This dress has had a very long “in progress” life. It started as a school project, then went through a couple transformations before becoming the fun little summer dress it is today. This dress is a compilation of all of my favorite things. Its blue (which I wouldn’t even say is my absolute favorite color but it has somehow taken over my wardrobe), it has an open back, a fun (although subtle) print, and a hi-lo hem. What more could you ask for in a flirty summer dress?
The pattern is self drafted. I am actually lucky this dress fit me because most of the dress forms at school were a size too big. It is a little loose, but its not really noticeable and makes it more comfortable for me. I’m pretty sure I still have my original pattern and definitely wouldn’t mind revisiting it and whipping up another. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. Its one thing to say you made something… but made AND designed? Woah – thats some hot shit.
The construction of the dress is for the most part quite simple. The front bodice is pretty basic with two bust darts and a slightly scooped neckline. The back ties towards the top leaving and angular back opening. There is a half waistband at the back waist which closes with an invisible zipper. The bottom is a flared skirt with a hi-lo hem. The skirt consists of two layers, the under layer cut in chiffon (this made more sense in the original dress). As far as lining goes, its fully lined in the bodice with no skirt lining. I much prefer a fully lined bodice to facings, so much cleaner on the inside and more comfortable.
Fabric was originally all white rayon with a white chiffon under skirt (pictured below). Remember when I said this dress went under a few transformations? Pretty much all of them were a result of me trying to cover up mistakes, except for the sleeves which I opted to remove just because. You see, when I cut the original dress I made the mistake of using yellow tracing paper, which didn’t wash or steam out. Not a huge deal except along my bust darts you could see little yellow dots. I tried to spot-bleach out the yellow dots to no avail. My next solution was to dye the whole thing (white never gets far with me anyway). HOWEVER, when I dyed it I forgot to wash it first, so the dye didn’t take as strongly to the spots I had bleached around the darts. Ugh. Now I had a teal dress with light teal boobs…
Then I saw this tutorial for a DIY speckled dye technique from the ever so wonderful Love Maegan and figured I’d found the answer to my problems. The concept is pretty simple, you are essentially sprinkling powdered dye onto a wet garment. You control where the dye goes so you can create any effect you want. Maegan did hers as a sort of ombre effect. My original attempt was to achieve the same, but starting darker at the top and fading to lighter (to cover my weird boob situation). As you can see from my in progress photo below, the effect was much darker before I gave it the rinse. I think next time I try this I might let it sit a little longer? Or spray more water over the spots I want to be darker. Its another one of those trial and error situations but the technique is very cool and I look forward to trying it again. What I ended up with is a more subtle sprinkled effect that looks a little aquatic – very neat! So let this be a lesson to you – just keep chugging along! Eventually you will end up with something wearable and a fun story to go along with it!
Pattern: Self Drafted with Dye technique by love Maegan
Fabric: Rayon body with chiffon underskirt
Notions: Invisible zipper
Adjustments: Removed Sleeves
Finishes: Serged seams, fully lined bodice
Time: unknown (seems like forever)
Sew it again? Yes! I’d love to see this in a wackier print or solid black!