During the summertime, I went out on a limb and created my own pattern for a simple summer dress that could double as a nightie. I used the front piece of the “Geranium Dress” by Made by Rae to guide me in creating the top and used the bottom of the “Sweet Little Dress” by Leila and Ben. I designed the top as two solid pieces so that my daughter could just yank the dress over her head without needing to do up buttons, but I still tried to line it. This is not a good idea, as it doesn’t work too well! Thankfully, the fabric that I used was light and very cooperative when it came to pressing, pinning and matching the two layers in order to hem the sleeves. And, to my surprise, I ended up with a funky reversible dress that both my daughter and I still love. I should have vowed then to stick to patterns and tutorials that provide clear, helpful instructions created by others, but…
…remarkably, I jumped in, again, using the same pattern design. This time, with Lotta Jansdotter’s beautiful fabric from her Glimma line. The main fabric for this dress is “Solid in Slate”. Again, I began with a lining fabric, which was a simple unbleached thin cotton.
The detail around the neckline was not planned. It was created when I turned the lining to the inside of the dress. I ended up loving how the fabric gathered and didn’t mind too much that it was a-symmetrical. Unfortunately, the ripple effect of this little detail resulted in the lining not fitting too well within the dress. (At this point, I was reminded, again, that patterns created by others are so lovely!)
The design of the bottom was inspired by this beautiful dress, which I found on Pinterest while searching “Japanese Dresses”. Sadly, I cannot understand any of the details about the dress or the ordering information, but it inspired me to try creating a pleated front. At the same time, I was creating my 2nd “Swing Skirt” by Compagnie M, so I used Marte’s inverted box pleat instructions as a guide for the front of the dress. I really like how the lightweight of the lining fabric allows it to fold and flow so nicely within the pleat.
Lastly, I wanted to share the source of my “Zisla Designs” elephant labels: Ananemone Labels on Etsy. The colours are very vibrant, especially against the organic undyed cotton. They work beautifully and are available in lots of different shapes, sizes and styles. A fun touch for any handmade item.