I love big, flowing, long dresses for summer and at home. Since I'm home a lot these days (I wonder what this will look like to re-read in 5 years!) I thought a denim version of this pattern would be excellent to swan about in. When we're allowed to go back to work in an office (I have hope that it will happen in 2021) I will be able to swan about the streets of NYC in it.
As I said in a previous post, I'm sewing more indie patterns now. I've always wanted to make a Christine Haynes pattern but her designs didn't really fit my vision of my lifestyle. This one is absolutely perfect for who I am now AND it came in a paper pattern. Woo hoo for paper patterns! *LOL*
Indigo blue denim purchased from Stylemaker Fabrics last month - it's available here
4 - 1" buttons from #deepstash in the button collection
blue/white floral bias binding from Bessie Pearl - previously used on the Simplicity denim jacket
I resisted my tendency to change the pattern prior to sewing it. Learning from the challenges of my jumpsuit pattern, I took my measurements and cut out a size 3x. However, as originally designed, the bottom tier grazes the ankles and I wanted long, flowy and sweeping so I added 5 inches to the bottom tier.
Otherwise this was easy to sew. I did however, make a change to my darts. They were a little low when I tried the top on. It was an easy fix, I just angled them differently. Will make the change to my paper pattern.
Also, the armholes are very low. Way too low for me to wear without a top underneath it. Thankfully that was the plan for this version. Again I will make a change to the paper pattern to rectify this for my next version.
I cut the pockets out and went back and forth about adding them. Finally putting them in at the last minute probably because they were so easy to add to the second tier.
Now this dress is all about the gathered tiers. I know some sewists hate the gathering process but it doesn't bother me. I find it kind of meditative usually doing it while I watch a TV show.
Gathering Tips ~
Here are a few tips I use when gathering huge swaths of fabric.
1. I don't use the gathering foot for large amounts of gathering because I can't control the gathering.
2. For really long pieces of gathering I don't use the two row method. I use the zig zag over dental floss method. The dental floss is coated, glides through easier and is thicker than thread. So there's no breakage.
3. I use a lot of pins and take the time to walk through the gathered tier to insure the gathers are equal all the way around.
4. After it's gathered, I stitch it down. Sometimes removing the pins and readjusting the gathers at the machine.
5. I take my time. I want the gathers to look even all the way around.
6. The gathered seams are pressed flat.
7. Then I serge the seam close to the seamline and press again.
A Few Pictures ~
I LOVE this dress! It is everything I want in a dress. Comfortable, full and flowing. I wore it all day and will probably make only one more change. I think I'm going to shorten the middle tier 2 inches so that last tier's seam hits a little higher on my leg. Otherwise this is how I feel about it...
I will definitely be making another one and I highly recommend that if you're looking for an easy to sew, easy to wear spring/summer dress that you get this pattern too!
...as always more later!