Well, this is certainly a surprise given that I’m rarely a dress person and my blogging as of late has been spotty with a lean towards non-existent!
When I saw the first challenge for Indie Pattern month I was inclined to pass it by, as I rarely wear dresses. I have a lot of dress patterns but they are almost always obtained with an eye towards making a tunic or hacking into a top. After some thought though, I decided to try the Colfax Dress (pattern by True Bias) which had been lurking in my stash since last summer. I even cut the pattern as full “dress length” making no adjustments to sneakily turn it into a tunic!
I paired the Colfax Pattern with some lovely and unique jacquard cotton lawn that I purchased from my favorite online store Blackbird Fabrics. The fabric is not totally opaque and I did contemplate adding lining. However, foreseeing I would only wear this as a swim coverup or over tights/leggings (I seriously dislike my legs touching in hot summer weather…ugh!) I skipped lining and went with a ultra lightweight and floaty single layer of this fabric. I love it! This will be so perfect to wear over my swimsuit for modesty while still being cool!
I used ivory lawn for the hem facing/pockets and black cotton lawn for the yoke neck and sleeve binding. This worked beautifully however it would be nice if the point of my yoke wasn’t hidden by the black of the printed main fabric. I’m considering adding a border of beading or decorative stitches around the yoke to remedy this… What do you think? Would embellishing the yoke be an improvement or is it good as is?
For keeping a beautiful clean finish on the inside as well as the outside I decided to use french seams. Since the pattern has inseam pockets (which I didn’t want to sacrifice for easier french seams) I decided to try a tutorial I’d seen on In the Folds for sewing in-seam pockets with french seams. The tutorial worked beautifully however with all the focus on getting a new technique right I didn’t notice a twisted back piece and ended up with the wrong sides sewn together. Gah!!! Let me tell you a big ol’ glass of wine was needed after I discovered that snafoo. After a sewing time out, thankfully, I managed to unpick the delicate material on which I’d completed both french seams and bartacks at pocket openings before realizing my error. Thank-you trusty seam ripper, I don’t know what I’d do without you!
After the fiasco leading to ripping out french seams, when it came time to hem I decided it was worth the extra time to hand sew with a slipstitch rather than just machine sewing. Normally I’m not one for hand stitching if a machine can be used but I love how hidden and clean my hem looks on this delicate fabric. Look, no line of contrast stitching through the black floral, just tiny hidden hand stitches. Very pleasing – it makes the garment just a touch more special to me even if nobody else will ever notice. Dare I say it was even rather relaxing to to do this hand stitched hem!
The one downside is that I find the pockets to be a bit low. However, they are caught in the hem facing to keep them from being droopy which is very nice. The pattern is designed for a height of 5’5″ and I’m only 5’2″ so if I had shortened by 1.5″ at the lengthen/shorten lines I think the pockets would be at just the right spot. If intended as a dress though, shortening the total length would be a touch short for my preference. So next time I’ll want to add that length back below the pockets and perhaps lengthen the hem facing so the pockets are still neatly secured in the facing.
Next time I would also do a slight FBA adjustment. The pattern is designed for a C cup and I’m a D cup. Figured I could sneak by without adjusting but there is a bit of pulling and some slight gaping at the armhole. Not enough to really bother me but next time this can be easily corrected.
All in all I’m very happy with this make. Thanks Indie Pattern month for the motivation to get this done.
I’ve really been enjoying everyone’s posts for IPM2017, thanks for stopping by to read mine! If you’d like to see more of what I’m up to you can find me at my blog Sew Anemone or more frequently on Instagram @sewanemone.