When we lived in Groningen, I used to go to the IKEA every now and then to to see if they had any new fabrics. They tend to have mostly home deco weight on the bolt, so I also checked the bedsheets and curtains section. I’ve already made a Pattern Magic dress out of a bedsheet and shorts from the bolt. This time the curtain section had the good prints, but I didn’t want to spend €40 on fabric. Fortunately the fabric bin in the sale section had just the curtains I had been eyeing earlier: win! I snatched up a 2,5 m panel for 15 euro.
It’s a 50-50 linen cotton mix, perfect for a summer dress. It’s not my colour at all but the print was just too good. The print is large so I needed the whole 2,5 meters to match it. It doesn’t run evenly at the straight grain, I had to choose where I wanted the print to be centred. I went with the neckline, and made sure the horizontal breaks hit at the right spot. I couldn’t match it at the waist so I hid the mismatch with a strip of black bias tape. That piece of tape made a world of difference as you can see here. Plus it acts as a waist seam reinforcement.
You might recognise the pattern as the By Hand London Anna dress, one that’s been on my list for a long time. The boat neckline and accentuated waist are very much my style. I did make a lot of adjustments, and used only the bodice. Six skirt panels would not have been a good idea with a print like this, so I drafted a 1/4 circle skirt. That meant I lost the center back seam so I moved the invisible zipper to the side seam. Next time I’ll also cut the back bodice on the fold.
I actually – shocker! – made a muslin of the bodice. By now I know how my body is weird in all kinds of angles and I wanted this dress to work. Here’s what I did:
- rounded back adjustment
- forward shoulder adjustment
- small bust adjustment of 5/8″ (1,5 cm)
- lengthened the bodice by 1″ (2,5 cm)
- a sway back adjustment
- scooped out the front neckline by 3/4″ (2 cm)
Told you, weird in all kinds of angles. After lengthening the bodice the bust darts were too low, so I lengthened them back up 3/4″ (2 cm). Instead of adding fabric back on to the waist after the SBA I added it back in at the darts. Those darts were still the same size and thus producing too much ‘flowering’ at the bust. So I sewed the inner ones smaller, which in turn produced the fabric that was taken out by the SBA.
Besides wanting a summer dress, there is another reason for this project. It’s a try out for my wedding dress! Yup, we’re getting married! At least, if they let us, it’s proving to be difficult because we’re not registered anywhere at the moment. It’s going to be small, probably just the two of us, and later we’ll do a brunch or something in the Netherlands with both our families. A wedding is really not something we want to spend a lot on. I do not believe it should be the most beautiful day in our lives – that is such a sad thought! And way too much pressure. But I’m excited of course, and I’ll be making my own dress! I was thinking of the Anna Dress in a silk or something equally fancy, but I’d like to keep it simple. Although I almost changed my mind when McCall posted this image. I am still tempted. We’ll see!