Sunday, 1 May 2016

Reduced waste dress

Here is another incarnation of this dress. This one has many improvements in the construction that I was figuring out whilst making the first one. It's not markedly different, but there are nicer finishing's and a sturdier seams throughout.


The fabric I used is this dreamy linen from Merchant and Mills and was a birthday gift. I am not going to go on about it, but basically it's my favourite fabric of all time! I am firmly in the linen loving camp, but finding good quality linen with a good hand is not that easy. I am a big fan of vintage linens, which when well worn are so tactile and have a depth of texture that is uncommon in the cloth I see in local fabric shops. This however has that lovely drapey softness and squishy rustic texture that I crave.

I was initially going to make a shirt dress from a pattern I drafted years and years ago, but with this still fresh in my mind I decided to go for it! The fabric is a lot wider than my first zero waste dress at 150cm and I only ordered 2 metres, so the bit cut off the width was added to the bottom hem for the length. There is some left over from this piecing which I will turn into a soft linen cushion for our living room (zero waste achieved).


The fabric is quite a lot thicker than the quilting cotton I used for my first dress also, so the origami like sleeves didn't look great. I wrapped the bottom sleeve flap around the back instead and hand stitched it down.


I left the back pleat loose. I topstitched it down at around waist length for a closer fit on the top before.

 The collar has a much nicer finish with all raw edges caught in a seam and are then folded and hand stitched down.


Some reinforcement detail on the neck/shoulder junction. This has potential to be a real weak spot and susceptible to tearing, so I strengthened it with a bit of the fabric selvedge. I also used part of the strong selvedge to strengthen the underarm junction as I have already had to go back and fix this on the first dress.


A bottom split on the side seams for extra breeziness!


I really enjoyed making this and I know that this has been a good investment in fabric and also my time as it is an instant favourite! I love that feeling and hope to hold onto and carry it as inspiration for me-made May this year. I'm taking part on Instagram, but I'll probably not do daily photos. The biggest reason for that being that I'll mostly be wearing this! It is obvious to say that we should all be making investment pieces, but it's not always that easy to get it right. This one ticks all the right boxes though ;-)

sorry, I only took photos with my hands in pockets!
Am I done with this pattern? Not quite! I admit I bought some fabric yesterday. A blue sandwashed silk and a copper silk/cupro mix. I think I shall use the sandwashed silk to make another version truer to the first dress with the folded sleeves. I am going to a wedding next month and I think that this would be lovely with a sash belt and heels for a relaxed and swishy dress. I am thinking of developing a pattern for my shop using this design, but it will have to be an adapted version in some way as this is not quite suitable. I'm excited though.

Roll on me-made May and all the fun!

9 comments:

Caroline said...

This looks fabulous! Such a beautiful colour and fantastic drape too. Win, Win!

kalimak said...

The blue of this linen is the dreamiest! I'm very intrigued by the construction details of this dress (and its predecessor dress). Very successful experiments, Marilla!

Louise Perry said...

Looks great, the colour and the shaping. The sleeves are a great shape.

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks you guys, so I think that the colour is a winner! I try and go for different colours, but always come back to blue. This bright cobalt is just so warm and universally flattering I think. More experiments to come, but they may all look pretty similar I feel :-P

Sonja said...

This is so cool!!!!!

jane said...

Gorgeous! I love the blue linen! :)

Clare Bowen said...

This dress is gorgeous and as a new comer to you and your patterns you are a great inspiration!! Please could I ask if you wouldn't mind telling what dress size you wear as you look extremely close to me and it gives me an idea how they would look ie not grumpy!?! Lol Clare xx

Clare Bowen said...

Frumpy not grumpy bloody phone and its autocorrect!! Xx

Marilla Walker said...

Hi Claire, my measurements are currently 36" bust, 32" waist and 42" hips. I do tend to grade between sizes on most patterns. Hope this helps!