Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The What is this Bird Dress

I write a lot about failure on this blog. I'm not afraid to show off things that just didn't work out for me (or things that I've totally screwed up). It feels like I've been having a lot of fails lately, so I'm excited to show off a project that DID work out. And oh do I love it.

This dress is almost a year in the making. The pattern is self-drafted but is based off of a few different things. One is the Coastal Breeze dress by Make It Perfect patterns (made four times previously, here, here, here and here). It's also influenced by a Target maternity dress that I copied last year for the Fabric Mart Fabricista challenge (here). The skirt is a quarter circle skirt, drafted with the By Hand London circle skirt app. Phew!

As you can tell, I've been playing around with this basic dress for quite a while. The quarter circle skirt is new for this version and I. Love. It. The midi length is a new look for me and was unplanned. I was going to shorten it to knee-length but liked it as-is.

There are a few little things that need changed for the next version (lengthening the bodice and distributing the front gathers better) but I'm so very close to, dare I say it, the prefect dress pattern? Perfect for me anyway!

The fabric is a cotton/poly knit from Nature's Fabrics. I first came across it on a different website and didn't order it, even though I thought it was amazing. When it sold out, I completely regretted not buying. When it showed up at NF I knew I couldn't let it pass me by again. Aside from getting fuzzy all over the first time I washed it (waaaaaah) it's just as lovely as I thought it would be. The "waistband" is a heavy rib knit from The Fabric Fairy (navy sold out, other colors here). I've previously used cotton/spandex knits for this portion, but I'm digging the rib knit here. I did size down slightly to accommodate a stretchier fabric.

I don't think I have any other dresses with quarter circle skirts. It's just the right amount of flair without going overboard. If I ever release this as an actual pattern (!! secret dream !!) I wanted to get further away from my inspirations, which meant modifying the skirt somehow (it's a rectangle in the Coastal Breeze and a odd trapezoid in the RTW dress). I'm so glad I tried a circle skirt because it feels like the right fit for this design.

Because the gathers weren't quite right, there was some weird blousing in the front. It's mostly fixed after I tacked them down to the waistband, which you can see below.

The back neckline is finished with French binding. Looks sooooo RTW and fancy. I wrote a tutorial on this method as part of my Knit Finishes series. Way better than a full facing or a narrow hem.

This dress hugs and skims in all the right places, and it's the first thing I've put on post-baby that made me feel great. A lot of my favorite me-mades still aren't fitting right, and maybe they never will again (UGH). So for now, I'll squeeze out all the happy vibes I can from this major success.

1 comment:

  1. I thought you just had a baby!!??;) You look great Beth! The midi-length is very flattering (the first dress I made post-pregnancy was midi-length and I loved it too). I might have to try a quarter circle skirt, looks like the perfect amount of fullness. I'll be checking out your binding tutorial as well!:)


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