I think we can all agree that for those of us who sew, there is a perpetual quest to make clothes that look presentable, high quality and stylish but which feel like we're swanning around in our pyjamas. In the world of dresses, nothing exemplifies this more than the t-shirt dress (except maybe the slip dress, but bear with me). Quick to cut, quick to sew and infinitely customisable. The t-shirt dress is a great thing. So when I finished this project and showed it to B, I was very proud when he finally said "I think you've made a nighty".
This dress was another palette cleanser project. I had the fabric for over a year. On our autumn 2019 trip to Japan, B picked it out of the remnant bin in one of the Tomato stores in Tokyo and I wasn't too keen on it. It's a knit with barely any stretch and no recovery. If it weren't striped I would have probably used it for shorts or culottes but bold stripes on that kind of garment isn't my vibe. I settled on a plan for a dress fairly quickly but never really had the time or desire to sew it up.
Roll around December 2020...
I searched a few Burdas for suitable patterns. My first design idea included a centre front placket and collar so the dress would reference polo shirts a little. My second design idea was an overlapped bateau neckline (a bit like my purple stripe jumper) but using some fancy ribbing from my summer myfabrics.co.uk haul. For this second design I planned to copy my sloper and make adjustments.
I started making this in that quiet gap between Christmas and going back to work. I wanted a 'no stakes' kind of project, which meant that I chose design idea #2 over tracing a Burda pattern. This is not high quality drafting or sewing, but it was quite fun to get out all of my rulers, tapes and pencils. I cut the sleeves according to how much fabric I had left.
I stitched up the ribbing and put the dress on my mannequin. It looked awful. The seam was scratchy and the ribbing pulled this weak dress fabric in all the wrong directions. With hindsight I shouldn't have tried to be clever with the shoulder seam as I drafted it badly. Oh well. I ripped it off and just bound the neckline using some jersey binding instead.
The seams are zig-zagged and then overlocked. There are no pockets because I didn't feel like adding them here. When we get another mega-heatwave I'm hoping this dress will prove its worth. Right now, I'm layering it with tights, fluffy slippers and a duvet.