Monday, 17 March 2014
A beachy boatneck dress
Feeling very happy with the success of my beachy boatneck top I decided to try mixing it up a bit for Frances Suzanne's flip this pattern series.
The beachy boatneck is designed for knits, but I thought it would make a lovely dress bodice in a woven fabric. I looked at various fabrics in blue and white with a view to having a nautical colour theme, but in the end made the virtuous decision to use some cotton-linen from my stash along with some coordinating Prints Charming flower-printed cotton-linen.
The bodice is exactly as per the original pattern, but as the fabric was obviously not going to be stretchy I went a couple of sizes up from the cotton jersey version I had previously made for R. I cut the back in two pieces with 1.5cm added to the inside (centre) edge of each in order to accommodate a zip (good thing I used an invisible one because the closest colour I could find was bright red!). Instead of using the facing pieces of the beachy boatneck pattern I faced the neckline with bias binding made from the Prints Charming fabric. I lengthened the sleeves to be full-length, and as I had some binding left, I faced the sleeve hems for a little hidden bit of colour.
For the skirt section of the dress I cut two rectangles of fabric about 1.5 times the width of the bodice. I made a second 'underskirt' layer in the Prints Charming fabric, making it a few centimetres longer than the top skirt. I pinned the two sections together and gathered them, then sewed them onto the bodice, retaining the curved hem of the original pattern so the bottom of the dress dips in the centre front and back. I really love this effect. And I love the way the dress looks on R, with the classic lines of the boatneck and the little bit of peeking-out floral at the bottom.
As we're moving into the cooler part of the year here in Melbourne, I'm thinking of this as an autumn dress that can be layered with tights and cardigan or worn with a long-sleeved top underneath. The boatneck style is perfect for cooler weather, giving lots of coverage. And that pink fabric will brighten even the gloomiest day. As will this smile: