Summer Dress

From the NYC fabric run:

This is made from two yards of cotton gauze and about a yard of t-shirt knit. The bodice derives from my cowl neck “muslin” — the skirt is simply two rectangles sewn together with pockets inserted then gathered and attached to the bodice. More detailed construction info after the fold.

The bodice part of this dress was easy enough — it comes from this pattern, and took me maybe an hour, hour and a half to cut, sew & finish.

I struggled a little with the skirt, however. The skirt is two rectangles, gathered at the waist and attached to the bodice. That’s a fine and simple concept, and would have worked perfectly, except that I had to go and add pockets. The pockets are elephant ear type pockets, hidden in the side seams, but they caused me a lot of grief.

My original plan was to insert a single pocket, but after sewing the pocket pieces to the skirt I realized I’d sewn them so that they wouldn’t match up on the same side — I’d sewn in half a left pocket and half a right pocket. I could either unpick, or I could make the other half of each pocket, and have two pockets.

My second problem was that I used pants pockets. Pants pockets have their outside edge sewn directly into the side seam. Skirt pockets — from what I can gather from my one RTW skirt that has pockets — have this edge floating free.

Because of this, I ended up with a peak of fabric jutting out where the bottom seam of the pants pocket stopped on the skirt seamline.

I reworked the pocket until it was the correct shape, but the fabric was stubborn, and no amount of pressing was taming that peak into shape. My ultimate solution was simply to tack the sides of the skirt together so that the peak was hidden in some folds of fabric.

It’s not at all visible when I’m wearing the dress. And all in all, I’m very happy with this. It’s cool, it’s drapey, it’s elegant. A very wearable summer dress.

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