As most of my ideas for fashion start with footwear, this fabric, which I bought because I thought it would go well with the boots, was no exception. I like the mildly monochromatic look and I also don’t have to think too hard about what goes with what. Dresses are great for simplifying the process of getting dressed.
When I bought the fabric it was an end of the bolt piece and it included a small flaw. The dress is the Danni Dolman pattern from Style Arc which has been modified to suit the amount of fabric I had available to use. The pattern has asymmetrical folds at the hip – a feature requires the front (which is cut from a single layer of fabric) veer off the straight grain in the lower half and use a lot more fabric in order to add the fabric required for the folds. In order to eliminate the folds, and reduce the amount of fabric required, simply find the centre front (purple line below) and trace a new pattern piece with the centre front being the fold line and then cut the piece on the fold.
The Pattern design has the sleeves cut in one piece with the front and back of the dress (also requiring a larger piece of fabric). To accommodate my limited amount of fabric, I shortened the sleeves by about 9 inches (shown above). I didn’t actually cut my pattern. I traced new pieces marking the length up the seam starting from the hem edge, and then overlapping the centre (top) seam and cutting the lower section as one piece with a seam on the underside of the arm only.
The pattern differs slightly from the illustration in that the sleeves are drafted at 3/4 length, not full length as shown in the illustration. When the length is reduced by 9 inches the seam created by reattaching the bottom section, which will be cut separately, will fall about mid-bicep.
For me, knits always need lining of some sort. I had a length of power mesh in my stash so I decided to use that as a lining. It was tempting to see if I could harness the power of the power mesh for its smoothing capabilities, but out of concern for about the potential of the lining to ride up constantly, I decided against that and just made it the same size as the body of the dress. It feels fabulous, although I don’t think it’s pretty to look at. I prefer using beautiful fabrics like silk charmeuse for linings and taking time to finish them like lingerie. The armscyes of this lining are unfinished because I was concerned that added lace might make an imprint on the outside, but I think I still might finish the arm edges just to see if it works…I can always take it off if it shows through…
This project followed the coat in the previous post. I like following a challenging and time consuming project with something really quick and easy, and this definitely fills that requirement. I love the dress style, particularly the neckline and sleeves. I will make the next version including the side folds and I will be making the sleeves extra long. I was also thinking of adding a cowl neck collar – but I’m not sure about that yet. This is such a versatile and well drafted pattern and I can see so many possibilities for it.