The Summer Dress for Winter | Veronica Darling
Fabric: Floral knit fabric, thrifted, $2
Pattern: Sew U Home Stretch, Built by Wendy, with self drafted sleeves
Notions: Elastic, from the stash, $0.20
Time to complete: 40 minutes
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Yes, it's so comfy!
Total Cost: ~$2.20
It'll be the first week of winter in Melbourne for me here in Australia, so the idea of the perfect summer dress could be wishful thinking! However, when this theme was first mentioned, I was really excited because I knew we'd be going to my brother's wedding in Far North Queensland's Magnetic Island! It was a perfect opportunity to make a quick and easy casual dress, timely for my tropical holiday, but something that I can dream about wearing when our real summer rolls around.
For those of you who know Australia well, most of our population is spread north to south along the Eastern coast of the country, and typically the northern state of Queensland still has a winter with moderate temperatures but it's often dry and really pleasant, warm without the humidity. So Husbie and I were looking forward to our holiday to escape the chill of Melbourne.
Using my Built By Wendy Sew U: Home Stretch again (My Wendy Bird dress, during the Mother's Day theme, was also from this book) for this thrifted floral stretch knit, meant this dress was made in 40 minutes! I had hardly any fabric, as it was a piece I found recently at the op shop, so most of that time was working out my pattern piece placement (say that quickly!).
It was just enough fabric for a baby doll type dress (I used the Project #3 Dress: The Pretty Baby-doll pattern in Wendy's Book), but with built in sleeves (self drafted after realising my lack of fabric for even the separate sleeve pieces), so once I'd cut, it only took 15 minutes of sewing time. Gosh, stretch fabric can be so rewarding! I have a gorgeous project completed before an episode of Project Runway finishes!
The project #3 pattern in Wendy's book asks you to use elastic along the neckline, instead of the usual binding t shirt technique (if you've read the book, you'll know what I mean, sorry I'm not so good at explaining!). At first I was like, nup, I should skip it because it probably can quickly become tricky and look messy. But, I am trying to be more daring this year, and I also didn't have any spare fabric to do the binding the usual way Wendy suggests for her t shirt dresses.
But, I dared this time, and it wasn't difficult and the results are neat and not at all awkward! Amazing! Sewing with knits, I do use an overlockeer, but this neckline asks you to zig zag the elastic to the dress, then turn it under and topstitch the elastic (which forms a little casing I guess), and I was surprised at how neat my straight stitch machine worked it.
I know this length dress might be a little short for some of you, but for me, I'm daring with my sewing and my skirt length this week! Especially when the weather in Queensland is this good! Back in Melbourne I plan to wear this summer dress over wintery tights and a long sleeve t shirt & cardigan so I don't have to wait til summertime!
But, why did we venture out along these rocks on Magnetic Island? To show you international friends the darling Rock Wallabies! They are so friendly!
Wallabies are smaller than kangaroos, and just as cute, especially since this wallaby is all sleepy from the midday sun! Whilst they aren't tame creatures, they are used to visitors along this coastal park area, and don't mind posing for photos!
Until next week! xo