Saturday, May 23, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: Color Blocked Maxi Dress

When the latest release of Vogue Patterns was posted, I was immediately drawn to this one- Vogue 9104. The two tone soft wave effect reminded me of an ice cream sundae, an ocean wave, a sand dune. Ahh- just so organic and relaxing. I just couldn't wait to make it. The only question was what fabric to use?


The pattern suggested crepe de chine, broadcloth or jersey.  I chose two rayon jerseys from Fabric Mart, and ordered 3 yards of each color. The fabric shrunk quite a bit after the first washing, and I was left with 2-1/2 yards of each. That sounds like a lot of fabric, but the dress really took the entire length of it. I do have some bits and pieces left that I'm hoping to piece together another top.


Rayon jerseys have many pluses- they drape beautifully, they are extremely soft and silky to the touch, and are breathable. On the minus side- they tend to grow longer as the day goes on, so you have to do something to stabilize areas like necklines and armholes, and you need to adjust the overall length.



So, for this dress, I first folded out about 4" of length from the pattern before cutting. I removed 1" across the chest, so that it would shorten the armhole length. I removed 2" in the main body at the shorten/length line, and I removed 1" at the lower layer hemline. 



I'm 5' 9" and if I made this out of a woven fabric, I would have added about 3" in length, so removing 4" gives you an idea of just how much a rayon jersey will grow. I'm even wearing 3" heels in these photos! 


To stabilize the armhole area, I adhered a 1cm strip of fusible interfacing around the seam line of the armhole when it was flat. Then, instead of a facing, I just turned under the raw edges and stitched in place. The fusible interfacing keeps the armhole from lengthening. Very important if you don't want to show your bra.


The other change that I made to the pattern was that I chose to simplify the neckline.  It is designed for an interfaced neckband and a loop and button closure in the back. I skipped the interfacing, and just sewed the band in a circle, so that I can pull this over my head. I actually tried it on before adding the bottom layer, and it looked good, so this pattern could easily be a shorter dress, just by removing the lower piece. The dress has in-seam pockets as well. Thank you, Vogue! I love a dress with pockets!


We took these pictures on a windy day- the skirt would normally hang straight down, but I kind of like the dramatic effect the wind has on it. Made from a light weight knit, this is almost a one size fits all dress. I say "almost" because of the length. But if you are wearing a belt, you can pull up the extra length and blouse it over the belt. 


I made this to wear to my daughter's college graduation party. It was comfortable and everyone loved it. I hope that I'll have more occasions to wear it this summer. It seems a little dressy for every day wear, but honestly, it is so comfortable that it feels like I'm wearing pajamas.  

It would be fun to make this from some other color combinations. Can you see it in black and white?  Or how about orange and grey? Or burgundy and lavender? So many possibilities! Alas, one of this style is enough for me, so I will have to wait to see what other people make and enjoy.

Happy Sewing!

8 comments:

  1. Gosh Ann, this is one STUNNING dress! I love the idea of using orange and grey....now you have me thinking I need this dress in that color combination! :) Sue

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    1. Thank you, Sue. Orange and grey would look so cool on you!

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  2. Oh, Ann, I 100% agree with Sue, this is stunning on you. And Sue, you better make one in orange and grey, that would be awesome. :) Thanks for sewing this up, Ann!

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  3. Very Pretty dress. I had no idea Rayon jersey stretches that much. Thanks for the info.

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    1. Thank you, Natisha! The longer the dress, the more it stretches due to the weight. So, if you are just sewing a top, it probably wouldn't be that noticeable, but for this length, it definitely is an issue.

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  4. I LOVE the colors! You have a great eye!

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