The Botanical Blues Dress

When I first started sewing, I was obsessed with trawling through op shops to find fabrics, patterns and other notions. In those early days I picked up a fair bit of rubbish which has since been re-donated, but this little piece of fabric has survived in my stash for almost 8 years, waiting for the perfect project. The large scale floral print really appealed to me and reminded me of a cover of a book I had as a kid.

After making my first Myrtle dress a little while ago, I thought I would like to attempt it again, since the fit on the first one wasn’t quite right. This fabric popped into mind and I thought it was finally time to sew it up!

The details:

Fabric: Op-shop navy scuba-like knit with a large floral print

Pattern: Colette Myrtle

Size: S

Special touches and alterations: Added 1cm to bodice length above armhole and 3.5cm to length below armhole. Added 4cm to the hem. Had to add center back seam to bodice and take a small wedge out of the front of the skirt due to fabric restrictions.

Stash Smash Project Points
Meters Used 2.5 10 points
Stash Time 8 years 50 points
Preciousness 20 points
80 points

The fabric is a thick knit, it has a spongy feel and is almost scuba-like. I didn’t have a huge piece of it, so had to be careful with my cutting, and ended up adding a center back seam to the bodice and taking a bit of volume out of the front of the skirt piece so it would fit on my fabric! With the fabric limitations I wasn’t able to do any pattern matching, but I probably wouldn’t bother too much with this sort of print anyway. It worked out well and I particularly like the “wreath” effect that happened on the back of the bodice, which was completely unintentional! The insides were finished with my overlocker, and I used a twin needle on the hem (which did insist on “tunneling” – I think I need to try some wash-away stabiliser to fix this next time!).

After having made the pattern up the first time, I knew I needed to add some more length to the bodice both above and below the underarm. The first time I made this pattern I added 2.5cm to the bodice length (which I seem to have neglected to mention in my notes for that post, whoops!) so this time around I added an extra 1cm, plus 1cm above the underarm. Although I had found the waist a bit tight in my last version, given this time I was sewing with a knit I decided to risk not adding any more room there, and that seems to have worked out fine. If I were to make this in a woven again I would definitely add to the bodice side seams though!

I think I may have gone too far with this version and that the bodice is too long, although I don’t mind the slightly blousey look. I would usually wear this with a belt but wanted to show the elastic waist here for your reference. The only other thing I would note with this pattern is to be careful when leaning over – I found when I did that the cowl draped down and provided a view all the way to my belly-button from a particular angle!!

I really like the end result and have been wearing it with tights while the weather here in Melbourne is still more winter than spring. While the fabric is on the thicker side, I think I’ll be able to keep wearing it into spring with bare legs!

More from me on my blog, Tatulinka’s Tales

4 thoughts on “The Botanical Blues Dress

  1. Love your fabric & hope your season coming up isn’t too blistering hot. Am re-reading Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series just now & aching for cooler weather over here so I can bake again. Enjoy Melbourne! & your sewing stash!


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