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Past Fabricista Guest Post: Class Reunion Dress July 2021


Hello everyone!  I’m returning to the blog for a special event dress- I needed something to wear to my 40th class reunion!  Of course, Fabric Mart had the perfect fabric for it- an embroidered eyelet cotton gauze.  Here in the northern hemisphere, the weather has been hot and humid, so I knew that I wanted something lightweight and breathable.   So many ready to wear special occasion dresses are all polyester, which would just make me hot and sweaty, so I dusted off the sewing machine after several months of non-use, and got to work so that I could make something that I would be comfortable wearing.  

The fabric had a single border, and was just 48” wide, so I ordered 4-3/4 yards just to make sure that I had enough fabric.  I wasn’t sure what style I was going to make when I ordered it, but I also anticipated that being a cotton gauze, it would have significant shrinkage.  I prewashed and dried it before cutting out my pattern pieces.

With the embroidered eyelet border being so beautiful, I decided to go with a style that was very simple, and would let the border shine through.  I found the perfect style with McCalls 8214, a dropped waist dress with two bodice options.  Although the pattern does have pockets, for once, I decided to eliminate the pockets so that I could just have one seam for the bottom border.  I used my serger so that I would have a double row of stitching and overcast along the embroidered part.  

Gauze has a fair amount of give to it, so for the straps, I interfaced them so that they wouldn’t stretch out on me.  I also had to go back and take in a couple of inches off of the bodice side seam width  and strap length so that my bra wouldn’t show.  I went with a strapless bra, rather than trying to find a bra that the straps would line up perfectly with the dress straps.

I was really happy with the results, and the dress was super comfy to wear the whole evening.  I wore a belt with it, but will probably wear it more often as a casual unbelted dress.

I also ordered the fabric in the navy with cream embroidery.  For this one, I used the alternate view of the same pattern, and placed the embroidery along the shoulder and neck edges in addition to the bottom edge.   

I am wondering if this dress is too long- as it feels so much more covered up.  I’m tempted to remove the bottom tier, cut off 12 inches off the top of it, and resew it back on.  What do you think?  I would appreciate your feedback on this before I ruin a perfectly good dress!

These photos were taken by my friend and neighbor, Petra Jelinek, at the Clearview Farm in Champaign, Illinois.  We hit the peak bloom of the sunflowers for a beautiful morning photoshoot.

Ann  |  sewbaby


Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: COTTON & GAUZE.

Comments

  1. The navy dress looks lovely and elegant. I would not cut it!

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  2. These are beautiful! I saw some of the embroidered gauze and wondered if it would need a lining, but I’m guessing not? I like both dresses. I wouldn’t shorten the second one myself, but if you know it will make it more wearable for you and you are willing to alter it, then maybe that is the best choice. I really love it as is, though. It’s cool seeing how you treated the border differently on each dress.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, LP, I found that they were thick enough that they didn’t need a lining.

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  3. So good to see your post this morning. The dresses are lovely and I am sure you looked and felt great for your reunion. For the navy I agree about it being shorter. What if the bodice was shortened to meet the skirt at your natural waist. Some sort of elastic gathering that would eliminate the belt.
    One of my all time favorite posts was your winter travel capsule makes. Hope to see more of your sewing.

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  4. I think the blue dress is lovely at the length shown, but it would also be lovely, shorter. If you would wear it more often, shortened, then go for it. The fabric is beautiful. I have a niece in Champaign; will have to ask if they ever go to see the sunflowers there. Thanks for sharing your class reunion makes!

    Marianne

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  5. I think the proportions on your second dress are spot on. Gives a graceful, balanced look. Well done on both!

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  6. I think the belt throws the blue one off. Try pinning it up and take a picture before shortening it.

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  7. Hi. I love the navy dress as is. The both are really pretty. I am curious what your serger settings were for gauze. I couldn't get it to sew nicely after changing tension settings many times.

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    1. Thank you, Steffens! I have a baby lock imagine and set the differential feed setting around 2, but changed it to 3 on the embroidered part because it was thicker.

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  8. It’s so good to see you again. These are gorgeous dresses, perfect pattern selection and arrangement of the borders. I quite like the length of the blue - it reminds me of an Edwardian dress, very elegant and refined. But as others have suggested, whatever gets you the most wear, go with that. And to echo another comment or, try folding it up and looking in a three-way mirror to see if you would like it better shorter first before cutting.

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  9. I think both of your makes look lovely on you but it is totally up to you to decide what length you're happy with. That's one of the reasons that we sew. We're most happy when we can please ourselves. An opinion is exactly that and yours counts more than anyone else's in this case. Enjoy! You look great !

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  10. Ann, I was so glad to see your post here again. I love both dresses. They each have a great look to them and you chose the right view for the colors with this pattern. I am not sure I would change the blue one because the border is so strong I think it would throw off the balance of the dress if they were to be closer together. But I agree with Catherine, I think the belt is causing something to be a bit off. I like drop waist dresses but you could take the waist area in a bit if you feel it is too boxy looking without the belt. Hope you are having a wonderful summer. Miss your posts here. Do I see you on Pattern Review though? I will have to check as I don’t remember for sure.

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  11. Love love love the blue version with the embroidery at the shoulder too! It's lovely--the length is fine. If you can find a hand-woven belt or sash in bright colors that might give a nice look--like those from Guatemala or Mexico.

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    Replies
    1. Ooh- I like that idea! I will have to look forward one!

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