Monday, September 1, 2014

Black and White for Summer

The Monthly Stitch July challenge was MonoSewn, and because I also did an Indie pattern (which is mostly what I sew from anyways) I decided to count it for the June challenge.
 The challenge was to sew something in Black or white only...well that is easy for me, because those are my favorite colors to wear, besides navy. Yes, I am a bit boring and unadventurous.

I had been eyeing this fabric at Nancys Sewing Basket. for a while and wanted to make a Summer dress. I had  I looked through my pattern stash and selected the Saltspring dress from Sewaholic.  I selected a white cotton to line the sheer cotton voile. This was a fun dress to sew and I was careful to finish my seams and adjust the fit along the way. I originally though I would do a Maxi dress. I completed this dress in July and planned to wear it out to dinner date with the hubby. As I looked in the mirror I felt like it was too much dress, too long and felt a little formal. I think the lining that I selected did not have the same drape I loved in the voile. I quickly changed and put on jeans and drowned my sorrows in tapas and sparkling wine.

Later, I was sad and unsure of what to do, remove the lining and go with something that was lighter and had more drape? Change the length to a knee length? Then I read a blog post by Caroline Amanda who is one of the bloggers for Sewaholic. Her Blue Ikat Saltspring Dress was the solution.

Her version looked similar to the pretties in Anthropologie. Maybe I will also look like these ladies when I where it, strolling the some romantic countryside.

I decided that I would shorten the dress and remove the lining using some white silk charmeuse that I had in my stash from a Fabric Mart purchase a while ago. I spent a few nights after work unpicking the waist seams and removing the lining, adding a side slit like Caroline's version. I finally finished it and was pleased. Like my last blog post I have to admit I have worn the dress a few times already. It is exactly what I wanted, a nice summer dress for the hot days we have had this Seattle summer.

The only part of the dress that I really do not like is the back zipper and open back area. I probably made a mistake but only wear this dress with a jacket or sweater. If I make it again I will use a knit and eliminate the zipper all together.

Has anyone else had success with this? Any suggestions? I may hand stitch down the back to the lining  along the zipper to keep the bloused effect. I leave you with a kitty picture enjoying the last few days of summer.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Nice to see you in your lovely dress. Glad you find some time to sew.

  2. Very pretty -- too bad about the zip, do you know what happened?. I have been wanting to try a Sewaholic pattern but haven't gotten around to it.

    1. I followed the instructions ( twice) I am not sure why it looks the way it does. I looked at other Saltsprings dresses and did not find any with a photo of the back zip. I did notice several who sewed the dress and omitted the zipper.
      I have sewn the Renfrew and adore that one. I am eyeing the Yaletown dress too.

  3. Not sure how to assist with the back zip - hand stitch for control? but love the style and fabric.

  4. Hi Jennifer! Beautiful dress. I really like how the addition of the side slits gives a little flair to the skirt. I'll have to try that on my next version! Also, I've omitted the zipper on all of mine except the first I made. I realized that I could get the dress on and off without messing with the zipper even in a woven. In the one that I made that has the zipper, I ended up hand stitching the back seams to either side of the zipper to keep them from blousing open like that. It doesn't look perfect, and there's a little excess still left free at the bottom, but I think it's a lot better than it was before. So much so that I don't mind wearing it as is - exposed.