The Big Bang Dress and Cardigan

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

Hello everyone!  It’s nice to be here with you all again!  After taking a few months away from the Mood Sewing Network so that I could focus on my new baby, I really wanted to come back with a big bang.  I’d been keeping up with the Mood Fabrics New Arrivals page, and when this galaxy poly print from Mood Fabrics popped up, I knew it would be a stellar choice for my first MSN garment post baby.

Haha!  Too much?!  Big bang… Galaxy print… Stellar?! Also, please tell me I’m not the only one who regularly checks the Mood Fabrics New Arrivals page?

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

At first I didn’t have a particular pattern in mind.  All I knew was that I wanted to make a dress so that I could take full advantage of the panels that I ordered.   I ended up choosing the Sewaholic Saltspring pattern since I thought the poly chiffon would work well with its drape and gathers.  Plus, as a nursing mom I quickly learned that dresses are not inherently breastfeeding friendly, but the Saltspring pattern has ties at the shoulder that provide access where access is needed, if you get my meaning!

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

After I’d chosen a pattern but before I’d gotten to any actual sewing, I learned through the power of Instagram that Sally of The Quirky Peach had squeezed a simple and elegant tee out of one panel of this print.  I’d worried a bit about how well the poly would sew and press since I tend to sew with natural fibers, but Sally had nothing but positive things to say when I asked her about her experiences.  I used my regular machine on the top (since all of the seam allowances are hidden in the lining) and my serger on the skirt (since I didn’t really feel like going through the process of making a French seam for a polyester dress), and the fabric behaved perfectly in both machines.  The little straps were even easy to turn as long as I took a big enough bite of fabric with the safety pin before trying to thread it through.

Since the poly chiffon is sheer, I chose to line both the bodice and the dress with a lovely dark purple silk crepe de chine from Mood.  I hoped purple would help the stars pop while being a bit more interesting than black.  The exact purple silk is no longer online, but this one is pretty much the same.  The Saltspring pattern doesn’t come with instructions or pattern pieces for lining the skirt, so I just repeated the main skirt pieces, removing 4″ from the hem so the sheerness of the poly chiffon could show through at the bottom of the skirt, and then sewed the top of the lining to the top of the main skirt before attaching both to the top. I hemmed both by pressing up 1/4″ twice and then topstitching.

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

It’s been kind of chilly here in Seattle lately, so I wanted something warmer to pair with my new dress.  Mood had (yes, past tense, but other Thakoon fabrics can be found here) this amazing coral sweatshirt knit that Thakoon used for a loose-fitting short sleeved sweatshirt (and Lori from MSN and Girls in the Garden used for a fitted long-sleeved sweatshirt), but I was thinking more of a versatile cardigan wrap.  I figured the right pattern could make it wear like a sweatshirt (a must these days when I’m baby wrangling) but still work with dresses like this one.  Plus, the back of the fabric has this lovely nubby texture that I wanted to peek out through the long folds of a cardigan wrap.

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

This cardigan was a really fast make because I sewed every seam on my serger and left all of the edges raw. I used the StyleArc Nina Cardigan pattern, my first ever attempt at a StyleArc pattern.  The shoulders are looking a bit too wide in these photos, something I didn’t notice when I was making the cardigan, so I’m not sure if I need to watch that when making future StyleArc patterns or if it’s simply that the cardigan has stretched out a bit because I’ve worn it nearly every day for a week.  It’s in the wash right now, and I’m going to make sure to check the fit as soon as it comes out of the dryer!

Sew Well - Saltspring Dress and Nina Cardigan made with Mood Fabrics.

Life as a new mom has been quite hectic these last few months, but I’m really looking forward to posting regularly again here at MSN.  Though I’ve long since forgotten what it means to sleep through the night, baby girl and I have gotten into enough of a routine that I can regularly sneak time in front of my sewing machine, and I’ve had several months to dream up lots of things that I want to sew.  I’m looking forward to seeing you here again next month!

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Comments


  • Carly
    June 25, 2014

    Congratulations and welcome back. I never would have thought to put coral with the galaxy print, but your outfit looks fabulous.

    • Sew Well
      June 25, 2014

      Thanks! I wanted to pull out a fun summer color since I worried the dark print of the dress wouldn’t feel very summery. I couldn’t pass up the fun coral sweatshirt fabric!

  • Lauren
    June 25, 2014

    Oh my GOD, Amy, I love this! What a fabulous print and dress- you look great! Now I wish id picked up these fabrics when I had the chance 🙂 great job, as always! And welcome back! 😀

    • Sew Well
      June 25, 2014

      Thanks! I’ve been catching up on my MSN posts, and I read your complaint about cherry prints always being in chiffon. I just had to make this one work though, chiffon or no, because I’ve wanted to sew with a galaxy print for so long!

