by Diva Ann, GorgeousThings
My friend Deepika gave me a pattern this past spring: New Look 6557. I decided recently to have a go at it after sewing for others for a while. The pattern is a very straightforward sun-dress, with a surplice bodice attached to a bias cut midriff band. I really like the cut, and I like to wear sun-dresses in the summer to parties and to sing in church. I hadn’t made myself a dress for summer for a couple of years, and I thought this would fit the bill nicely.
The First Version:
I went to Metro Textiles in NYC back in February, and my dear Kashi sold me some fabulous printed eyelet fabric, which I used to make the first version of the dress. Does the fabric ring a bell? Let me give you a small hint:
Check out the dress on the model on the left in the picture here. It’s my fabric! I’m going to assert bragging rights by saying that I got it before Simplicity did. They came in later the same day. Debra Kreiling at Simplicity – a lovely lady – says that Metro Textiles is their absolute favorite fabric vendor. Her words, not mine. So again I say, if you are in New York, definitely put Metro on your shopping stop list!
The Second Version:
The second version of this dress is a crisp cotton shirting stripe. I love the contrast between the two fabrics, and how they change the look of the dress completely. I also just love the clean look of the navy and white stripes. It speaks summer to me. I enjoy the technical challenges of working with stripes, and I like the design options that stripes present. In the case of this dress, I decided to cut the midriff band from two separate pieces of fabric so I could get a chevron effect. I also made sure that the stripes at the side seams on the skirt met in a chevron pattern. While this may sound like a lot of work, it really only took a few extra minutes. The results are worth it and take the resulting dress out of the “happy hands at home” realm. Actually, I have seen a lot of ready to wear that has mismatched stripes. So maybe it’s also the “not so happy hands on the shop-room floor”. Whatever, the extra time is well spent.
Fitting and Alterations:
From a fitting standpoint, this is looser than you would think. Normally I go up a size in the waist, tapering back at the hips. But because of the bias, this pattern has a lot of give at the waistline, and I didn’t need to do that. I also used a self fabric lining for the bodice, as opposed to “lining-lining”. I think it looks more professional that way, and I matched the stripes up perfectly sop there’s no show-through of the navy behind the white. Since this is a gathered bustline, adding for a larger size was a snap. I simply slashed the bodice piece from the bust point to the bottom and spread it the appropriate amount. That gave me the room I need.
This is a great dress that will stay wearable for summers to come. When I go on vacation to St. Croix, both of these will be in my suitcase.