Ombre Striped Jersey Dress

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

I’ve wanted to make this dress ever since I first started seeing Marcy Tilton’s shingle dress (Vogue V8904) pop up around the sewing blogging world. I had my heart set on making it out of stripes since I loved the way the design of the pattern made them play this way and that. Then, Goodbye Valentino made the exact dress I’d been dreaming of for her July MSN make out of a navy and white striped cotton jersey (the same one I used for the bottom layer, which no longer appears to be available online at Mood Fabrics). I figured all of you would rather not see the same dress here twice, but I already had the pattern and I just had to have the dress, so I went back to my place of inspiration – Mood’s extensive online jersey fabric collection – for more ideas. Did you know they currently have over 1,500 jersey fabrics listed? Yeah. Since that was a bit much, I narrowed my search to just Mood’s striped jerseys using their pattern search criteria.

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

As I browsed through their striped jerseys trying to think of creative ways to make this dress unique, it struck me that Mood had several some-shade-of-blue-and-white striped jerseys – aqua, cyan, regatta, and navy (no longer available, but this orchid would probably look just as nice) – all of which had similar stripe widths. The same was true for reds and pinks as well, but I’m more of a blue person thanks in large part to my husband being colorblind. I guess blue can be very vibrant to red-green colorblind people (supposedly Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind, which is why Facebook is blue), so anytime I wear something blue, my husband is guaranteed to give me some sort of wonderful compliment (spoiler: this dress was no exception!). Anyway, I realized I could layer them all together to make an ombre striped jersey dress, and the idea for this particular dress was born.

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

For the most part working with these fabrics was easy. That said, I got a bit thrown off by the cyan tier, the one right around my waist (if you can call a baby bump a waist!). It has a bit of poly in it, which gave it a slightly different hand than the other fabrics, all of which were 100% cotton. My first time making this dress, I was rushing since I just had to wear it during a girls’ weekend retreat. When I tried on the dress after serging the side seams, I found that the cyan tier was bagging quite a bit. I then made mistake after mistake trying to fix it. The resulting dress ended up pretty tight with slightly wonky side seams, and I never was brave enough to pull it out of my weekend bag when I was with my girl friends.

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

When I got home from the weekend retreat, I vowed to remake the dress. Each shingle takes up a tiny bit of fabric, and I had just enough for a second dress. The dress is made by stitching each of the shingles to a full length base layer, and this time around I stretched the cyan layer just a little bit when I was pinning it to the base layer so that it would be more taut. I also stitched the side seams together using my machine’s longest stitch length so that I could try it on and fix any issues before running the side seams through my serger.

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

I was also hoping to match up the stripes at the side seams, so I pinned like crazy after carefully aligning all the notches, but things must have shifted while I was stitching each tier to the base layer. Most match up, but there are a few places where the stripes are really off! Maybe a walking foot would have helped? I could have ripped the long machine stitches out, but the cyan layer was behaving otherwise, and I kept having flashbacks to when I kept making things worse with all my efforts to “fix” round one of this dress. So, I left it with the stripes matching in some places but in others not so much.

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

Though I’d sewn a tiny hem on each tier when I made round one of this dress, this time I left all of the hems raw. I worried that hemming may have led to stretching which may have added to the cyan layer mishap last time around. Plus, the pattern suggests leaving the edges raw, and who am I to argue with Marcy Tilton? Each layer rolls a bit at the hem, but I like the casualness it adds.

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

I made one other change this time around. Instead of hemming the neckline and armholes with narrow bands of jersey like I’d done for round one, I took advantage of the base layer and hemmed both the neck and armholes by stitching the outer layer to the base layer right sides together before stitching either the shoulder seams or the side seams. When the pieces were turned right sides out, they made a perfectly neat hem. I got the idea from Goodbye Valentino’s MSN make earlier this week (this dress might as well be called the “Ombre Striped Jersey Dress Inspired by Goodbye Valentino”!), and then I realized I’d used a similar technique when previously making a Drape Drape dress. I understitched as far as I could on each section so that the base layer would stay hidden, and that was that. I quite like the nice finish!

striped jersey dress Mood Fabrics

Even though this dress took me longer to make than expected, Seattle seems to be enjoying a long, warm summer, so there’s still at least a few weeks left for me to wear this dress this year. Thankfully, one of the beauties of a jersey dress is that the weather will likely give out before this dress can no longer accommodate my growing baby belly. There’s still plenty of stretch to go around!

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Comments


  • oonaballoona
    September 13, 2013

    that dress is So. Much. FUN! your husband’s most sighted hue is gorgeous on you :)

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Thanks! I think it’s quite fun as well! And, it does work out that blue is a color I enjoy wearing quite a lot, too!

