Midsummer’s Dream Dress

Back in June, I had the pleasure of going down to Houton, Texas to visit family. Hot, muggy, tropical Houston.  I had dreamed of the Papercut Pattern’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Dress & Camisole for a long time, but I didn’t have any fabric or a reason to make it. (BTW, I did not take this pictures while in Houston, because I wore it to the science museum and why take pictures of dresses when you can take pictures of DINOSAURS)
Rayon Challis Herringbone Stripes Solid Natural
I invested in a rayon herringbone challis from fabric.com, which is sadly out of stock now, including a black version that I failed to snag. It’s soft as a cloud, flowy, but unfortunately it’s also transparent. To make up for it, I pulled out some vintage slips, but Seamwork’s Ariane Bodysuit with the dress variation (found in the member’s exclusive) would  a perfect option with the built in bra.
Onto the Actual making:
I’m going to admit that it was a pretty shaky ride up until the finish line. I cut a size M, hoping that the wrap style would be forgiving with my extra weight. It turned out beautifully and I have no complaints, but until I had on the straps and the ties, I couldn’t accurately test the fit, to the point where I thought it was grossly over-sized, so a fair warning to you.
The construction was fairly straightforward, but I’m going to have to warn you; It’s VERY easy to miss the step where you leave the hole for the tie. I even read about it on Pattern Review, and still messed up! To compensate, I made a button hole the length the hole was supposed to be and it worked out fine.
The trickiest bit, though, was adding the ties to the bodice and then finishing the ties. What they have you do is gather the fabric down to about 2 inches, but with all the fabric involved it becomes a bit of a mess that needs a lot of pins. The ties are then folded around this fabric, covering the mess nicely, but leaving the whole length of the ties open. It then says to fold the fabric under along the length of the ties, but with unstarched, slippy rayon, I knew it was going to be a terrible slog. Of course, as I had tacked down the straps to the bodice all of the way through the seam allowance, I could think of no conceivable way of following the instructions. So what did I do? Tacked both sides together 1/4 inch with the edges out, then folded up sort of like a hem, but without enough leeway to encase fraying edges. Does it look messy? Yep, but where I was in the process and how I solved the issues, there was no good way to make it neat.
How I deviated from the instructions:
I omitted the ties from the shoulders. To do this, I finished the bodice with bias tape with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and tacked in some green velvet ribbons for the shoulder straps.
To finish the seams, I used a french seam, which requires a slightly  bigger seam allowance than the pattern comes with (5/8 inches instead of 3/8 inches), but between the smaller seam allowance on the top and the forgiving nature of the style I had no fitting issues because of this.
I did have one fitting issue, perhaps because of the shifting rayon, where one side of the bodice ended up baggy. To fix this, I folded away the excess and treated it like a dart.
I also added pointed ends to the ties, as I find it can be hard to put the ties through the button hole otherwise.
Conclusion:
While I had a few hiccups, I really, really love this dress. Rather than be discouraged by the whole tie fiasco, it makes me want to try again, and see how making a camisole might  affect the situation. I’m also thinking of seeing how it would look as a peplum top. One thing I did worry about is the dress staying, well, tied, since this is using such slippery fabric. I didn’t have a big problem with it, but I did have to adjust it a bit throughout the day. which I think is pretty fair. It was just what the doctor ordered for a hot day and I can see it being a staple in my wardrobe.

6 thoughts on “Midsummer’s Dream Dress

  1. It’s too bad to hear you had so many issues while sewing. But as everyone has noted, the finished dress does look very dreamy on you — I think this pattern is well named 🙂

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