I’ve been enticing you with this – for how long? Well done for being so patient!!
The swimmers: I’ve had this fabric since last summer. It’s a Makower fabric. I bought it when I bought the Brighton Rocks fabric & all I knew was that I loved it (having had a swimming childhood at the least I thought I’d use it for a cushion in my living room as I’ve got a bit of a watery/ swimming theme going on there). Anyways, months ago it spoke to me & asked to be made into a sleeveless shirtdress- but I had no need to make it earlier in the year. Why did it take the sun to shine for me to get ready to cut into the precious stuff? Seemingly out of the blue, this really wasn’t on my plan, it was a real tangent, I cut it out using a pattern from an old Sew Mag.
My vision though, was drawn from the 60s, a casual garden/ beach dress. I could imagine serving up a pitcher of home-made lemonade in it, or else putting it back on having dried myself at the beach in one of those “tube-towels” that had drawstring neck to promote modesty. Pale colours, big tan (if only!)
The design calls for a drawstring belt with a neat belt casing on the inside. So easy to wear!
I’d originally been pondering on using a contrast collar perhaps in pink, adding pockets. It all fell into place as I cut it. Piping. Having enjoyed the adventures to be had with my piped trousers I felt like going a bit crazy!!! (Hold me back, please!!) And then I looked to see if I had thread ….
Does anyone else find that no matter how hard you try to plan your sewing, & how methodical you try to be, there are sewing pixies that lead you away from the straight & narrow? Luckily, having cut the dress out I managed to find some passable grey thread.
So, what was there I could pipe? Straight away I piped the collar & yoke.
I also made some curved pockets (much easier to pipe around curved edges). However, I didn’t end up using them …I pinned them when the dress was almost finished & decided it was better without them.
I didn’t mind this being a slower paced make, I enjoyed hand sewing , attaching the piping before securing it by machine. I also hand sewed the yoke facing (too much IMO). Although I’ve made many a yoked shirt, I made the mistake of starting to follow the instructions that came with the pattern. SewMag doesn’t use pictures in its main feature patterns. I really couldn’t follow the words. I made it up, but not without having started differently to how I would usually do it, hence confusion & more hand sewing.
Last to occur to me (while on a run!) was to pipe the armholes too.
Sleeveless armholes – I wasn’t 100% sure how it would work with a self bias facing. I am reasonably happy with it, except for the piping join. I’m still trying to think how I could have done better, to make it finished as opposed to showing the stringy fraying ends. Any advice? How would you join piping in a circle?
And do you like the buttons? Little discombobulated heads!
The pattern – it was pretty economical, I think I used less than a metre and a half, but would use a different pattern (with better instructions!)
I have now had a sunny day in which to sport this casual little number.And I can tell you the fabric is so soft, it feels beautiful. It’s definitely a casual weekending/ holiday dress.