houndstooth dress

Noah: Is that your new dress, Mommy?

Me: yes (grateful that I’m wearing a real garment instead of whatever summer heat has driven me to of late)

Noah: You look like the marshmallow.

Me: What? (plumbing the depths of 3 year old logic)….oh, right, the marshmallow.

My child, with his crazy memory for patterns of all sorts makes the connection to the beloved stuffed footstool that I silkscreened and sewed that we roll all over the basement.  I do not indeed look like an actual marshmallow.  Glad that he/I clarified that for me.

houndstooth dress

I’ve had this ITY in my stash for some time.  I bought it on a whim at fabric.com (when do you not buy on a whim at fabric.com?), happy to see one of my favorite patterns rendered in knit fabric.  When I got it, I was disappointed how thin it was and that it had almost a slinky texture to it.  I wanted to send it back but didn’t want to deal with it.  Instead I just put it off to the side somewhere.  When I came back to it, I concluded that I still love the pattern, and the blue is really lovely, so why not let it be a maternity dress?  It will get heavy use for the 1 or 2 seasons that I will use it for, and then I can pass it along.  Yes, my general preference is to make garments from nicer fabrics that will look nice for a long time, but periodically you just make a bad purchase, and it’s good to do make some quality lemonade out of it.

I pulled out Burda 6-2010-132 again because I had already made it and knew (in principle) that it worked for me.  The problem was I was never particularly thrilled with the fit of it…it seemed to pull away from my body along the sides.  I think my maternity strategy in the past has not been to sew for where you’re at but just to make everything enormous and hope for the best.  Ah, live and learn.

When I pulled out the tissue, I saw that I had traced a 34 in the neck and shoulders and a 38 below the armscye….no wonder.  32 is my magic Burda shoulder size, and after trying on the brown and aqua dress and confirming that it was indeed falling off my shoulders, I graded it down again to a 32 and came into a 36 on the sides through my torso and I kept the 38 in the hips.  I also did a small dartless FBA ala Louise Cutting (if you’re a Threads Insider, there’s a fantastic video for doing this–it allows you to add for the bust without adding to the waist or hips–awesome) to take care of the pregnancy crazy.

I just so happened to have the right color of blue to use as contrast (now I remember why I stocked up on solid knits).

My construction tip is to use quality clear elastic for the ruching in the side seams.  Shoot, use quality clear elastic whenever there’s gathered bits.  Monkeying around with it is worth the momentary frustration–it’s simpler, more even, stronger, and much better looking than anything you do with multiple rows of gathered stitches.

That silly empire line definitely makes me feel pregnant, but I’m nearly 26 weeks, so maybe it’s time, and maybe it’s okay.  At least I don’t look like an actual marshmallow.  As for the fabric–it sewed up really just fine, and once I put a slip under the dress, it’s quite lovely and feels as nice as any other ITY.

My full review of the dress is here.

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6 Comments

  1. Ha, the marshmallow comment would certainly be alarming! Very impressive that he can distinguish houndstooth at such a young age–you have a budding fabric enthusiast on your hand. How well I relate to the disappointment of an impulse fabric from Fabric.com, but this is really adorable lemonade.

  2. It’s super cute! And looks really comfy. The bright blue houndstooth is quite cheery, too.

  3. Pingback: Fringe collar dress | The Monthly Stitch

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