welcome to darn cheap fabrics seasonal challenge - spring 2015. this season lara chose the fabric. she posted a pic of a number of fabrics she bought at darn cheap fabrics on instagram early in spring and i was immediately drawn to this printed viscose, so we agreed to use it for our spring 2015 challenge. its no longer available online, but lara said it was still available recently at the heidelberg store.
originally i thought i would make another pair of named alexandria peg leg trousers but when i got the fabric in the mail i thought it would be better made up as a dress.
i decided on the april rhodes staple dress which had been in my pattern stash for some time. after a bit of review searching on the interwebs i decided on cutting a size small as that was the size that best correlated with my bust measurements - something the instructions suggest you do.
in hindsight i really should have checked the finished measurements as the 3" ease was a bit much for me so i ended up taking the dress in to what effectively is the extra small size. its a tiny bit comfy around my hips, but not too tight and overall is a very comfortable dress to wear.
i do find that the neckline pulls up, as shown in the picture below. many of the google images i looked at before starting do not have this problem. i'm not sure whether this is because of the size i ended up making (a size small taken in to an extra small along side seams only) or the drapey nature of the fabric or that my waist shirring is not in the right place. regardless i don't really mind, i just pull it down every now and then when i am wearing it. next time i will pay a bit more attention to where i put the shirring though.
i originally cut out and sewed the inseam pockets, but in the end removed them as i was worried they stuck out a bit through the fabric at hip level - which is an area i would prefer not to draw attention to. without the pockets this is a pretty straightforward make with no closures.
i used some left over brown voile to make the required bias bindings. by constructing the dress with no pockets and using left over fabric for the bindings i was able to get this dress out of 1.2/1.3m of 55" fabric which is a lot less than 2 and a half yards suggested on the pattern for the full dress, pockets and bindings.
i had never shirred before and originally i made an internal casing for the waist and threaded 2 thin pieces of elastic to bring the waist in. this took a lot of time and in the end didn't look very good. so i purchased some shirring elastic and gave it a shot and was quite surprised how easy it was. i did two rows of shirring as i think the print of this dress looks better with a thin belt. i was quite enjoying the shirring though so could have happily done many, many more rows.
i am 167cm tall and i did a minimal 1/4" hem to keep the length just above knee level. next time i will add a small amount to the length to allow for a bigger hem.
i really love this dress, it is perfect for summer work wear and i am definitely keen to make another. now to pop over to lara's blog and see her make as i know she was making a dress too.