I find it funny how sometimes fabrics languish in your stash for years, and others skip the queue completely and get whipped up fresh from the pre-wash. Often I find I’m much less precious about cheaper fabrics, and willing to merrily hack into them without weighing up all the options of what it might want to become. So it was with these two frocks, both made from recently purchased cheap fabric, and both self-drafts from my blocks.
I’m a bit smug about this first one. This delicious viscose cost £3 a metre and I was alerted on Instagram that Whistles is using exactly the same stuff for a £110 dress – am I ever glad I can sew. Amy and I both grabbed some of it from Fabric Mart in Walthamstow when we did a super fun little fabric crawl afternoon a couple of weeks ago.
You might have noticed from my previous projects that I’m a bit of a button addict. I can’t explain it, but it’s definitely a struggle to not make every project I make a button–down dress. To avoid a very samey wardrobe, this time I moved the buttons… to the back. This pin provided the inspiration , and it was a dead easy mod from my block to make the pattern:
1. Rotate the front bodice shoulder dart into the waist dart, and convert some of the dart fullness into ease.
2. Convert all of the back bodice dart fullness into ease, and cut the V-back. Add on the extra width for the button placket at the centre back.
3. Skirt is two rectangles, gathered onto the bodice with elastic. Done!
This was an evening’s project from drafting to finishing, and it’s already become one of those dresses that I’m always reaching for and rushing through the laundry so I can wear it again. Love the fabric, love the length, so pleased the button-back detail worked out. I’ve saved the pattern to use again for the next perfect fabric to come along.
The second one uses some excellent marble-print scuba from Saeed’s Fabrics also in Walthamstow. I even overlooked my usual aversion to white because it’s just so cool looking. I used my princess seam bodice block, and the skirt has soft pleats in the front and gathers at the back.
I scooped out the back neckline here too – I think it adds a certain daintiness.
The fabric was fun to work with – it’s quite a light scuba, probably about the weight of ponte but definitely scuba-y: it even smelled like wetsuit when I steamed it. I overlocked all the seams, and used Megan’s technique for neckline binding. The hem is left raw since it seemed to hang nicely and won’t fray.
By the way, I’m not doing Me-Made May :( work is so busy at the moment and I don’t really feel like documenting what I wear every day. But I’m on a good 80% at least me-made days lately anyway, and I’ll just enjoy seeing everyone else’s posts!