Hi everyone/anyone! I am back after a huge break and very excited about making some beautiful spring/summer wear, now that we have been blessed with some great weather. I was hibernating over winter and did not get much done with respect to sewing, but it’s time to get the ball rolling again, or better said, the sewing machine sewing again!
My latest project was supposed to be a very quick dress to make on a lazy Sunday, but turned out to take a little longer than expected…. I first saw this Tibi dress in navy blue on the atlantic-pacific.blogspot.com by Blair Eadie. I am always checking out what she puts together. She’s got great taste and beautiful photos to present her fashions. So when I found a beautiful chambray on sale at The Fabric Store, I thought it would be the perfect fabric for this dress. The pattern I used was Burda Young Fashion 8517, with some DIY alterations, such as lengthening the sleeves and adding the tie ends, adding pockets and rounded hems.
I didn’t really trust the pattern and thought it would be too tight around the hips in a non stretch fabric, so I ended up widening the dress by about 10cm for the front and back. Big mistake! I had already sewn the sleeves on, put in the elastic around the shoulders and tried it on only to find that it was WAY too wide. So me being me and taking the easiest way out, I unpicked only one side of the dress including the sleeve and pocket and recut it to the original burda size 10 that I should have done in the first place!
That worked quite well and I only had to redo one whole side, which still cost me a bit of time, but was definitely worth it in the end. I underlined the front and back of the dress in a beautiful navy silk/cotton blend fabric also from The Fabric Store to give it more body and left the sleeves without underlining, otherwise they would have been too bulky to tie. The pattern recommended using a narrow elastic around the shoulders, but I wanted to copy the Tibi dress and chose to use a wider elastic, which I think looks better and is also better for the weight of the dress.
I had washed the chambray before cutting and was disappointed that when it came out, it had lighter coloured creases where it had been folded in the washing machine. I am not sure if these will come out in future washes. It had also faded in some parts of the fabric, so I had to pick the best parts to cut out, leaving some of the fabric to waste. But having said that, the chambray has a beautiful, soft feel to it. The other thing was that during sewing, my hands were constantly BLUE!
The pre-wash probably did remove some of the colour of the fabric but certainly not all of it and who knows how long that will take to happen. So that is the reason I have called it the Smurfette Dress. It’s safe to say, that wearing it with a white jacket is not recommended! Overall, I am happy with the outcome and the dress is nice and comfortable to wear on or off the shoulders. But most of all I am happy about the price. The fabric only cost me $10/metre, so it was a bargain compared to the original dress by Tibi at over $500!