Somehow, despite all the events I have endured this year (from a truly wretched place I used to work at stealing my intellectual property and then stonewalling me to Hugo needing another surgery AGAIN), I still feel like I’ve come out on top! Thanks to Twitch streaming my sewing, I’ve been more productive than EVER and have slowly lost that fear of the unknown when facing my fabric stash. I don’t have time for indecision anymore, I just have to grab a piece of fabric and run with it!
That’s exactly how this dress was born. There was an “oh shit, I have a stream and I need a project tomorrow” moment and I grabbed the first cute fabric I saw and flicked through my Pinterest for some inspiration. The fabric is an ADORABLE strawberry milkshake print cotton that I got from AliExpress. Damn they have some good quality cottons over there, I gotta say.
I’ve been digging oversized elements in dresses lately so I knew I wanted a giant bow. I have a great (unfortunately polyester) blouse that used to be one of my favourites with a large neck bow that I felt adorable in every time I wore it so I was like “right, let’s do this” and I made a dress with it in mind.
For the design, I knew Summer was fast approaching and reports were that it was going to be a scorcher (and they were right, it’s ridiculous around here and the widespread fires in Australia aren’t making it any more pleasant). So the bodice is completely unlined with bias facing on the armholes and bias tape to finish the seams. I rotated all the darts into the neckline gathers for a dartless front and for the back, I wanted something very simple so there are small darts there instead of gathers again.
The “strapless” design probably could have benefit from a lining for structure or some foundation undergarments, but if you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’m a fairly wash-and-wear girl and comfort definitely trumps structure.
And comfortable it is! The lack of lining makes this a breeze to wear and I love that my chest and the back of my neck is protected from the sun. The shoulders are another matter, but that’s what sunscreen was invented for, right?
I’m wearing a strapless bra here but in theory I could wear a racerback bra with more or less the same effect. It’s tempting to move the shoulders out for the next draft, but I REALLY like what my shoulders look like in racerback dresses. I’m amazed I don’t have more of them, to be honest.
And the best part of this dress?? Absolutely nailing those pockets, including the one above that I sewed in right next to the zipper. I was very impressed with myself and then absolutely screwed it up the next time I made this pattern. I really need to record how I did the pocket as a tutorial on the site. My main issue is I have moments of genius and then I forget how to do things later. I am still referring to some of my tutorials even years later when you think I would have learned this stuff off by heart by now.
All in all, I’m so happy with this project. I usually do a rundown on things I think I could improve next time around for everyone’s benefit but nope, I think I actually nailed this dress this time. It fits like a glove, the waist is spot-on, and it all came together super quickly with only a tiny handful of scraps leftover from a 1.5m long piece of fabric. Maybe next time I’ll do a bigger bow but it would really depend on the fabric.
I can’t wait to make everyone sick of how many iterations of this dress I’m going to make.