Ever since I began sewing again last fall, I have loved pretty much everything from the French pattern company Deer and Doe, yet for some reason I’ve been too scared to make their dresses. Skirts, and even jackets, sure, but dresses? Eek. I’m not really sure why I have this phobia – they’re just too cute, it’s too good to be true if they’re easy, too? Maybe something like that. Anyhow, during my final days in Boston I did some pretty serious binge-shopping at Grey’s Fabric, including several Deer and Doe dress patterns, so now I have no excuse not to make them. It was time to take the plunge!
Another thing I bought during my Grey’s binge was some lovely Robert Kaufman dot chambray, which I immediately knew I wanted to make into a Reglisse dress. The full skirt, the neck ties, and the adorable silhouette have been calling to me for some time now, so I finally gave in. Of course, even after purchasing the pattern and the fabric, it took me a while to gather up the courage to actually sew the thing. But I finally did!
…and I love it!! It’s such an easy dress to wear, with the elastic waistband and loose fit, and yet it still feels so elegant I think it counts as “dressing up.” Sewing up the dress did have its challenges, of course. As an intermediate level pattern, the dress features a bias cut top, and has minimal instructions to boot, so I had my work cut out for me.
One of the big challenges for me was figuring out how to finish the seams. The fabric is a bit deceptive, which made it tricky. It looks and acts like a typical medium weight chambray, but it’s actually quite a light fabric! Serging just one layer of this fabric on the bias turned out to be a hot mess – the fabric was just too light weight, and the dot weave plus the bias edge meant that there were little threads poking out everywhere. With the help of my trusty Sewtionary (seriously, y’all, I can’t live without this book!!), I determined that the best way to finish the seams on the bias-cut edges was to turn them under and stitch:
When I was working with two or more layers of fabric, the serger did fine, so I used a three-thread overlock stitch for those sections:
I also used bias tape to hem the dress, as recommended in the pattern. I hadn’t done this before, but I loved the technique – it made hemming the deep curve of the circle skirt so much less painful! It also provides a little bit of body to the skirt, which I love.
Now that the dress is made, my big question is: to belt or not to belt?? At first I liked it better with the belt, but I feel like it hangs better without. What do you think?
Anyhow, I love that this dress is light and flowy, and yet the fabric choice still makes it feel like fall. And luckily, it’s still warm enough here to wear it! I have to say, I’ve taken quite a liking to San Francisco weather 8). Call me spoiled…