Slow, slow, quick, quick, sew

We’ve had weeks of grey, wet and cool weather and it seemed as if summer was far off. Sewing this dress slowed down accordingly as it just wasn’t going to be worn much. However this week, it’s changed. We’ve not been hit by the big European heatwave, for which I’m thankful, but it’s been sunny and warm for a few days now, with pleasantly cool mornings and sweaty evenings.

So, the dress… it’s a pattern that I fell for as soon as I knew about it, the Sun Dress by The Avid Seamstress. I’m a big fan of Lisa’s patterns and have made quite a few, starting with the City Trousers

Usually I sew quickly but for various reasons this dress has taken a while, working in bursts and then setting it aside. This morning I was watching the latest Sew the Trends video from The Fold Line and it prompted me to finish off what I had started some weeks ago.

I’ve used block printed cotton from Fibers to Fabric, which provides a rare opportunity to buy direct from the manufacturer and to know that production is ethically and environmentally sound. It’s lightweight but not too translucent and washes and dries beautifully.

The buttons come from my Granny’s extensive collection, much of which I inherited earlier this year. It’s a good way to remember her and sustain our precious textile heritage. I wonder from which garment they were once retrieved and saved for future use.

Deep blue vintage buttons with a gold border decoration are pictured on an indigo cotton background with block printed floral design in gold and pale pink
The pattern is quite straightforward, with darts in the bodice and pleats in the skirt to add shape. There’s a concealed zip in the back as well as the front button placket, and bands across the upper bust. For these I used a slightly heavier cotton fabric, left over from a recent project. It’s more stable and avoided the need for pattern matching!

Sun dress pictured on a dress form with another indigo block print cotton fabric hanging behind it

I moved the front of the straps slightly, towards the sides, to work better with my bras, and adjusted the angle at which they meet the band so that they sit better on my shoulders. Other than that I made no adjustments and sewed a straight size 2.

One hint: to avoid any confusion when attaching the bands and facings, I would recommend keeping each piece attached to the paper pattern until you sew it and ensuring that all the markings are correct. It could spare you a lot of frustration, believe me!

I’m absolutely delighted with the dress and, having tried it on, don’t want to take it off again. What more could you want?

Eleanor wears a block printed sun dress with gold and pink bouquets of flowers on an indigo background. It has a band across the bodice, a button front and pleated skirt. She is standing in a garden on a sunny day

4 thoughts on “Slow, slow, quick, quick, sew

  1. Such a beautiful dress! I’ve been praying for you and thinking of you – your positivity and focus throughout all of the surgeries etc has been very inspiring, and your honesty is so refreshing, too. I’m so glad you could make something that you can feel beautiful in, it’s so elegant but also looks as though it would be super comfortable! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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