I have purchased all materials, patterns, workshops, etc. myself. All opinions are my own.
Last July, during my trip to London to attend an activewear sewing class taught by Melissa Fehr, I visited Ray-Stitch and bought a beautiful piece of fabric: Nani IRO Double Gauze in the colorway Grace B. I had been lusting over it for months and could not pass up this chance to buy it.
Since then, it’s been sitting on my fabric shelf. I just could not decide on a fitting project that would show off the fabric’s beautiful print and structure. Although this is a double gauze fabric, it doesn’t have the typical crinkly look. Even after washing, it’s only mildly puffy, which I like.
At the height of summer I decided to finally turn my floaty Nani Iro double gauze into a boxy shift dress. I wanted a simple shape, cut-on sleeves, a notched neckline and as few darts as possible.
Initially, I set out to draft my own pattern with cut-on sleeves, but try as I might, I could not get the instructions in my book to work for me. I could not get my basic blocks to physically match up as described. I assume it’s because of the shape of the shoulder and the size of darts I require.
Eventually, I gave up and bought the Melrose Top and Dress by Itch to Stitch. View C had the cut-on sleeves and boxy shape I was after and I was hoping that the cup-sized versions would allow me to go ahead without having to adjust the shape.
I decided to make a muslin to be sure. I’m glad I did. Unfortunately, even the D-Cup pattern piece didn’t have enough of a dart for my shape and the front hem was riding up. I increased the dart size and voilà, a nicely balanced shape! I then extended the top to dress length. The last change to make was to draft the notched neckline and the corresponding facings.
To keep the clean look of the dress, I used French seams and hemmed everything by hand with a slip stitch. The two layers of the fabric came in handy here. They allowed me to make the stitches invisible from the outside. I also stitched down the facings for the neck opening with a simple running stitch.
I’m wearing it here with my clogs that I dyed cobalt blue myself.