Oh, c'mon people, let's make believe it's time to walk barefoot in the sand on the beach! I sewed this sweet little hot pink twill rayon challis dress during a record breaking cold spell so there was no way on this frozen tundra of earth I was going outside to take photos in this dress. So squint your eyes and think "white, sandy beaches". I've been quite curious about the Sew House Seven patterns--- they have a feminine and casual appeal. No one has really talked much about them in the sewing blogosphere, so I was super exited to sew up their Mississippi Avenue Dress that Fabric Mart has in stock.
The pattern itself comes in a nice paper envelope comparable to the Big 4 companies' envelopes. The instruction booklet is in black and white with these really nice illustrations. I was pleasantly surprised. They're very detailed. I agree with this pattern being labeled "beginner", it was a breeze to construct with most of my time being spent on finishing the neckline and arm openings. The pattern itself is printed on three heavy weight pages, I just cut out my size being that I was feeling too lazy to trace it off.
Being uncertain of what height these pattern are drafted for I just went ahead and added 1" of length to the bodice. There are no markings on the pattern pages for this. I went just below the side notches to cut and slash then add the inch on all my pieces. I'm 5'8", two inches taller than what most commercial patterns draft for, so this is a typical alteration for me.
This is a perfect spring or summer dress. The neckline dips a little low so a camisole underneath along with a cardigan will work nicely if I were to wear it in a casual workplace. How fun are the little ties on the shoulders? The dress is unlined but this rayon challis twill is plenty opaque to keep a girl modest.
I sewed up View C, the longer version of the dress. I needed a size 10/12 for my top half but for the sake of my sanity I cut a straight 12 upper bodice. I had to grade out to a 14/16 hip. I did have to take in the sides of the bodice down to about a 10. I feel like the underarms dip down a tad low giving a sneak peek at my underthings-- I would likely draft them up higher if I were to sew this again. FYI, sizing is similar to U.S. ready-to-wear sizing. It ranges from 0-20-- or a 32-46" bust and a 35-50" hip.
Rayon challis can be a tricky fabric to work with. I made sure to pre-wash and dry it to shrink it up nicely. The neck and arm openings are nicely bound on the inside edge, which looks great and prevents these areas from stretching over time. You can see in the picture (above-left) my back neckline. I really like that inset panel in front, a future version of this is dying to have some contrasting piping in those seams, yes?!
I love a drapey, swishy, looser fitting dress in the dead of summer. If you could zoom in here, you'd surely see goosebumps on this 20F day. Who else has washed their hands of cold weather sewing here in the northern hemisphere?!