Owlsome Summer Dress
This summer dress has a circle skirt and contrasting halter straps. The bodice is close fitting and features some gathers witch will make your breasts seam larger when they are small like mine.
I love the contrasting fabrics on the halter piece but I have been putting of the decision witch contrast fabric to use. In the end I went for a leftover fabric I already had in my stash and made my own owl decorations as you can read in my post on customising fabric. I felt that the contrast was not used enough witch left the design unbalanced, so I added another part in that fabric.
Since I'm already boasting about my fabric customisation, I LOVE my owl fabric. I think It really makes the dress more festive and fit for summer. (and It's not even spring here yet). I'm very happy with how this turned out. I was really afraid that it would look sloppy or very irregular. Instead the owls all get a unique character and I could strategically place my designs to make pattern matching easier. Or at least in theory. I ended up miscalculating a couple of times, but I still think It looks nice and anyway, hand painting your fabric makes you think twice about re cutting pieces.
I also love the design witch I think really suits my figure. It enhances both my hips and breasts and emphasises my waist. Since I'm a bit of a rectangle, I'm always grateful for clothes that make me look as if I've got real curves. I did not have to make any pattern alterations for fit but I did end up overlapping the halter pieces several cm. I might have made them slightly to tight but this stopped the bodice from gaping and helped with modesty coverage. This is probably down to my relatively small breasts.
|dress inside out, click to enlarge|
I did not have such a fine experience with the hong kong hem though. The pattern calles for a narrow hem of 1.5 cm and I already shortened my dress quite a bit. I did not want it to get much shorter. I cut out more than 3m of bias strips (with a width of 2.5 cm) and sewed them together. Then I sewed it to the hemline. Then I had to turn the strip in twice and turn the hem up 1 cm. This was very fidley work and turned out very time consuming. I also have the feeling that I did something wrong since the hem doesn't seam to flow properly. The result does look nice on the inside though. I'm going to try it with wider strips on a wider hem next time to asses whether this technique is always as tiresome.
I also spotted some missing pattern marks (or I might have overlooked them) on the back seam of the skirt. nothing too important though. The notch in the pocket is also in the wrong place according to me, just align the top of the pocket with the top of the skirt like in the picture and you should be fine though.
To sum things up:
I'm in love with the result. I learnt new techniques (although I broke two needles in the process). I have owls on my dress. I made a matching hair bow. In short this was a good experience. The pattern comes together fine and if you are willing to dare the rather advanced process of sewing in contrasting pieces, this dress is for you. Just be prepared to give it a couple of tries. The fabric pieces will mould together in the end. The result is certainly worth the trouble. I'm really in love with this dress at the moment and I would love to have another, I might make another view but I have agreed on sewing a large number of dresses for other people in the near future though so there will be next to no sewing for myself until June.