  • Angela
    September 13, 2013

    How fun! That is interesting about the red-green colorblindness and blue being particularly vibrant. I am one of the somewhat rare colorblind women, and indeed I am quite drawn to blues! Reds and greens… well, who knows exactly what I miss since I’ve never known differently. It does mean I tend to be very conservative when I dress since I’m never exactly sure what others see! LOL!!

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Oooh! A color-blind woman! That means your dad must be color blind and your mom must have been a carrier! I just love genetics. I think I must drive my husband mad asking him what such-and-such looks like to him. The other day I figured out mustard looks a bit green to him! I think it’s fascinating to realize that each of us sees the world in our own unique way.

  • carolyn roemer
    September 13, 2013

    I have made this dress also, in fact two of them. One using a ponte base. Very warm dress, but sleeveless. And the other a four way stretch. I hope it doesn’t sag. but having sent it to my daughter already I’ll never have to face the problem. I told her to cut it off where needed! The beauty is no hemming.

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Yes, the no hemming was a treat. I think I might try that out on future knits. I’ve never sewn with ponte, but I know Mood has a great selection, so it’s definitely on my list. I’ll have to remember this pattern when I do!

  • Jessica
    September 13, 2013

    Very pretty, I’m glad you gave it a second go!

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Thanks! Me, too!

  • Kay
    September 13, 2013

    You look so nice in it!

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Thanks Kay!

  • Lori
    September 14, 2013

    This is so amazing, I love the different colors of stripe on each layer. Baby bump for the waist, I had to read that a couple of times to get the announcement, congratulations. You look fantastic.

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Ahh, yes, I haven’t made any sort of formal announcement. I figure people are bound to notice eventually! And, thanks!

  • Sarah Gunn
    September 14, 2013

    Perfect, Amy! I’m flattered for whatever inspiration I may have given you too.
    I love your mix of stripes which you wear so well! ….. and I think this pattern could be a great maternity pattern if made with a four-way stretch pattern. You look really cute!

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Thanks Sarah! I am very glad your dress pushed me to think beyond my original idea. Not that I wouldn’t have loved to make your exact dress, but it’s always fun to use fabrics to be a bit unique!

  • Sarah Gunn
    September 14, 2013

    I meant to say 4-way stretch fabric :)

  • ThisisCarrie
    September 14, 2013

    The dress is so great and hopefully it stretches enough that you can wear it for a little while to show off that adorable baby bump. Congrats!

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      I think it’ll stretch for a decent while. That said, each week my belly is growing much faster than seems possible!

  • JODIE HICKMAN
    September 14, 2013

    I LOVE your dress. I have been wanting to make this dress. Yours makes me want to even more. I love how you matched up your blues.

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Thanks Jodie! You should definitely make this dress. And, go for it in blue stripes as well. Pick one shade or make each different like I did. I think it could also look cool if you made the five-layered shingle dress and put the darkest shade around the waist and radiated lighter above and below. I also want to see it in shades of red… So many possibilities!

  • Ginger
    September 15, 2013

    I love this! It’s so cool– the ombre stripes look great!

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Thanks Ginger!

  • Amanda S.
    September 15, 2013

    LOVE IT! Great idea to do an ombre effect. Congratulations on the baby bump! I can’t wait to see all the fun maternity clothes you’ll make!

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      I’ve just started pulling out patterns that seem to be okay for maternity and matching them to fabrics on the Mood site. Hopefully I’ll get a few good maternity outfits in!

  • ksgentry
    September 15, 2013

    I have that pattern in my ever growing pattern stash, and I have always thought I was going to do it in solid knits but after seeing your dress I am rethinking my idea. What a cute play on the stripes! And it looks adorable on you. Well designed and well done.

    • Amy
      September 16, 2013

      Thanks! You should definitely make this pattern up. And, I think you could get by with making it in both stripes and solids without it feeling like you have too much of the same in your closet. They both look very different, particularly in the different length options.

  • Lauren
    September 16, 2013

    I’m so glad you re-did this, because it turned out really pretty! And OMGGGG look at your cute little baby bump! Oh god it’s killing me with cute :D

    • Amy
      September 24, 2013

      Thanks Lauren! And, you should see the bump now. I swear it grows daily.

  • Chris Johnson
    September 17, 2013

    Your dress and valentino’s are fabulous and imspirational. I am just starting to make this pattern in long sleeves for fall/winter with cotton knit fabric. I was thinking I’d serge the side seams as you did, but I wasn’t sure if this would add too much bulk with the cotton knit layers. What do you think? Also, the neck edge idea is grand! Did you serge it too? I am learning a lot from this network of sewers.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Amy
      September 24, 2013

      Hi Chris – Sorry it’s taken me a week to get back to you. I don’t mind the serged edges on the side seams. They feel nice and sturdy, which is good because my expanding belly is giving them a pretty good test these days! As for the neckline, I just staystitched and then used my regular machine to stitch the two layers together. I didn’t want the ridge there from the serged edge. Good luck!