Friday, August 30, 2013

The “California Koi” Dress

Here is my finished Sew Weekly Reunion frock!  I sure do miss seeing everyone's weekly creations, so I am really looking forward to this reunion!

This project is extremely overdue.  I had plans for this fabric and pattern as soon as I returned from the pattern swap in March of last year.  And although I cannot remember which Sew Weekly challenge it was originally meant for, I missed it by a mile.

So imagine my surprise when it fit the new Pantone theme perfectly!  I guess it was just meant to be!

Without taking a very close look, I assumed that this print was all about California poppies.  They grow like weeds in Marin County, and are the first thing I think of when I see any orange flower.  

Upon closer inspection, however, I believe they look more like koi-colored carnations.  I have never come across any orange carnations, although I think a bit of food coloring in their water might change that.

I knew going into this project that I was going to have yardage issues.  The piece was 60” wide, but I only had 1 2/3 yards to work with.  The facings were obviously going to be made from another fabric.  The design does work with two colors, but I just did not think that I would find something suitable for a contrasting sleeve.

A skirt was an option, but finding something to wear with it was going to pose serious problems.  In the end, I shortened the skirt pieces by four inches and, throwing caution to the wind, used a multi-directional cutting layout.  I cannot remember the last time I did this with anything other than solid colored lining fabrics.  But it worked!

The dress turned out a bit larger than expected, but it sure is comfortable to wear!  And it is just perfect for Fall.

• The Facts
Fabric:  I believe this is sueded rayon (from Sew Weekly Pattern Swap)
Pattern:  Simplicity 2126
Year: 1940s
Notions:  Zipper, Thread, Rayon Seam Binding
Time to complete:  approx. 3 days
First worn:  August 21, 2013
Wear again?  Yes!
Total price:   ~ $4.00 for zipper and thread

Dress & Belt:  Made by me, Simplicity 2126
Shoes:  Colin Stuart
Earrings:  Gift


  1. Oooh, it's so pretty!! I love the fabric and how it flutters around you. I just finished my make for the Sew Weekly reunion as well. It's exciting to see everybody's colourful take on the challenge.

  2. What a gorgeous dress, Laura Mae! It looks so comfy and floaty.

    You are so lucky to have poppies growing everywhere - I love them and have been trying to coax them to grow in my garden for 2 years!

  3. What a beautiful creation. It's so impressive that you have the ability to make clothes like this. I want to learn that skill but recognize the time and effort involved. Nice blog!

  4. This is really gorgeous! That pattern was the first ever vintage pattern I tried sewing and I failed miserably as I was too inexperienced back then. After seeing your lovely dress, I'm inspired to give it another go soon ;o)

  5. I enjoy seeing your creations very much, and have been a long time fan. I absolutely love this dress! And such beautiful colors! It looks fabulous on you. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love this! Beautiful fabric, and such an simple, elegant silhouette.

  7. Goodness, this is dress, fabric and colour palette is beautiful (so, so beautiful!). It reminds me so much of a small local flower bed down by Okanagan Lake that's filled with marigolds and sunflowers.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. That is really gorgeous fabric paired with a wonderful pattern! And you have THE BEST SHOES for every outfit : )

  9. Wow, I love your dress! I'm really starting to love some of the older patterns and it looks so wonderful on you! Great job!