February was not very productive for me. I started on this dress but didn't get it finished - not even a 1 project month! So far March has been much better; besides finishing this one, I've completed another, and have 2 more cut out - one of them my Easter dress. Hooray for floral fabric again!
Though I love sewing with pretty cotton prints, this more "boring" fabric is actually a more practical choice for everyday. It doesn't show stains, and doesn't need layers underneath, which I try to avoid in hot weather. I actually like it quite a bit. Navy is always a flattering color for me, and this one has a subtle plaid with pewter gray, and tiny bright blue or turquoise threads running through it. A rayon/poly mix, it can be machine washed along with my other dark hanger clothes and doesn't need pressed, while it has a nice drape to it. Also it feels nice - much more a rayon feel than a polyester - which is a plus. I would have bought more if I had known how nice it would be (I may be able to eke a blouse out of the remains). But with buying fabric online where you can't feel it, you never know.
With only 5 pattern pieces to cut out, this project came together very quickly when I actually worked on it. It's a basic button-blouse dress, with fullness pleated in the center back for interest. Because it's an everyday dress and the plaid is so subtle, I didn't try to match the lines anywhere except the front.
The pattern illustrations show only high, close collar options and I don't prefer those on myself. Also I decided it was time to have another square neck dress.
I just eyeballed it and cut it square. Well, when I tried it on, the neck did not lay right at all, curling up at the back and shoulders, and looked too wide. Thankfully it was a quick fix with some pretty pointed eyelet lace which lay very nicely around the sides and back of the neck for a narrow stand-up ruffle. I like the dress much better with the touch of white, so a potential problem was turned into a win/win situation.
I used vintage buttons from the stash and top stitched the front to keep the facing in place. When I added the lace later, I top stitched that too. Super easy.
I like the simple lines. This will likely be another much-worn dress year round, layered with a sweater in the winter, simply because it takes little fuss to wear. Just button up, add a belt, and go.
It would be easy to accessorize in various ways. For these pictures I paired it with a purchased belt, and vintage navy suede 1950s heels. I always try to coordinate metal tones, so imagine how disgusted I was with myself when I realized after the pictures that my belt buckle was gold and the jewelry was pewter colored! Ah, well...
And with our early spring rains/slush/gray days upon us, outdoor photos were out of the question so you'll have to make do with these. :-)
While I appreciate the practicality and the needed addition to my everyday outfit rotation, I am really looking forward to switching away from dark fabric and making up some pretty cotton prints during my next segment of sewing!