Saturday, July 23, 2022

meadow shelby dress

I have a few handmade items to share from our recent trip! First up is the dress I wore for the rehearsal dinner. This is the Shelby Dress and Romper pattern by True Bias. The pattern includes a dress or romper in mid-thigh or mid-calf; I opted for the short dress version. The pattern is described as "a serious nod to the 90s with a modern fit." I like to read other sewists' reviews of a pattern before I sew it, so i can see what kind of fit adjustments are common and get ideas for fabrics. I found a lot of dresses sewn up in true 90s fashion: ditsy florals styled with Doc Martens. (I also found one blogger who was especially excited to try this style because she wasn't alive in the 90s. We won't discuss how old this made me feel.) I didn't want to go full-on ditsy floral so I chose this more modern Meadow print rayon from Art Gallery Fabrics. (Do you recognize this fabric? I already made a Biscayne Blouse from it!)
After my experience fitting the princess-seamed bodice of the Jessica dress, I thought it would be wise to sew a muslin of this dress. I also wanted to check the length since the “mini” version looked a smidge shorter than my preference but is designed for a model about 3” taller. I made a 4 in the bust graded to a 6 in the waist and hip based on my measurements of 34"-29"-35". Fortunately the bodice and length fit well. The only issue (and it was a big issue) was that I could barely move my arms. I did anticipate this issue based on Heidi’s review of this pattern, looking at the fit on other sewists, and the fact that my upper arms are proportionally large compared with the rest of my bodice measurements.

I removed the sleeves to verify that the bodice and armscyes fit well (they did), and the only issue was the sleeve fit. I modified the sleeves to have a shallower sleeve cap using a really helpful blog post on Ikat Bag about sleeve drafting. It demonstrates different sleeve shapes by fitting paper tube "sleeves" onto a tissue box "torso." I added a bit of ease to the bicep, 1/2" of length to the sleeves, and a tiny bit of ease to the seams in the upper back bodice.
I added a pocket (using the pattern piece from the Suki Robe) and followed a pocket assembly tutorial from @birdy_sew_obsessed, featured on her Instagram stories. It resulted in a nicer finish of the inside seams and was pretty easy to execute. I also extended the waist ties so they can wrap around the front and give the effect of a belt. Lastly, I raised the v-neck 1.5” to prevent it from gaping when I inevitably bend over to pick up kids or toys.
Because this dress is short and made from a very lightweight, floaty material, I was a bit concerned about the effects of a sudden breeze on my skirt! I decided to make some navy undershorts using the free Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs pattern (size small, shorties length.) I sewed these up in just one evening using a poly/spandex knit from Joann. This pattern is a keeper; I'd definitely use it again for leggings.
The shorties actually came in super helpful while we were getting ready for the wedding the next day. Due to her growing baby bump changing the placement of her dress slit, the Maid of Honor was showing a bit more skin than desired. The shorts matched her navy dress well and prevented any wardrobe malfunctions!
Remember that family photo we took at the rehearsal dinner? We liked it a lot so we turned it into a puzzle for Batman's birthday. Here's what my dress looks like as puzzle pieces!

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