Hey guess what! I made a dress!
Not one of the projects I had planned back in March, mind you, but still the first sewing project I’ve finished in, um, a long while. And I love it!
It’s the Sallie Jumpsuit & Maxi Dress pattern by Closet Case Files out of Montreal. I’d been eyeing it ever since it was released a year or so ago, especially the versions of the dress with the kimono top. Let me tell ya though: it took some creative pattern arranging and every last inch of the 2.5m of fabric to cut that baby out.
I cut size 12 in the kimono top and 16 for the skirt. I didn’t bother grading at the waist since it would be elasticized and the print is busy enough that it’s impossible to notice a few extra tucks, but next time I might because it did make for some slightly finicky pinning at the waist. I also added 3″ to the bottom of the skirt since the pattern was designed for someone 5’6″ and I’m 5’9″, but I ended up trimming 2.5″ of it and having a 1.5″ hem (versus the 1″ called for in the pattern) so I needn’t have bothered, as you can see in the mediocre selfie below.
The fabric (95% polyester/5% spandex) is from Darrell Thomas Textiles and is both gorgeous and fantastic to work with. It’s somehow light to wear but has a nice weight, never got caught on pins, and is one of those dream fabrics that presses well but can be jammed in the corner of a suitcase or at the bottom of a gym bag and emerge without a rumple. Hell yeah! I’m half tempted to buy a bolt and be all “BEHOLD, I AM SWATHED IN THE FABRIC OF THE HEAVENS,” then consequently get banished from the staff lunch room because I won’t stop yelling about handfeel.
Anyhoo, once I eked out the pieces it came together easily. I got a bit hung up on sewing the arm openings together when had to pick out a couple of seams where they all joined at the armpit to make it reasonably smooth, and I couldn’t manage to press the inside seams entirely flat. I’d probably add another 1/8″-1/4″ to the elastic channel step on the top since it was a squeeze to get the elastic through in a couple of spots, but I’m a rookie at sewing knits so a bit of extra room for error is nice to have. The specs for medium and narrow zigzag stitches at the beginning of the instructions were very useful and prevented frantic Googling, as I did the whole thing on a sewing machine.
Ultimately this dress is sexy (I freaking love the back ties), feels like pajamas, looks great (multiple compliments when I wore it to work), and can be whipped up in an afternoon. Here’s hoping it brings my sewing mojo back.