Monday, August 28, 2023

Cherry Blossoms

As soon as I saw this pattern, it brought me right back to the days when my friends and I were obsessed with Jane Austen.  Quite a few of my early garment sewing projects included an empire line, and while I have moved away from that silhouette over the years, I thought it might be fun to try this pattern.

However, it was not to be found in either of my local JoAnn Fabric stores for many months.  At that point, it seemed like it was not likely to be restocked and I forgot about it for a while.

But when I rediscovered this fabric (that I have probably had stashed away for about twenty years), I decided that this particular pattern was the only possible option for my very limited yardage.  I had two and a half yards, which had always kept me from using the lovely print; because I just couldn't see what I would pair with a skirt made from the print, or alternatively, a top.

The block print also posed some potential fabric/design pairing problems.  But a dress seemed like the only thing that was going to get me to cut into the cotton.  So I ordered the pattern directly from McCalls, along with a few other patterns that I felt I couldn't live without.

Pattern matching was never going to be possible due to the style lines, not to mention the limited yardage, but I did my best to keep the different colored motifs from ending up directly next to each other.

As far as alterations go, I decided to trim about 1/4" from the interior upper portion of the straps.  My shoulder slope seems to sit flatter than most patterns are drafted and I thought this might keep that edge from sticking up.  We will see how that turns out . . .

I have a few dresses where this is a "problem" and since I thought about it before sewing this dress together, I thought that it might be an easy fix.

I do love this fabric, and I am so pleased to have finally found a use for it!

Those shoulders are looking very wide, but I think it would look odd if they don't line up with the princess seam of the bodice, so I am leaving that as is for the moment.

And here is a sneak peek of the sleeves.  Which, if I am being honest, is one of the main reasons I gravitated towards this design.

I had enough scraps of fabric left to use for the lining of the bodice, so I went for it.  There really wasn't enough to make something else with the remnants, and I didn't have plain cotton in a suitable color, so I guess it was meant to be.

I lengthened the skirt by 1" - I was pushing it with the limited amount of yardage, but I don't really like summer dresses to be more than a couple of inches above the knee.

But back to that bodice.

The sleeve bands need to be folded under, but those puffs are looking really great!

Did I mention before that I love a square neckline!  Only time will tell if those shoulders are going to say in place.

The pattern suggests an invisible zipper, but I wasn't sure how it would play with the seamline bulk, so I went with a standard dress zipper.

I thought about doing a centered application, but in the end, I decided to go with my favorite lapped version.

At which point, it was time for my favorite part of the process . . . the hand sewing.

Tino likes to think he helps with this part.

And here is the dress.  I'm not sure it's totally my style, or what my current style has evolved to be, but I definitely think it's cute.

I'm just not entirely sure that I am an empire line girl anymore.  But I am willing to try it out.

1 comment:

  1. As an ardent Jane Austen fan myself, I love this! The fabric and the pattern pair so nicely together. Looking forward to seeing modeling photos.