This past Spring (yes, that says Spring, and we are now in Fall!), I decided to get started on the Dahlia dress pattern from Colette. There are two versions to this dress, and since we were heading into Spring, I decided to use the sleeveless version.
To start, I made a muslin. A muslin is a draft version which can be used to try on and make adjustments before you cut into your expensive fabric. Since I was really unsure of how it would turn out, I decided making a muslin would be a good investment of my time. And, that turned out to be true!
Here is my first muslin. The bodice was very loose, and I knew I needed to do some pattern drafting.
One of the things I really loved about this pattern is it came with a Sew Along series. In this step, Sarai (the pattern designer) shows you how to make bust adjustments. So, back to the drawing board and I made the adjustments, which turned out well! I got out my fabric and started making my first cuts into a very pretty black challis fabric with green roses. It is thin and lightweight, perfect for the summer. I love this fabric!
After cutting one of the skirt panels, I noticed my lines were not straight. Also, the fabric was so thin it would need a lining and some really strong attention to avoid stretching when cutting out the fabric. I was not happy. While the muslin proved to be a good investment of time, I was not looking forward to making a lining, spending more time struggling and making a lot of mistakes with that thin, beautiful fabric. And then summer came. All efforts were put aside.
Fast forward a couple of months! School started back up for the kiddos in August, and I had a change in jobs which allowed me to really get back into my projects. Being closer to Fall, I decided to table the sleeveless version until next Spring (and maybe pick up some gingham for that)! I already had the fabric for the version with sleeves; a nice chambray for Fall. Chambray is about as thick as flannel, but has breathability. When you look closely, it has the appearance of a herringbone necklace. I really love this fabric for Fall in Florida! Here is what the bodice looked like in the first stages of cutting.
The pattern calls for using the same fabric to make your own bias binding for the dress, or you could use store-bought. I wanted to put in some color so I bought 1/4” double fold bias binding in kelly green. I like the look of kelly green against navy. While this isn’t exactly navy from a distance, it is white and navy when you look at it up close. The kelly green turned out nice. A fun pop of color that gives it some character. Having made three muslins with the bodice, the dressmaking didn’t take long at all! Here is the final dress!
Until next time!