What’s this? Two posts in one week?? Crazy times, I know! I’ve finally gotten my sew-jo back in full swing, thanks to my impending vacation to the east coast (i.e. time *not sewing*), and have been churning out garments like nuts. Today’s outfit is the first of two posts about the Outfit Along currently being hosted by Andi Satterlund and Lauren Taylor, which is a combination sew-along/knit-along designed to help participants create an entire outfit instead of just “orphan” pieces. Last year, I used my anniversary dress and shrug as my “cheater entry,” (it just so happened to satisfy the guidelines, which I realized after the fact!) but this year I wanted to really stay true to the challenge and create coordinating everyday garments. This was made more difficult by the fact that I didn’t want to have to purchase any new fabric or yarn, but I managed to put together an ensemble that I’m quite pleased with!
For the sewing portion, I chose to make another By Hand London Anna dress, using a gathered skirt instead of the six-panel skirt included in the pattern. My fabric was something truly special – a hand made wax print from Indonesia. A good friend of the family did some missionary work several years back in Indonesia, and she brought back several yards of gorgeous fabric for my mom. The fabric was eventually entrusted to me, provided I “make something really special with it.” So the fabric sat in my stash for about nine months before I had the courage to finally cut into it.
The fabric provided some interesting challenges – it was a border print, but the border was printed perpendicular to the selvage instead of parallel. Also, the flowers were printed along the lengthwise grain, so I had to get creative with my layout. First, I carefully cut the border panel off of the sides of the fabric, including seam allowances, so that I could attach them to the skirt later on. Next, I added 1/4″ to the side seams of the bodice, since the ease you typically get from cutting with the crosswise grain wouldn’t work with the print. I also took my time decided on the print placement – since the flowers are quite large, I knew their placement would make the dress either really stunning or really awkward! After much deliberation, I finally threw caution to the wind, cut it all out, and whipped it up in about two afternoons.
Since I wanted to make the dress extra special, I took my time with the details. I was careful to try to match the pattern across the back (it didn’t completely work, but I think it’s good enough!), and I even managed to include the “made in Indonesia” label that was printed into the fabric itself. I also used some stiff satin lining for the hem, since I wanted to give the skirt a little extra body. I like the little element of luxury it adds, too! (not to mention that it won’t stick to tights/leggings – a major pet peeve of mine!)
All in all, I’m really happy with how it came out! Next up, my knitted portion of the Outfit Along. Stay tuned! 🙂