Hey friends! Hope everyone is having a great February so far. It’s been such a mild winter here that I’ve pretty much given up on cold weather sewing and have begun to work towards spring. However I have a few more transitional items to share with y’all before it’s all said and done! I’ve been on a mission to add some long sleeve dresses to my wardrobe for the cooler months, and this most recent make for the Mood Sewing Network is my latest attempt!
I’m always drawn to prints when I fabric shop – sometimes the weirder the better! This Deep Forest Abstract Viscose-Cotton Jersey Knit Panel print caught my eye a bit ago on Mood Fabrics online store. I loved that it felt simultaneously organic and futuristic with a generous helping of Art Nouveau. It’s a really interesting knit, too. The patterned side is actually looped, like a terry cloth, while the wrong side is smooth and white. It has a moderate amount of stretch in both directions, but it’s not crazy stretchy. It’s nice and opaque too, and not too clingy – perfect for a winter dress!
I’ve never really worked with panel prints before, so this was a nice little challenge for me. One of the biggest decisions I had to make was print placement. My original idea was to put the faded out black area at the waist, as I thought that might be flattering. But a quick draping on my dress form showed me that wasn’t the case. Here’s a tip for you guys – if you’re trying to decide on print placement, drape the fabric on a form, or yourself, and take a picture. I find that looking at a photograph of the print placement helps me focus on the overall effect, whereas when I’m just looking in the mirror, or moving pattern pieces around on the fabric I tend to get lost in the details. And if you’re working with a print with a lot of bold colors I find it also helps to make the photo black and white, that way you can just pay attention to what the pattern is doing, and not get lost in a sea of color!
Because of the nature of this print, I didn’t worry too much about matching my side seams. It would have been impossible anyway. I was more concerned with making sure the horizontal lines of the pattern worked all the way around the dress, and placing the larger pattern elements on my body in a way that I thought worked the best. I really love the back view!
I really love wrap dresses! So feminine! So flattering! For this pattern I actually did a rub-off of an old wrap dress I’ve had in my closet for ages. It seemed to have a similar amount of stretch so I thought it would work well as a pattern for this fabric. The majority of the dress was sewn on my serger with the neck binding, cuffs, hem and waist tie opening all sewn on my sewing machine using my favorite triple-step stretch stitch. I added elastic along the front neckline edges, inside the binding, to both keep the neckline held snugly against my body, and also to prevent this area from stretching out over time, which is a problem I’ve had with previous wrap dresses I’ve made.
All in all I am really in love with this dress! The print makes it a real show-stopper, and the wrap dress in a comfy knit makes for a super comfortable wear! I’ve already worn it to a few work events and received a lot of compliments on it. I know it will be one I reach for again and again!
Are you guys more drawn to prints or solids when you shop for fabric?