Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Picknick Dress

The Eli Monster have released another gorgeous dress.


This time round we have the Picknick Dress.
I'll tell you all the details, then talk about what went into making this version.

There's buttons all the way down the front, with separate placket pieces (so you can mix up the colours if you like).



Ruffles around the sleeve and arm holes. While sewing I though these might be irritating for the wearer, but the height is spot on, they sit nicely and there's not too much ruffle going on.



Pockets - there's pockets hidden in that skirt (trust me). She was excited to find them when she wore the dress another day. Pockets in all the dresses!



A VERY full skirt. There's a lot of fabric in that skirt.


And it's good for twirling.



The pattern is available from The Eli Monster, and is on sale for $7 through Sunday April 24.

I sewed this dress up in a shot taffeta. At least I think that's what it is - it's definitely shot, and it's definitely synthetic. I picked it up at an Op shop (thrift store) a couple of weeks ago.  The fabric makes the dress a little more formal.  You can really change the look of the dress by switching up the fabric - a check, floral print or seersucker will make a gorgeous summer play dress.



The type of fabric meant that it was going to fray like nobody's business. So I overlocked (serged) all the raw edges before sewing (especially before gathering the ruffles). That certainly saved a lot of trouble, and I think I might have to stop being lazy and do this all the time (save all those fabric threads getting caught in the seam).

Adjustments to the fit of the bodice meant that our week's holiday in Tasmania was approaching fast. I managed to get the dress done - except for buttons and button holes the night before we left.  I messaged my sister-in-law to check she'd be okay with me borrowing her machine, packed some buttons, thread and my hem gauge, and off we went.


After reading through the machine's manual, and having a practice on a scrap of flannelette (how responsible was that!), it was buttonhole time. I'd forgotten to pack chalk or disappearing markers, so I used my version of tailor's tacks to mark the buttonholes. I haven't actually read any instructions on tailor's tacks, but I've seen a picture, so just did a stitch and a half with long threads - it worked.

Of course, in my haste, I hadn't double checked my button size. And while they were the right width, their 'height' meant that there was no way that they would fit through the buttonholes (and the buttonholes were already the full width of the placket).  So the next morning, while we were in Hobart we set off for Spotlight to buy new buttons. Well we didn't make it that far, because on the way I saw that Flash Fabrics were having a closing down sale, and had 25% off everything storewide!!! Of course, I found the perfect set of buttons (and also some lovely cotton/Lycra jersey, and other bits and bobs).



I sewed the buttons on in the car on the way back to the cabin where we were staying .... in a vineyard! And the vines looked so lovely as they were turning golden. So it was the perfect place for photos.

And in case you're wondering how this dress would look with the Konijntje Jacket, the answer is "Quite nice actually" - here's a photo



All up it was a bit of a saga, but well worth it. As a reward for making it to the end, here's another shot of the vineyard, and the dress.




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