Blue Skies dress

When the October Monthly Stitch theme was announced, I immediately started hunting for galaxy-print fabric. I love space images, so I’ve been hoping for a while to come across some good galaxy print fabric that I could use. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any that I liked in New Zealand, and shipping was going to make anything from overseas too expensive. However, as I was pondering what to make instead, I remembered that I never finished this dress, started some time last summer. In my head it was blue, and that was all, but when I pulled it out I discovered it also had clouds on, so it was clearly appropriate. It was quite interesting to pull out a project from last year and look at how I’d done it – I think I’d approach it differently if I started again.

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The dress is super floaty and flowy; prancing around in it on a hot day is a lot of fun. I was a touch concerned about the fabric, which is some unknown synthetic, but it’s actually fine to wear.

The pattern is a heavily modified Burda one, the same as here, here or here. I raised the front neckline, made the back a V neck, raised the waist, and extended the shoulders into small cap sleeves. That last one, though, I could have given more thought to. I did make a muslin of my original sleeves and alter, but I clearly needed to repeat the process, as the sleeves dig in rather. It’s not a problem most of the time, but if I’m trying to bend forward it becomes a big problem. I can say from experience that this is the single least practical thing I have tried to garden in, and that’s the main reason why.

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In things I might have done differently: the neckline. I think I like the V-back, but am not really sure overall. I had to lower the front neckline a good inch from what it was last year, also – I might have been working on the theory that lowering it would be easier than raising, but it was at a strangle level.

I also would have underlined the bodice, I think. When I was taking photos, I realised the thin outer fabric was already beginning to pull at the seams. It’s pretty snug on me, which probably encourages that, but using a finer needle and underlining might help, next time. And I decided to french seam the shell of the dress but pink the edges of the lining, which works ok, but I would probably have french seamed everything – let’s be honest, that’s my favourite finish these days.

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Most maxi dresses are too short for me – I’m 5’9″ – and it’s nice to have one that actually grazes the top of my feet. This made it very difficult to get a photo showing the whole length, so here you have Nearly Headless Rowena (it doesn’t quite have the ring of the original name though).

For a completely different Final Frontier project, I’ve also been sewing a baby quilt lately, for a friend who’s pregnant, with a pattern of many brilliantly coloured stars. I finished the quilt top last week, so here it is in all its glory:

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More details from the dress can be found on my blog; the quilt isn’t there yet, but will be once I’ve backed it and finished things off.

Happy sewing!

3 thoughts on “Blue Skies dress

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