Considering it's still part of my series of knit dresses meant to accommodate the effects of Thanksgiving eating, maybe I should have called it a siesta dress instead.
Ever since I saw Debi's brightly-colored "Ring of Fire" Dress last year on the Sew Weekly, I've wanted to make my own version of a "squaw" dress (also known as a fiesta or patio dress). I just love how that gathered tiered skirt looks, and ever since I started English country dancing I've been trying to make dresses with a greater twirl factor. Even if it's not quite up to belly-dancing skirt level, it's still nice to feel my skirt spin out around me as I gate around my neighbor.
After everyone's helpful suggestions about what to wear to Wheel of Fortune, I decided to finally make something from this huge piece of teal jersey. I bought it when I hung out with Oona, and since she revealed that she's a TV star, it seemed appropriate to try making this work for Friday. Unfortunately, though, I don't like how the neckline turned out, so it looks like I'm going to have to find something else.
|Making a face, although I guess you can't really tell from the side. Hmm, my eyeballs kind of look like Storm's here.|
Simplicity 8352, a gathered raglan sleeve top, for the bodice portion, and then added my own gathered skirt to make it into a dress. I didn't have enough fabric to manage more than a tiny ruffled tier at the hem, though. Still, the final skirt was definitely twirly enough for ECD!
The pattern instructions call for gathering the neckline of the top, then binding the edge with a self-fabric strip. Whether it was due to the width of the strip, or the bulk of the gathers, or the misbehavior of this lycra-heavy knit, I just could not get the neckline to look neat! (It also didn't help that my thread wasn't quite the right color, but I was trying to avoid purchasing anything new for this dress.) In hindsight, I should have ignored the pattern instructions and just gone with my instinct, which was to fold over the top to make a casing, and then letting elastic pull it into gathers. Right now, the neckline looks okay as long as you're not standing too close, but it's still very home-made up close, too large for my taste, and there are hardly any gathers in the back. Picking the seams out of this fabric neatly is pretty much an impossibility, so it looks like I'm stuck with this neckline. I'm also not convinced that elasticizing the sleeve ends was the best idea. Ah well, it was a very experimental sort of dress, and at least it's ultra comfy.
|Horribly washed out picture, but you get the idea. Stitching in the ditch on this kind of fabric really made my machine unhappy, and since my thread didn't quite match it's still fairly visible.|
Fabric: Three yards of some extremely stretchy mystery blend knit, but I'm guessing there's a good deal of lycra in it based on how well it recovers.
Notions: Elastic at the waist and sleeves.
Hours: Five or so, which is really too many considering what resulted. I spent waaay too much time trying to salvage the neckline.
Will you make it again? Not from this pattern, I won't! I still want to make a similar dress with more tiers, though.
Total cost: At least it only cost $3.
Final thoughts: Besides the neckline and sleeve issues, I'm not really sold on the blouson top for this fabric/pattern. While this dress is fine for everyday wear, but I don't think I want it commemorated on national television (even if I only appear in the audience for two seconds). Although I guess I'm already commemorating it here on the internet. I do love this shade of blue, though!
|Trying to fake a Duchenne smile and looking happier than I actually feel about this dress.|