Working on a summer dress inspiration

After working on summer dress patterns that are repeats for me, I felt in need of a challenge and a change. I found this delightful dress on Pinterest, and, zoom, I was off on a fun project.

My first step was to source fabric – I knew I wanted something light, voile or challis, with a similar pattern.

Totally tired of struggling with the wily ways of rayon challis, I found Telio Verona Cotton Rayon Voile Dot Black/Ecru on Fabric.com. From sewing other Verona voiles, I knew that the cotton content would work in my favor. Basically, it prevents extreme shrinkage and loss of shape. It’s really friendly fabric 🙂

The plan: a maxi with a two-tier skirt and a collared button-front bodice.

My starting point: a mash-up of the Style Arc Patricia Rose bodice (I love the fit and design of the bodice) and the Named Saraste blouse. The latter has a collar stand, a fairly narrow collar, and fits me well through the neck and shoulders (my original Saraste post is here).

Several readers have asked how to do a hack, would I do a video of the steps. Well, it’s an adventure, and, no, I’m not doing a video! I’m shy. But here are the basics for this bodice:

I aligned the Saraste and Patricia Rose at the center front and shoulder. And repeated for the back, center back and shoulder. An important checkpoint was the resulting length of the shoulder seams.

And I used the button front, collar stand, and collar from the Saraste.

Because this fabric is so light, I drafted facings for the front and back necklines. I wanted support for the collar – no flopping open, please. The facings, collar, collar stand, and the button band are interfaced with sew-in woven interfacing (Pellon SF7850, which I source online at JoAnn). I purposely did not use a fusible interfacing – fusibles freeze the fabric and can cause a major hiccough during construction with a light, loosely woven fabric (read that as ‘pieces don’t fit one another and the drape is gone).

After all that, I took the plunge and cut my fabrics. That sounds simple! but I had to cut the left bodice 2 times to get the center print-matching where I wanted it. The first one was a disappointment, because I was using mirror image tissue pieces. Missed the match by a hair, but I knew it would spoil the dress for me. Ahh…the second one was perfect.

This morning, after a week of work, I completed the bodice. Whew – but it was a blast.

I’m looking forward to working on the skirt, even though it means gathering yards of voile!

Bye for now – Coco

4 thoughts on “Working on a summer dress inspiration

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