Autumn is always a time of transition. Leaves fall, temperatures chill, and babies take over your life.
Or, perhaps, that last one is only me. We welcomed our darling daughter in September and life is currently a whirlwind of diaper changes, gummy smiles, and tiny pink outfits. For me, the last six weeks have also meant navigating postpartum body changes. My measurements change hourly and my closet is a minefield of garments that are too big there, too small here. Even my library of previously adjusted, tried-and-true patterns are completely useless, until things settle out.
Which means…time to try a new pattern! It’s hard to complain about such things, isn’t it? For my first spot of post-baby sewing, I chose the Ebony Dress from Closet Case Files. This knit swing dress features a simple, unfitted silhouette and wide, swishy hemline. Minimal fitting or fussing required. As someone with dramatically yo-yo-ing measurements and practically nonexistent free time, that’s ideal. While I can’t wait to sew with wovens again, easing back in with knits was more practical.
Since this is such a simple pattern, fabric choice was key. To take advantage of that draped silhouette, I chose this Purple Stretch Bamboo Jersey from Mood Fabrics. In reality, the color is more fuschia pink than purple, but the fabric is absolutely sublime. Fluid, silky, and heavy enough not to show every tiny lump and bump underneath, it’s everything you could want in a knit dress fabric. The faint sheen on the jersey’s surface also lends a bit of elegance to a simple knit garment, which I adore. This dress works with floral keds and sunglasses just as well as heels and a smart belt.
Before I sewed up the pattern, I did take a few small adjustments. (Perfectionism is a hard habit to kick, y’all!) To better suit this dress to my style, I narrowed the upper bodice through the waist, reducing the ease enough to streamline that part of the silhouette. It’s still forgiving in fit, but not so voluminous. Then, I dipped the hem in front, to mirror the look of the back. That gives the skirt even more movement and shows of the drape of the fabric beautifully.
Sewing this dress up was a snap! It’s entirely constructed on my serger, except for the hemline, and finished with simple self-fabric bands along the neckline and armscyes. Bamboo jersey is on the slippery side, so you have to take extra care when cutting out the pattern, but it sews up without issue. On the hem, I used fusible knit webbing to stabilize things and prevent a wavy stitch from ruining that gorgeous fall of fabric.
While this dress wouldn’t be ideal for most autumnal climates, it’s perfect for a Texas fall. We bounce between a sunny, eighty degrees and chilly, rainy coat weather almost daily. This dress bounces just as easily from breezy tent dress to a chic, drapey piece to layer with boots and an emerald wool cardigan. What’s more, it fits every single time I put it on. Six weeks after the arrival of the wee miss, such a reliable piece is rare, indeed!