It must have been something about making a plain white blouse, but when I was finally able to sew again (sorry for the blogging and blog reading/commenting absence), the next thing I found myself constructing was outrageously bright.
This was actually a welcome distraction from a long overdue tidying of my sewing room. Hidden artfully in the depths of the fabric-I-will-sew-very-soon pile was a partially cut out frock, which daughter -the-first had started about 12 months previously (it is a very ambitious pile).
The pattern was Burda Style 11-2010-117, which my younger daughter had made herself previously.
My older daughter had altered the bodice to fit herself and to make a sweetheart neckline, but after this considerable effort, had run out of time.
I finished it off with a pleated skirt (so much more flattering than gathers) and a batiste bodice lining, and it has proved a cool, comfortable summer dress for the spoilt recipient (who has now left a black and white partially sewn dress draped over the chair in my sewing room and returns to University next week......)
The fabric was purchased by my daughter at Spotlight in 2012, is printed dramatically and hopefully deliberately off grain, and appears to be a very poor quality cotton, but we like it anyway.
Thinking that this Spotlight fabric dress was likely to turn into a rag in a few weeks due to fabric quality issues, and having the white blouse of boredom festering in my brain, the next dress was white with some textural interest. I made this to distract myself from a pile of mending and a plaintive request from my husband to make him a new shirt for work.
Making this dress was like eating icecream, pure enjoyment. It may also have been a slightly guilty pleasure, which unfortunately, is also rather like eating icecream.
Although this is clearly a derivative of the Burda pattern above, I didn't actually use a pattern. The bodice fabric is fine cotton shirred in bands (Pitt Trading, December 2013), and is very stretchy. I draped this in a single piece over my daughter instead of attempting princess line shaping and seaming. I made the straps wider and tapered a scoop neck towards these straps at the front. To stabilize the stretchy bodice, without losing its move-with-the-wearer properties, I faced the top edge (can't call this a neckline when it is rather from the neck) with cotton batiste but did not line the remainder of the bodice.
For some stability at the waist and to support the skirt, I used a closely woven herringbone cotton twill (about 2009, Michael's Fabrics) as a wide waistline and self facing, again draped on my daughter as a single piece. I left this quite loose to make the dress cool to wear.
The frock is finished off with another pleated skirt, this one being 4 widths of a beautiful cotton voile embellished with bias strip swirls. (fabric.com August 2013).
I made a rolled hem by machine, and the dress is fastened at the back with an invisible zipper.
Naturally such a swirly skirt needs a fluffy petticoat, so I made a 3 layer short ruffle petticoat from imperial batiste. It was a most satisfying day of sewing.
It is quite difficult to photograph an all white outfit, but doesn't it look like an icecream dress?