The “School Spirit” Dress

The Facts
Fabric: Two knit remnants, about $3 each
Pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2011 (dress with gathered rectangle skirt and cap sleeves)
Year: Contemporary
Notions: Bias tape
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: For weekend errands
Wear again? For sure
Total Price: about $12

I really love Pantone’s colors for spring 2012, and happen to have a lot of fabric that fits the palette. so this was fun. It was tough, though, to settle on a combination. In the end, I went with the tangerine because there’s not much – if any – of it in my closet already.

I wanted an easy-to-wear, dress-up/dress-down dress for warmer weather, and I’m happy with how this one came out.

The pattern isn’t designed for knits, so I traced it without adding seam allowances. This probably wasn’t the best way to go about things, but luckily, it worked out. Mostly. I failed to think about how my shortcut would affect the neckline, and now it’s just shy of too low for me to feel comfortable wearing.

Otherwise, working with the fabric wasn’t as difficult as I had myself convinced it was going to be.

I followed this helpful tutorial to add some cockatoo-colored flat piping at the waist seam. Although I do like the contrast, I don’t love it right at my hips, so I’ll probably remove it after all. Maybe it would look better at the neck? I’m also not sure how I feel about the hem: It seems either not quite long enugh or not quite short enough – but perhaps I’m just not used to seeing myself in something calf-length?

I work at a university where students and employees are encouraged to wear orange – the school color - on Fridays. Under a blazer, I think this could be just right.

Author

Jennifer T.

Jenn Torres lives right in the middle of California. Sewing is one of the things she's trying to get better at.

13 Comments

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  1. Ooo I like the stripes! And the aqua band adds a little interest too. If you had a few accessories that matched it exactly you might like it better. Well done!

  2. Hey Jennifer, I think the dress looks great on you. Did you see what Veronica did to the Better Betty Dress for MadMen, I bet you could add a piece like that to the top to add coverage. It’s a great dress to wear for spring.

  3. Sweet – perfect for warmer weather.

  4. Nice work Jennifer. The perfect Summer dress.

  5. I like the color combinations, and the top is cute, no need to alter. I agree with you on the skirt, I think it should be a little shorter and the waist brought up a bit.

  6. I think it’s very cute on you, but if you aren’t comfortable in it, you should make it so you love it. Maybe if you shorten the hem a bit, you could add some of the solid orange around the neckline to bring it up to a level you will feel good in? I just love the color combination, it’s very flattering on you.

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I’ve worn the dress a couple of times as-is – and it was fine, I just felt the teensiest bit self-conscious.

  7. Gorgeous! I also found the neckline very low when I made that pattern, even with a woven fabric. When I made it again I had to raise it by a good two inches. Having said that I don’t think it is indecently low on you and you can definitely get away with it.