A Tropical Chambray Dress for Spring
Good evening, friends! Spring has finally arrived in Texas and with it have come my longings for flirty, feminine pastel dresses. Suddenly, all I want to wear are candy colored dresses with sweet, unexpected details. You wouldn’t believe the number of ridiculously frilly Anthropologie numbers I’ve pinned lately. To quench this sartorial impulse, I ordered a length of gorgeous chambray from Mood Fabrics, in the “Paradise Pink Orange” colorway. Believe the description, kittens. In person, this chambray is a very tropical color–bright pink yarn mixing with white for a perfect flamingo color. Maybe it’s my Florida roots speaking, but I adore it.
This spft chambray is also a lovely weight for springtime dresses. It has a gorgeous drape and opaque weave, so it’s great candidate for camp shirts or swirling, unlined sundresses. Wanting just such a dress, I picked up a copy of McCall’s 6953, a sweet little sundress. This pattern features a princess-seamed bodice, with cup size choices (woohoo!), a pleated skirt with three length options, and half lining finish out. With its swishy skirt and close-fitting bodice, it took advantage of that lovely, fluid body of this chambray. For the bodice lining, I used a white-and-pink pin dot cotton batiste from my stash, for hidden bit of cute.
As most chambrays, this one did have a tendency to unravel a bit, while I worked with. I highly recommend keeping a bit of Fray Check at the ready, for chambray projects, and that you finish the seams just as soon as they are sewn together. My serger is sadly on the fritz right now, so mine were all pinked and are holding up brilliantly with that rudimentary finish. Otherwise, this fabric and pattern were a dream to work with. The chambray presses up up well, which made sewing those princess seams a cinch, and the skirt is exactly the full, but still airy feeling I wanted. Don’t you just love how softly those pleats fall? It feels so romantic and feminine on, I swear.
I did alter the pattern in quite a few places, most of which I’ll further detail on my blog, but there are two obvious ones to mention here. First off, I subbed in a hand-picked lapped zipper for the closure, instead of an invisible zipper. I’ve had one too many broken invisible zipper crises, these past few months, including last month’s beloved cheetah skirt. I’m giving them a break for awhile, until the sight of one doesn’t make me want to start setting zippers aflame. The lapped zipper went in beautifully, for this dress, and is practically invisible in the chambray. Secondly, I added a trio of floral Liberty covered buttons down the front of the dress. This was a last minute design choice, just to add a bit of extra visual interest. With a fabric this pretty, details like this really bump a dress from everyday casual to a special piece. I love how the floral print pops against that pink! So–Say it with me now!–springy.
In the end, I absolutely love this dress. It will be perfect for spring parties and daytime weddings, but will dress down well for daily wear, with a cardigan and flats. Mostly though, I just want eighty more garments made from chambray. It’s so soft and beautiful! I may be ordering more of this fabric, for a button down or two. Perhaps in black or Caroline orange? We shall see…