I’ve treated myself to a bit of selfish sewing in between a lot of slightly harried Christmas gift making. I hadn’t made any woven day dresses for a while, so I used a couple of lovely stash prints to make some sweet winter-appropriate ones, both coincidentally in navy blue.
This wee swing dress is a copy of a RTW one I bought on ASOS and proceeded to want to wear every darn day. No waist = SO comfortable, and with a cardi and tights it’s plenty warm enough for the very mild winter we’re having so far (16°c, bright and sunny – practically BBQ weather!).
I used the ever-adaptable Marilla Walker Roberts top as a basis, just lengthening and slash-and-spreading for swinginess like so.
The fabric’s a shibori-style border print viscose poplin that I ordered from Caroline at Blackbird Fabrics in Canada. I got stung with a customs fee on the package but luckily I think this fabric was worth it. (I got some tie-dye effect jersey in the same order, which became a regular Roberts tee!) The poplin weave gives it a bit more heft than normal viscose. and I cut half the front and back on the crossgrain to give more of a patchwork than border effect.
Same as the RTW inspiration, I did not bother with real buttonholes: the buttons are just sewn on through both layers.
The result is so super 90s but I still dig it. Here’s how I’ve been wearing it out and about.
Secondly, I made a By Hand London Zeena dress from a super special fabric I’ve been hoarding for a while. I’ve been wanting to try it since seeing Fiona’s super sweet versions, and Elisalex was kind enough to send me the PDF as I’m doing a bit of work for them.
Zeena’s scoop neck and kimono sleeves are bang in my usual style bracket but the deep box pleats are a bit of a departure. I’m not the biggest fan of box pleats on any sort of stiff fabric because I think they look overly formal, but in this light viscose they just drape and swish ever so prettily and still look daytime-appropriate. Actually though I did redraft the skirt pieces because I felt they were just a bit too wide and full: I just cut narrower rectangles and pleated by eye to match the bodice edge.
I used bodice view 2 (scoop neck, short sleeves) with the midi length skirt, and did my standard BHL fit alterations: wedges out of front and back necklines, forward shoulder adjustment, and swayback.
Small design tweaks in the back: I left a little split like my Anna-Kim and inserted the invisible zip just over the waistline portion rather than from the neck down – just a weird personal preference. Next time I’ll take a bit more out of the back length as it’s a touch too long even after doing a swayback. I’ve left a bit of ease in the waistline but may take it in for a snugger fit (but maybe, um, after Christmas). Overall though this is an easy-fit, easy-sew dress – a bit like the Anna dress’s casual cousin, don’t you think? – and I’ll definitely be making a couple more some time.
The dreamy origami kitty fabric is from French store Bennytex but long sold out I’m afraid – I nabbed some as soon as I saw Jolies Bobines’ Brumby skirt made with it. I got 3m and still have enough left for another little project.
Apparently my fabric choice and tidy guts get the seal approval from the mister, too. I think this’ll be my Christmas day dress as it’s so nice and comfortable. I’m off tomorrow to spend a few days with family. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!