It would hardly be fair of me to hand out 50+ dares without taking one myself – so I ask trusty friends GingerMakes and Handmade by Heather B to think of a dare for me. Didn’t take long – “Sew a woven dress!” yelled Sonja, as Heather cackled with glee! (Or at least that’s how I picture it! 😉
Ladies and gentleman, I give you me wearing a woven dress!!
Truth be told, it’s been *cough* a year and half since I sewed something in a non-stretch woven – and that previous project was a dress I basically dared myself to make to see if I remembered how! Never ever wore it. So for this dress, I tried to think about what it would take for me to want to wear a woven dress. I wanted something casual and modern, comfy and summery. Basically, I wanted something that What Katie Sews would make! I dug through her archives, and looks for features I wanted to try – slightly loose bodice, gathered skirt, sassy length.Thanks for being my (unwitting) inspiration, Katie!
As for the pattern, I went with BHL Anna because I already own it and it’s pretty on everyone. My grand plan though was to make it loose and blousy, so I went with a larger size at the shoulders, did my first (horrificly unscientific) FBA, and didn’t sew the back dart. But dear friends, somewhere along that path I ended up with a muumuu!!!
I’d always planned as elastic waist, and when combined with taking off a few inches at the side seams, I managed to get it down to this more wearable volume. Mental note: only add enough ease to sit comfortably, not enough to make it a tent!
I ran short on fabric and had to cut the back bodice in the other direction. I think it looks cool in the end. And look how nicely the front bodice is centred on the print! I’m also quite pleased with the neckline itself – I remembered to understitch (of course I didn’t look at the directions once) and the result is a nice smooth neckline that doesn’t gape. I’m liking the v-neck shape too!
Good because I live in Canada:
I think the colours and print work equally well in summer and winter!
Now for the not-so-good…
F%#&ing Rayon Challis!
So nice to wear, so annoying so sew! I did more unpicking on this project than I can ever remember doing before, and it was mostly because the fabric was so light and fluid that I kept catching unwanted fabric under the presser foot. I starched the bejaysus out of the bodice, which helped, and did a gathered skirt so that I wouldn’t have to hang the hem and even it off. Even so, rayon challis, you were not fun!
Facings, you are the (second) worst.
The only thing I hate more than facings the flip out constantly is sewing bias binding on necklines. Hence, facings. I tacked them at the shoulder seams, but it was not enough.
I am not, repeat, AM NOT pregnant. But thanks to the gathered skirt, I sure look it! On the left I’m standing totally normally, on the right I’m exagerating… but either way, it’s not the most flattering! Maybe when I wear this dress everyone could just agree to look at me head-on, all the time, forever?
And at that point, all the other pros and cons become rather moot. Pretty as the fabric is, I won’t be wearing this much out and about. For hot summer days lounging about the apartment? Yeah, maybe. But in the end, I’d rather be wearing knits!
And on that bombshell, goodnight! 😉
Thanks so much to Sonja and Heather for the perfect dare – I did really enjoy sewing this dress up, no matter how much I swore at it… and I’m even slightly tempted to try sewing a lightweight woven again soon (Lizzy, would it be fair to use that shirting you sent me to make an Alder, possibly without a collar, but with buttons, I promise?)
Do you avoid clothes that make you look pregnant? And why am I so scared of looking knocked up instead of just a bit fat? Am I being paranoid and I should just wear the damn dress? These are the mysteries of my mind, people. Hope you are enjoying your own sewing dares!