My latest sewing project is having a bit of an identity crisis. It’s a bit too short to be called a dress, but a bit too long to be called a top. In spite of this, I have to call it something to blog about it. So, I’m going to call it a dress. In fact, to be specific, it’s a Little White Dress (LWD), my second one, a trend in my sewing that’s bit surprising since white is definitely not my color.
How’s this for using up a bit of my stash?
As you all know, my stash reduction project is in full swing and this dress is the result of my new stash busting rule.
During the summer, I can only buy a piece of fabric, if it replaces a piece of equal size. So, nothing comes in unless something goes out.
No doubt, keeping to my rule will be very, very hard. Think of all of the summer clearance sales I’ll have to miss! But my stash will thank me. There are fabrics on my shelves that have lived there for over two years. They deserve a better life. They deserve to be worn.
That’s why this project made me feel a bit virtuous. To make this spring dress, I used almost two yards of fabric from my stash – – a yard and a half of floral cotton AND a half yard of a contrast cotton print for the sleeves and hem border. Two yards down!
The pattern for this dress is McCall’s 6465, a loose fitting pullover dress with bust darts and short sleeves. The style is simple and basic, which makes this pattern a good template that’s easy to modify and embellish.
The neckline is what attracted me to this pattern initially. It’s wide enough to slip the dress over your head, but not really a scoop neck either. It’s almost a boat-neck, a shape I absolutely love. Other than shortening the bodice length a bit, I made no other adjustments to the pattern.
I love the crisp feeling of this cotton fabric, but there are alot of flowers on it (and you know how I feel about florals.) So, I decided to mix things up a bit by using a contrast print on the sleeves and hem border. It’s hard to see the details of the print in the photos, but it’s a black background that’s swirled with swooshes of gray. The sleeve hems are edged with solid black just to give it a bit of an edge.
This was a super easy pattern that you can make in an afternoon and it doesn’t have a zipper. Since this is the perfect time of year to be outside, I spend less time sewing, choosing projects that are simple and instantly gratifying. This one was perfect. You can finish it in a few hours then head outside!
Do you have a stash busting rule of your own? What kinds of sewing projects work for you when the weather is warm? Thanks for stopping by!
I blame this garment’s identity crises on the fact that it was made from unrelated pieces of linen, found in my large, unwieldy fabric stash.
I don’t know about you, but my stash’s girth issues are a direct consequence of my frequent visits to the irresistible remnant selection of my local fabric store. There are so many gorgeous pieces there, all priced to sell, usually at about 50% of retail. How can one resist?
But here’s the problem with that. The down side of these ‘economical’ purchases is that, inevitably, finding ways to use the remnants is a challenge. These pieces of gorgeous fabric may be cheap, but they’re often less than a yard. But as my mind registers this fact, my heart says, “It’s not too small!! Go ahead. Buy it. There’s enough fabric here to make…..something!!”
Remnants are such teases.
My latest LWD is made from those remnants; a half yard of graphic print linen and 3/4 yard of white linen. Alone, neither was enough to cover much of…anything! But together, they became a dress.
I used one of my favorite basic patterns, Vogue 8840, (see it also here, and here) a tunic top with dropped shoulders, a round neckline, and a front and back center seam. This pattern is a favorite because it’s so easy to modify. With its center back and front seams, it’s also easy to adjust to fit my narrow shoulders.
I used the pattern as designed with one modification. I added a long but narrow eyelash dart to both sides of the back. This was necessary to give the pattern a bit of taper at the waist, a must because this particular piece of white linen was a bit stiff.
After cutting the main tunic from the white fabric, I cut a ten inch border from my print, making it the same width as the tunic and sewed it to the bottom of the tunic, converting it into a dress (?). Of course, I could have made it a bit longer if I’d had a little more fabric, (and who’s fault is that?). I did the same thing to add a border to the sleeves, which gave them a bit more body and finish. I also top stitched both sides of the front and back center seams for interest.
I love this pattern. Because the sleeves are cut as part of the dress, it’s easy and fast to sew. The neck is finished with seam binding, also super fast and easy.
But, even though this pattern is simple, the project wasn’t boring at all. I enjoy simple patterns because they give you room to add something. This time, adding the border was the fun part of the project. Also, because the top is so basic, I had fun shaping it with my own well placed darts.
Here’s my finished remnant creation! Even as I look at it now, I’m not sure what it is, though. A dress, a tunic…who knows? But that’s what happens when you do the remnant shuffle right? Maybe, it’ll be a long top until Summer, when the hot temperatures will make it the perfect dress. And yes, it’s wrinkled and always will be. But that’s okay! I give wrinkles a free pass when they’re on wonderful, beautiful linen!!
What about you? Do you find the remnant section enticing? What do you do with those lovely, but strangely sized pieces?