A Quick Spring/Summer Dress
Burda 11/08 #118
I will be the first to admit that I am not super trendy. Although I like keeping up with the trends and staying fairly current with my style, I am not a slave to the trends. One spring/summer fashion trend that I saw that I liked and knew I could work into my own style was the trend of brights. This is a nice trend in that if you're bold, you can wear brights head to toe and if you're not into that look, a simple bright belt or purse or other small accessory can easily update a look.
Keeping up with new season's trends is good idea, especially if you're buying fabric off season for the next season. When I saw the aqua and blue striped knit fabric at the Fix this winter, I knew it would make a great piece for spring/summer.
Considering the stripes on the fabric, I knew just the pattern to use, too. From Burda 11/08 #118: While this model is a few years old, the style lines are still good, but finding the fabric was the problem. I have the right fabric now!
The actual construction of the dress was easy - there are only five pieces. It was a bit time consuming because of all the matching of the stripes on the sleeves, raglan seams and side seams. Careful pinning and basting ensured that each seam was correct. That means that each seam was basically sewn twice because I basted before running it through the serger. It was definitely worth it, though and if you're making something like this in a solid or print then you'll have less worry about lining up a pattern. One thing I did do differently was to make a Jalie-style neck finish rather than a traditional binding (like a quilt binding) as Burda recommended. In knits it is much easier to finish the edges the Jalie way.
I only made a couple of fitting adjustments to the dress. One, tapering out a size or so to have extra room in the thigh area. I could have worn it as drafted, but didn't want a dress that was too clingy, especially since this is a knit. Second, I ended up taking a little out of shoulder seam after trying it on - there is a seam over the center of the shoulder and there was a bit too much fabric there, which didn't hug my shoulders nicely. Taking out an extra 1/2" total on both sleeves did the job.
I'm really happy with the dress, although I probably could have picked the stripe placement a little better. I should have cut the neck and shoulders with the really, really wide aqua stripe. That way, I wouldn't have those oddball stripes at the top of the shoulders that don't match in color; it would have been solid aqua there. I forgot that in order for the shoulder pieces to go up and over the shoulder, they were drafted longer, and the aqua stripe I chose was a bit narrow. At any rate, this is not enough for me to not like the dress - I like it a lot and will keep it.
It is a great dress and I can wear it styled like the magazine photo with a black turtleneck and tights, by itself with a cardigan, or just without the cardigan. With this fabric, when the weather is warmer, I can go white accessories or even another bright accessory just for fun.
Parting Shot: Fabric Goodies. More stuff from Fabric.com for spring/summer items. You'll be seeing some of this stuff pretty soon!