Hello and Happy New Year! How the devil are you? So … New Year resolutions eh? I’m not keen on the mean type of resolutions – eat less chocolate, do more dusting etc. but I do sometimes like to set myself challenges for a New Year. This year one of my resolutions is to ‘wear more dresses’ which of course in sewing world means ‘make more dresses’ Woohoo! And not just fancy glam dresses for going out in – I want to make dress-wearing more normal in my life. Ordinarily I’m a real jeans and sweatshirt type of person but when I wear a dress I realise how comfy and free feeling they can be and wish I wore them more.
Dress wearing throws up some challenges though – the main one being keeping warm! I’m a cold-blooded critter living in a chilly part of the Northern Hemisphere so when it comes to clothes I don’t like too many bare bits! And dresses (unless you don’t mind looking like a nun) usually leave some things exposed. Leg-wise it’s easy to solve with a nice pair of woolly tights and I guess a cardi is an option (although dresses and cardigans can quickly look frumptastic if you’re not careful)
So – that is the task that lays ahead: find and make some dresses that are comfy and warm enough to wear on a regular day. My first attempt is this Liesl cappuccino dress.
Now – before I show you the piccies, I admit that this dress (well the fabric) will not be to everyone’s tastes. Yes, I know, it looks like your Gran’s curtains but I am a child of the Seventies and I’ve decided I can no longer deny my fondness for orange and brown colour schemes, lava lamps and flares. The pattern itself I really, really like. There are 2 views – View A (which I made) and view B which is a shorter tunic. The dress version has contrast cuffs and neck-band, 3/4 length sleeves and nice big integrated pockets. One of my favourite things about it is the pockets – they are similar in construction to the pockets on the Xeria tent dress so the technique didn’t baffle me this time. (there is a bit of fabric origami required) The sleeves are unusual – they are kimono sleeves with an extra bit added on so the shoulder seam sits halfway down the bicep. I really like the length of them.
Unfortunately I can’t remember where I got this fabric – It’s a weird sort of light canvas. It’s got a nice drape to it which is perfect for this pattern – I think anything too light or stiff might balloon out from the front gathers. The contrast cuffs and neckband are just a regular quilting cotton. It’s straight-forward and quick to make, I didn’t have any problems with it. I also didn’t do any alterations – as you can see the style has loads of ease.
The dress would be super simple and super comfy – there are no fastenings, it just pulls over the head, the one downside with my version is that the fabric is a bit scratchy on the inside. Maybe I should get myself a slip …. aaagh, a slip! Jeez, then I really would feel like my Gran!!
Apologies for the poor quality of the photos – I’ve been trying to find a better place to take them. In the summer I use the back garden but it has been pouring down for weeks and it’s a soggy mess out there. There are not many places inside that have both a blank backdrop and good light. These were taken in the glamorous ‘utility room’. Even in the mid-afternoon the light is fading and I realise now I should have used the flash. Ah well – I hope you get the idea.
So I realise this is not a dress you would wear to go out drinking cocktails but I can see potential in it. I’m wondering if I could make a version in jersey if I picked a fabric with not too much stretch. That would be lovely and soft and cosy but it might cause baggy pockets. Anyhoo – I’m calling this a success 🙂 Here’s to 2016 .. the year of the dress!