  • SO GLAD to see you back!!! Love the dress and cardi combo. I totally know what you mean about most dresses not being nursing friendly, and I always miss them when I’ve got a new baby around.

    • Sew Well
      June 25, 2014

      Right?! I can wear so few dresses these days. I couldn’t wait to find the time to sew one that could actually work with baby. I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve worn this outfit since I finished it a week or so ago!

  • Amy
    June 25, 2014

    WOWEE KAPOWEEEE I love it

  • Sarah Gunn
    June 25, 2014

    Welcome back, Amy! You certainly came back with a bang and I’m looking forward to seeing more clothes from Sew Well. Very cute dress 🙂

    • Sew Well
      June 26, 2014

      Thanks Sarah! I’m hoping this is the first of many handmade garments post-baby!

  • Chris
    June 25, 2014

    hmmm… posting a link to MOOD new arrivals page when I’m on a Stashbusting, no new fabric for 3 months fast? That’s just CRUEL! 🙂

    Love your Big Bang Dress and Cardigan, though…

    • Sew Well
      June 26, 2014

      Hahahaha! Sorry. I also stopped buying fabric for the past few months since I didn’t have much time to sew, and I found that my desire to browse fabric online went way up. Online window shopping!

  • Lori
    June 25, 2014

    I love this dress and cardigan, they look amazing on you. I am so happy to see you back here at Mood and motherhood suits you. You look stunning and have such a glow.

    • Sew Well
      June 26, 2014

      Thanks! I feel soooooo tired! But, I am really enjoying this new phase in my life.

  • oonaballoona
    June 26, 2014

    oooo lookit all that COLOR! motherhood and your “months away” (read: working your butt off) have paid off. you look joyous!

    • Sew Well
      June 26, 2014

      Thanks! You know, it is a lot of color. Almost an Oona amount of color! Maybe to balance the gray Seattle days?!

  • Peter
    June 26, 2014

    Welcome back, Amy! Love the ensemble and that galaxy print is awesome. Great job!

    • Sew Well
      June 26, 2014

      Thanks Peter! I’ve been catching myself up this week, and you guys have all been making such amazing things. The pressure is on 😉

  • Sallie
    June 26, 2014

    Weeee!!!! Welcome back Amy!! It’s so nice to see your face and hear (er… read?) your voice again! And I just love this galaxy print saltspring dress on you! You look phenomenal, and I can definitely see how practical those tie shoulders are! And that coral cardigan is just so bright and happy! Loving all the color here, you look wonderful!

    • Sew Well
      June 26, 2014

      Thanks! What wonderful things to say. I was worried not having slept through the night once in over five months would show in my photos, but you guys have all been so positive! Thank you!

  • Ginger
    June 26, 2014

    It’s so nice to have you back! Love this outfit!!!

  • kati
    June 26, 2014

    Gorgeous outfit! And kudos to nursing-friendly growing-galaxy dresses. You look radiant in it.

    • Sew Well
      June 26, 2014

      Thanks Kati! I think it must be the bright colors that bring out the radiance. That coral in particular is so fun!

  • Cennetta
    June 26, 2014

    Welcome back Amy! I really like your come back outfit. Your dress fabric is awesome.

    • Amy
      June 27, 2014

      Thanks Cennetta! I’m so happy to be back. Now I just have to keep up with everyone else! 🙂

  • Diana
    June 26, 2014

    Congratulations and welcome back. What a great comeback outfit you’ve produced ! Really looks great on you.

    • Amy
      June 27, 2014

      Thanks Diana!

  • Fiona
    June 28, 2014

    Welcome back Amy! What a wonderful make to come back with! I love how you cut the lining shorter to make use of the sheer quality of the fabric and that pink paired with it is just perfect!

    • Amy
      July 4, 2014

      Thanks! The sheer hem is one of my favorite details as well!

  • Rose Britton
    June 30, 2014

    Marvelous outfit! And the practicality of the tie straps on the dress is wonderful!

    • Amy
      July 4, 2014

      Thanks! The tie straps have come in handy so far!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    July 2, 2014

    Welcome back! I’m so glad you are finding time to sew and these makes are just lovely!

    • Amy
      July 4, 2014

      Thanks! But, I haven’t seemed to get my routine completely down. There’s been no sewing for over a week thanks to visitors and summer fun! At least those are good excuses!