I’m back with my second installment of my year-long pledge to sew something with special fabric every month! There are a few goals to this: to buy fewer but nicer fabrics, to #sewtheprecious, and to make clothes I’ll love for a long time to come! My first project was a bit hit, so how would my second stand up?
Thank goodness, it turned out well! I used the Style Arc Lacey dress, which is a boxy loose shape with some interesting style lines in the bodice. I wanted something that would show off the panels on this fabric, and be a forgiving fit for years to come.
And here’s the fabric I used: the Merchant and Mills Hopscotch Block Print! I can’t remember if mine was so crisply navy and white when I got it, but after two pre-washes it is definitely indigo and light indigo. That’s ok though. I saw someone wearing the black and white version of this fabric across the room at the Hamilton Frocktails, and immediately fell in love! I couldn’t find it in Canada to I splurged in January to buy it for £10/m. I bought 4m, payed shipping, and then customs fees. Let’s just say that by then end it was about $33/m! OUCH!
This fabric is special to me in one extra way though – it is block printed in Jaipur, a city in India where I studied for several months in University. I was there as part of a semester abroad with my university, which included two Canadian professors and 25 students, with a focus on International Development. We did homestay for a few months in Jaipur, took some classes at the university, and toured local NGOs related to health, microfinance, gender equality, and so on. One really memorable trip was to a factory that made fair-trade block print fabric (amazing process, horrifying rivers of dye going straight into the river). I love to imagine that perhaps this fabric came from that same factory, 17 years later!
Side note: Can we talk about how annoying film cameras were? I’m blinking in both photos, but you only get that one shot and you don’t know til months later that it was bad!
Back to my dress! Even with 4m, I had to do some planning of the placement. As always, I didn’t overthink it – do we really even count this as planning? I start with the most important piece (in this case the central bodice), then skirts, and then sleeve (which are one piece, over the shoulder with no seam) and finally the skirt. If there isn’t enough fabric by the end, then it’s time for Secret Seams! I’ve saved all my scraps and i’m hoping I can make a tank top out of it.
I’ve heard a few people say that this pattern runs big, but I followed the size chart and i think it’s just right for me. I did make a few changes though:
- narrowed the neckline .5″ on each side
- shortened the sleeves 1″
- shortened the back bodice 1″, because the skirt tilted forward in my muslin
Interestingly, I didn’t change the length at all, so tall folks be warned! I’m 5’2″.
Can I take you on one more trip down memory lane?
I sewed the muslin in the same thrifted poly that I used for one of my first dresses in 2012! I’d been sewing for just over a month when I made this Colette Peony dress. Click that link if you want to be reminded how I started blogging on Tumblr! Both pictures remind me that I don’t like solid fabric, and it’s even worse with a sheen. It shows every wrinkle and pull-line.
So far, I’m really enjoying this project. I love having a deadline which prevents me from overthinking things forever – I finished this one on the last day of February, thanks to the leap year. I’ve sewn two wovens though, and it’s really time for a knit! I’m heading to Detroit over March break, and hoping some fabric jumps out at me there.
How are your sewing goals and projects going? Can it really be March already???