro, or at least it was sitting next to them. It's a cotton, and the base of it seems to have been left natural with just the green and brown spotty stripes printed on it. It has a much rougher feel than a normal cotton, more like a heavy calico or even a soft canvas.

 It also holds some of its shape when draping, which works really well for a simple shift. This dress was made with no pattern and has no darts at all and no closures, just front and back pieces and facings for the neck and arms. I used a basic sloper I'd mocked up a few years ago to make a dropped waist art deco-inspired lace dress as the basis for this dress, widening the pattern out from the under bust to the sloped shoulder seam so that it would have mini cap sleeves while still being an all-in-one dress. It's gently shaped in at the waist before curving out to the hips, and then straight down at the width of the fabric. It follows the shape of the body subtly, giving a nice line but keeping focus on the print.

I only bought a metre of the fabric because I knew I was going to make a very simple dress. Before cutting I played around with deciding whether to have the spotty stripes vertical or horizontal. I'd originally been thinking horizontal, but the fabric didn't look as exciting that way. When I held it up vertically, it was just so much more interesting, and worked better with the shape and drape.

I'm very happy with this dress, with how nice it looks by itself and with a belt, and with how it matches the wood and paua shell necklace my brother and sister-in-law gave me. Now I just need to get my brain back into gear and finish off my pajamas!

Lastly, like many sewing bloggers, I'm trying to do Me Made May, wearing something I've made myself every day this month (not including PJs). It's a lot of fun to see everyone else's makes online and on Instagram. But I think by the end of the month I'm probably going to have discovered some holes in my wardrobe, and have an even bigger list of sewing projects to do!

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  1. such a chic yet happy dress! and that necklace was made for it ;)

  2. I just discovered your blog, and I just wanted to say what an amazing dress this is! The simple shape of the dress really shows off the fabric and it just looks lovely on you.