I didn’t purposely put off blogging this dress I finished months ago until now when it’s Jungle January, but since I did end up not liking the first pictures I took (too much splotchy shade and an impatient photographer) and it took me forever to get pictures retaken, it seemed only right to hold off on posting for a couple of weeks so I’d have something to post that was on-theme for the month. It’s a good thing too, since I caught a cold and have been too sick to get my official Jungle January project cut out yet. Right now I’m racing to get this post written before the cold meds put me to sleep for the night.
Where was I? Oh, right, dress I made months ago, finally posting now. This is the Jacaranda dress from Tenterhook Patterns. After I tested the beta version of the pattern, Amanda sent me a copy of the finished pattern for free (with no obligation to use it and/or blog about it) The finished pattern has a narrower shoulder/fuller bust than the test version did. It’s still drafted for someone taller than me, so I shortened the bodice by about 2 inches (yes, inches, not centimeters). The bodice length is just about right for me with that alteration.
The major quirk with this version of the dress is that I made it out of a cotton sateen with about a 3% lycra content. Most of the dress has width-wise stretch. I think in future, if I use this kind of fabric, I’m going to have to consider making the shoulder/neckline area a size smaller to compensate for the stretch. The dress is fine and wearable, but doesn’t feel quite “secure” around the neckline. On the other hand, the waist of this dress is quite snug. As you can see the fabric had light/dark abstract stripes, and I didn’t want to have a striped waistband. I cut it on the lengthwise grain which means that there is NO stretch around the waist. The stretchier fabric being sewn to it wants to blouse a little, and I think maybe a bit of firm interfacing to keep it upright might not have gone amiss. Whatever. If it bothers me that much, I can wear a belt. It must not really bother me; I don’t think I’ve worn a belt with this dress yet.
I really pondered what kind of lining I wanted to use, since the pattern calls for a full lining. I wanted to retain some of the stretchy properties of the fabric, especially in the bodice, but didn’t really want to self-line since the fabric is on the sturdier side. I ended up using some leftover rayon challis for the bodice lining which worked very well and is nice and breathable. I went with a poly-satin twill lining for the skirt portion; It’s good and slippery to keep the slim skirt from trying to “ride up” while wearing. The skirt lining has some snake-skin print sections, making this secretly a triple-Jungle print dress.
The toughest part of this dress was actually the cutting out. As I said, the fabric had a definite stripe pattern. The trick was to make sure that the stripes stayed relatively even and matched from the top to the bottom of the dress. Since it has multiple princess seams as well as pockets, it took some careful thought to make sure that the placement of light or dark areas looked intentional. I’m very happy with how this turned out.
How happy am I that Anne is once again hosting Jungle January? Happy enough to want to dance…so I made a cheesy.gif of myself dancing. I hope it makes you laugh.