This is the Midsummer Night's Dream Dress by Papercut Patterns. Papercut are a great New Zealand independent pattern company who make some really elegant but easily wearable patterns.
I've so far only made a few Papercut Patterns but I've really enjoyed them. The packaging is lovely, and the instructions are clear and well-written. This dress was fairly quick to make in terms of the actual sewing. It's quick to make because although there are a few pieces - three skirt, three bodice, ties and binding - it's very straightforward to put together. All the stitching involved is straight stitching. Attaching the self bias needs a little more attention and effort to make sure it's folded and placed correctly, but it is easy enough. My fabric didn't entirely press down sharply so I had to use more pins to hold it in place, which makes sewing a little slower, but made sure that it was all even and correct.
I did find that the bodice was initially a little loose around the arms and potentially would slide down and expose bra sides. I'd already added the binding andstra ps and didn't really didn't want to undo all of that just to trim the bodice in, so I decided to put a few quick tucks/bust darts in at the sides. There are two on each side, and the print of the fabric makes them imperceptible. They're just enough to pull the dress in around the arms without affecting how the shape of the bodice or how the dress sits.
This dress was also my first rolled hem. As with all sewing machines, mine has a few different feet, some of which I've never really used. After hanging the dress for a couple of days to let the hem settle, I luckily only had to trim off a little unevenness. I then tried it on to decide how much I wanted to hem it by, and was pretty happy with where it sat. So I decided to have a go with my rolled hem foot. I also thought a rolled hem would be a good choice for the flow of this dress, as a minimal hem would have no effect on the dress' shape and movement. The fabric did try and slip out of the coiling part of the rolling foot, but it turned out almost perfectly even, which I was pleasantly surprised by.
The fabric is a rayon crepe from Spotlight. Given that the skirt is pretty much a semicircle, the print couldn't be anything directional. The dress also has a soft flow to it, so the fabric also couldn't be anything heavy. Originally I was looking at some all over floral prints, but when I saw this one I thought it would be perfect. The colourful jagged waves already have the look of movement, so it was well-suited to a dress with flow. It's also lightweight without being completely flyaway, soft but not see-through.
This one has taken a lot longer to get to here than it should have. I got the pattern in June, the fabric in September, and made the dress over the Christmas-New Year's break, and finally got around to wearing and photographing it yesterday. When I bought the pattern and fabric it was of course still cold, but the summer's been long and hot, and this dress is perfect for that sort of weather. Better late than never.
I love this pattern because not only was it easy to follow and the final dress beautifully elegant, it's also a wrap dress so it's relaxed and comfy. And isn't that one of the best things about sewing? You don't need to choose between comfort and look - with the right fabric and pattern, you get to have both.