The Dahlia Dress

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.

Dahlia version 2

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.

Dahlia muslin

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!

Dahlia 2 first cuts

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.

Dahlia version 1 bodice

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!

Dahlia 1 final    Dahlia 1 final bodice

Until next time!

~Jo

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One thought on “The Dahlia Dress

  1. Pingback: The Dahlia Dress | She Helps Me Sew

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