I had intended this to be my entry for the Blue Ginger Doll #getyourkniton contest, but didn’t get it posted even remotely close to the deadline. I ended up with a casual dress I really like though, so I still win.
I’ve had this strange novelty knit fabric in my stash for several years. It’s one of those weird pieces that is too thin and see-through to make into just anything, and yet so very bulky that it was taking up more space than it should have been allotted. It was time to do something with it.
I love the mix of colors and textures in this fabric; they make me so happy.
Of course, this is one of those fabrics I had bought on sale just because I liked it, but with no particular project in mind. The dress is a mash-up of the Blue Ginger Doll Anne top with the straight skirt from the Blue Ginger Doll Violet dress. It’s weird that I think I’ve seen quite a few Violet dresses, but can’t immediately recall any of them having been made with the straight skirt.
The patterns fit together fairly well, especially since there were no darts or pleats to worry about lining up between bodice and skirt. I cut a larger size skirt than I did top. These hips don’t lie; I am most certainly “pear shaped” and I have no problem if my clothes don’t camouflage it.
This is probably the point where I’m expected to apologize for having “winter” white legs. I’m not apologizing. That is the color of my skin, and it is just as pretty in it’s own way as any other skin color.
Instead of trying to do up a hem with this strangely textured fabric, I used my serger to do a rolled hem on the skirt and sleeves. I like the ruffled edge it created.
I think I opted to cut the sleeves off a bit higher than where the mid-length sleeve was marked on the pattern. I went with my gut instinct on where I thought I’d like them to end, and it worked out this time.
Let’s talk about the awesomeness that is that is the peek-a-boo neckline for a second. As soon as I saw that neckline, I knew I was going to be buying this pattern.
I used fold-over elastic to finish the neckline and yoke edges. Unfortunately, I didn’t pull it nearly as tight on the yoke as I would on a future version. I unpicked the bodice edge elastic and sewed it back up tighter, but still it could stand to have been even tighter to keep the neckline pulled in against my body, especially when I lean over. What was that phrase Anne used? Something about the potential for bunnies to escape the hutch? Where was I? Oh, yes. The fold-over elastic. It was a giant pain to unpick the elastic from the lacy fabric, so instead of trying to do that with the yoke, I just gathered up the edges where the yoke connects to the bodice. Obviously this was not couture sewing. Despite these issues with using elastic instead of binding, I’m happy that I did. I can only imagine the horror that would have come from trying to use self-fabric to bind the bodice. I’d try elastic again on another version. I’m thinking of making a black or grey top with red fold-over elastic as a design-feature. Not stretching the elastic too hard during sewing worked out just fine for the upper neckline; if I’d pulled it tighter there, it wouldn’t be comfortable.
One mention about the stripes at the waistline. I cut the Anne top off short where I wanted the waistline to sit (plus seam allowance). The Violet skirt, however, has a curved edge. When I take the belt off, the stripes don’t completely match at the waistline because of the curve in the skirt pattern. I personally like wearing wide belts, so the not-matching doesn’t bother me. If I’m not wearing the belt, then I’m obviously going casual, so it still doesn’t bother me. If you were thinking of making up your own stripey version (and please let me know if you do so I can see) then you might want to consider handling the waistline differently than I did.
While they don’t exactly match at the waist, the stripes do match across the bodice/sleeves and down the skirt sections.
The dress is lined beneath the bodice back, front lower bodice, and skirt with an ivory cotton/spandex jersey. I don’t have any pictures to show of the lining because it is literally just ivory cotton/spandex jersey. It is perhaps the most boring fabric in the world, second only to white cotton/spandex jersey.
Instead of showing the lining here’s a picture of me trying for a naturally insouciant pose. I’m not sure it’s working for me. I must not be naturally insouciant.
Stash-busting stats: 8 projects this year. 15 1/2 yards of fabric used.