- Fabric: 2 yards of pink and white striped seersucker from Joann's
- Pattern: None! Self-drafted, but based on this dress photo from a class offered at Sew L.A.
- Details: Straps forming an X in the back made from the fabric's selvege; handmade self-fabric belt
- Time in Stash: (fabric) a little over 1 month; (pattern) in my imagination for about 4 or 5 months
My aunt gave me these 2 yards of fabric from Joann's last month after I told her I liked her seersucker blouse. I knew I wanted to make a dress with it, but most of my patterns call for more than 2 yards. I had seen this pretty dress on the Sew L.A. Facebook page called "That '70s Dress" (link above) and being on the other side of the country from my old stomping grounds I had to give it a go on my own.
On a side note, I contributed this dress to the Sew Weekly theme challenge this week, "Think Pink", which is in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As I mentioned, this fabric was given to me by my aunt, who is a breast cancer survivor. I didn't know that would be this week's challenge so it was just a neat little coincidence.
...The Construction Process...
I used my basic sloper to draft a front and back piece and lined them up so the neckline would be defined by the selvege. Since the bodice would be shirred to the natural waist, I added what seemed like a whopping 8" to that portion. I used the elastic-thread-in-the-bobbin method for shirring and my trusty 1/4" foot for spacing each row.
At first I backstitched at the end of each row and started again (like a typewriter or a cartoon character eating corn ;) but then realized it was faster and more economical thread-wise to just rotate the fabric at the end of each row, stitch down to the next row, rotate and start the process again.
I left the thread tension at 4, wound the elastic thread on the bobbin without stretching it, and held the fabric taut as I stitched. I ended up shirring the front and back pieces separately, but in the future I think I'd stitch one seam together first and then just shir across the seam. It all came out even anyway, but it's a thought.
|Love this shirred effect of this |
lightweight cotton, a practice effort.
I do like how the selvege neckline "ruffled" from shirring, gives it a nice dimension there! The remaining selvege turned into dress straps, which form an X at the back. I used French seams for an extra pretty look on the inside! I love French seams and hadn't used that finish in awhile. I was this close to figuring out how to add pockets to French seams, but need to give it more thought before my next attempt.
|X strap detail|
I decided to add a self-fabric belt, just to visually break up the shirred area from the full skirt. It's easily removable for a more casual look, but I quite like the belt!
Verdict? This dress is SO comfortable! Seersucker is my new favorite (once again a wrinkle-free fabric, yes!). Okay, well, I'm off to enjoy the warm Floridian sun for a bit. This gal is no fan of winter, that's for sure!