The Big Bang Dress and Cardigan
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?
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!