BWOF 08/07, #101; The Bubble Dress
Yes, it's back to school clothes again. This time for me. I'm done with my daughter's stuff, but as a teacher I need clothes, too!
So, without further ado, here it is:
I made it in a black striped RPL; it has a menswear feel without being too masculine. I'm planning another garment in pinstripe or else I would have bought a black pinstripe for this.
As far as construction, this was a fairly easy pattern to make. It's your basic princess seam dress with a-line skirt that has been gathered and sewn to the lining. If you already own a similar pattern (and you've already fitted it to your body) you could probably make a similar dress, just cut the panels near the skirt hem wider you can gather it to the smaller lining pieces. Now, I know the bubble shape is trendy, but, I could release the hemline next fall, re-hem the lining and fashion fabric, and still have a nice dress!
I've decided to include few details that are worth noting about the dress, in case you decide to make one. First, let's take a look at the pockets. This dress has inseam pockets on the center panel! Yeah! I've decided that anything I made for school year must have pockets. I'm forever leaving my laboratory/classroom keys all over the school. Often, I have students/staff/colleagues coming up to me saying, "Are these your keys, Mrs. Banks?" while I stand perplexed outside the lab trying to remember where I had been that I could have set them down. (The lab/classrom must be locked when I'm not in it due to safety reasons.)
I hadn't done this style of pocket in a while, so I consulted some of my sewing books to refresh my memory and see if there were any good tips I could glean. This time, I picked up a tip to reinforce the pocket opening with a straight of grain stay. As you can see in the pictures below, out came the stay tape, and now my pocket opening is reinforced, which is good with the slightly stretchy fabric.
Second, let's look at the sleeve because there are two issues here. The sleeve is not lined although the rest of the dress is. While all the other seams in the dress are concealed, for some reason the seam that attaches the sleeve to the armhole isn't. To solve both problems requires a little planning and deviation from the directions. I decided to line the sleeve, so I cut a pair out of lining as well as the fashion fabric. The fabrics were then joined at the bottom or hem, because the hem is bound with a piece of bias. I then basted the sleeves together at the top and stitched them to the fashion fabric dress only as one unit. The sleeve allowance was turned toward the dress, the allowance on the lining was pressed toward the dress and then fell stitched over seam line. This is the same thing I did for the Waiting for Spring dress sleeves/armhole area.
Third, the armhole finish. The sleeves are cap sleeves and in this case are not attached all the way around the armhole. The instructions indicate to cut off the bottom seam allowance of the armhole and bind it. Not a problem. This leaves you with a small, unattractive gap between the binding and sleeve. It would be worth your time and a few small stitches to stitch the folded in ends of the binding to the dress both inside and out. Notice the difference in the two pictures. A little bit of fray check doesn't hurt here, either, since this will be a stress point in the dress.
Parting Shot: How much stuff does one almost 9 year old need for a week of camp? Probably not as much as she'll (think she'll) need in 5 years!