As aforementioned, I’m no fan of synthetic fabrics in summer. Give me woven cottons any time.
But cotton is crisp! Cotton wrinkles! Lightweight cottons are sheer and need to be lined and by the time you’re done, your lightweight, floaty cotton dress is stiff and heavy. (Case in point: The yellow voile Lonsdale I made that needed to be underlined and lined for opacity. Yeah.)
So I began keeping an eye out for a specific kind of lawn — not too crisp, not too sheer, with a pattern that would hopefully hide any wrinkles and prevent me from busting out the iron. But finding an inexpensive lawn or voile that’s not floral is a difficult undertaking. Nothing wrong with florals — it’s just not usually my style.
Of course, I broke that rule with this fabric. I told myself that it’s an abstract floral! Fabric Mart describes it as “dappled leaves,” and I love trees! Chintz is in! And anyway, it checks off some of my favorite colors, as discovered by following Colette Patterns’ Wardrobe Architect project — navy, ivory, and tan.
Also, this fabric weighs nothing.
When I wear this, I find myself absently pinching a bit of the skirt between my fingers. This is partially because the fabric has such a lovely, soft hand, but it’s partially to make sure that the dress is actually there. It’s that light and comfortable. I started thinking of it as the 1 oz. dress — surely the zipper weighs more than the rest of the dress combined.
The bodice is good ole Simplicity 1873, self-lined. It’s been all over the blogosphere, including right here, but I think you can credit Mary at Idle Fancy with showing us all that once you get that bodice fit down, you can make infinite awesome variations. That’s my plan, and this dress was the first one.
For the skirt, I just cut a long rectangle of fabric, folded it over, and gathered the folded edge to the waistband for a lazy girl’s one-seam skirt. Super-simple, and plenty opaque. It’s pretty, but I think I’ll be sticking with darts, tucks and pleats in the future. The gathered silhouette is just a bit too feminine for my style (again, thanks, Wardrobe Architect!).
I love the simplicity (ho, ho) of the bodice. It’s scooped just enough to be flattering, but not enough to be at all revealing. Even though this dress doesn’t really fit my style, I’ve actually worn it to work more than once with a cardigan. I’d love to try it with a hip-length blazer in khaki or ivory.
The waistband does stretch out throughout a day of sitting, though. Embarrassingly enough, the working solution is to wear a belt, which I guess holds my belly in. So for next time: Run a strip of selvage along the waist seam allowance, and work on my posture.
I’m usually pretty aggressive in sewing fabric to my invisible zippers, but in this case, I held back a bit; the fabric was so light that I feared it would catch in the zipper if I sewed too close to the teeth. Well, after washing, the fabric lies so flat against the zipper tape that the zipper is actually visible — and there’s certainly no chance of it catching.
I will probably not go back and fix it. Ha!
Ignore that visible stitching-in-the-ditch. I’m sure it’ll be fine.
P.S. I made this back in May, so alas, it doesn’t qualify for the Summer Stashbust at The Quirky Peach! But you should still go over there to read all about it.