Good morning, Mood Fabrics! As you read this, I am probably in a blissful food stupor somewhere in eastern Georgia. My husband and I are staying on his uncle’s farm this weekend, celebrating that wonderful man’s sixtieth birthday with family, friends, and obscene amounts of barbeque. As this is a special occasion, I needed a party dress! Mood was, as ever, full of gorgeous fabrics up to the task.
Once I saw this apple-and-ecru striped cotton from Marc Jacobs, I was in love. Does anything say summer quite as much as bold red stripes? A striped cotton dress is the ultimate in chic BBQ attire, which sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but this is the south. We tend to like dressing up, just as much as eating food outside. Even better this cotton has the crisp hand and weight of cotton poplin, which meant it could go unlined for a true summer-appropriate frock. I don’t know about y’all, but I try to wear as few layers as possible, when the summer sun starts blazing. Unlined, breezy cotton dresses are my summer uniform.
For this dress, I wanted to take advantage of these fabulous, wide stripes. I opted to pair the simple darted bodice of Simplicity 1873 with a wide pleated dirndl skirt, so the vertical stripes would take center stage. When using a busy or bold fabric, simple silhouettes can really keep you from getting lost among the pattern. For the skirt, I also decided to focus the pleats toward the side seams, to give it a swingy shape.
The only true hurdle in this dress was stripe matching. Wide stripes are easier to match than pin stripes, but they still make cutting out an adventure. I ended up getting a little match-happy, choosing to align the bodice to the skirt, the front to the back, and the side seams. It’s kind of silly when the skirt is going to be pleated anyhow, but look at how awesome those continuous stripes turned out! I am heartily patting myself on the back for this one.
In the end, this really is the perfect summer party dress. It’s light on the body, but still stands up to the heat and humidity. Plus, let’s be honest, bold stripes are a blast to wear. There’s no getting lost in a crowd, with this dress! In the spring, it will be so cute with a little navy cardigan and coordinated belt, as well. I am so looking forward to celebrating (and eating!) in this little piece.