Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another Spring Dress?!

I know.  I KNOW.  The high today was 53 and I'm about to show you a sleeveless dress made with the lightest cotton ever.  Excuse me for being an idiot.

However, in my defense, next week will be in the 70s, and I live in the south, so we'll only get warmer from there, right?  That's my wish, anyway: to feel warm again.

After I finished my shirtdress from the last post, and sometimes while I was working on my shirtdress from the last post, I started a Colette Chantilly dress.  I cut them both out the same night.  Do you do that?  I find it's easier for me to stay focused if I can cut everything at once.  I'll cut out two or three skirts or shirts or dresses at once just to have it done and over with, because cutting is a necessary evil.  And then this Chantilly sat for a couple days until I ran out of interfacing, so I started sewing darts, gathers, and all those other fun, non-interfaced things.

I actually skipped around a lot on this dress.  I made the bodice, and then the yoke; I sewed the skirts and the bodice before even thinking about the lining; I inserted the zipper before I finished the yoke.  I guess the only thing I did "right" was I hemmed it very last, after everything else was done.

I used fabric by Sarah Watson for Art Gallery.  I know a lot of people have beef with quilting cotton and that's fine; I refuse to use anything polyester, so we all have our differences.  But this is seriously the softest and smoothest quilting cotton!  It felt more like lawn or voile with a crisper hand.  It was just lovely.

I originally bought this fabric for this dress, in fact--I've had it sitting in my stash since around Christmas, just waiting.  I had to purchase lining, of course, and notions, and why make a spring dress in the middle of winter?  I'll tell you why: so you aren't so rushed, worrying you won't finish it in time for a nice-weather weekend.  

If the back looks a little wonky, it's because it's the result of an optical illusion--the yoke and bodice somehow matched up pretty well--and it's probably also a little wonky.

I did try this on the other night and Nick said it brought "attention to my boob area, so that's great."  Thanks honey!  What a pal.  I do plan on wearing a cardigan.  I like that this dress is so floaty and light: quilting cotton and cotton batiste make for a meringue-like consistency in dresses.  I'm really excited to wear it when I no longer shiver from standing in a shadow.  Please, oh please, let that be soon!

I'd also like to note that this dress was the first pattern I bought when I decided to start sewing.  I'd never heard of Colette, never seen anything by Sarai, but came across this on Fabric.com.  In fact, I even emailed them to ask if dotted Swiss would be appropriate (duh, Emily, they said in nicer tones).  I ended up using the dotted Swiss on a Banksia top long ago, and hung onto this pattern until the right fabric came along.  I'm glad I waited, because this dress stumped me at some points, and I feel like I can pretty easily coast through most projects now.  But my linings didn't match, my armholes were uneven--messy, but worth it.

What's next on my sewing agenda?  I'm not sure!  I have some bee blocks to do but that's about it.  I mean, I do have stacks and stacks of fabric I should probably use, but I'm going to take this weekend--my mom's birthday weekend!--to figure out what's next.  Another Truffle?  Another Cambie?  An Alma?  Who knows.  Suggestions, as always, are welcome!


  1. This just lovely! The fabric does seem really soft and has the best drape. Fabulous job! I think you should make another Michelle, My Belle- I LOVED your chambray one (I meant to tell you this when you posted- whoops!). That dress seems like such a versatile design and would look so cute with a peter pan collar or little sleeves. Your shirt dress is adorable too. You are going to have the most fantastic spring/summer wardrobe. Seriously.

  2. art gallery fabrics really are great for garments. the weave is tighter and they are lighter in weight, so i don't think you have anything to hang your head about using them for clothes. your dress looks beautiful and i know what you mean about the weather. i did a photoshoot for a spring dress yesterday when it was 40 out and i thought i was going to die. but hopefully it will warm up soon.

  3. Your killin' me! Another hit. I have the Chantilly pattern too, but never opened it.

    I think the early spring in the south is a lie. It teased us for about 3 days and then brought us back down to reality. But when it does come, you're gonna be ready!

  4. Leave it to the husband to tell it like it is! :-) I love the fabric with this pattern. It looks beautiful!


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