I have been dying to make this dress since I got the fabric. And let’s face it, I’ve had the fabric for a while at this point – since the spring maybe? I placed a big Spoonflower order, in which I got the fabric for this dress, my Portal skirt fabric, the TARDIS leggings fabric, and a few other things I haven’t used yet. I bought the Performance Pique type fabric, which I have learned is a bit of a bitch to sew with – best advice I can give you is to use a very small needle (size 9), even if it is not a ballpoint one.
I cut the pieces for this project a while ago, and decided I would turn it into a version of Simplicity 1356 – a vintage wrap dress works perfectly for this fabric with some very seventies colors. It has been on my list of things to sew that I revised earlier this fall. Since the dress is reversible, I chose a solid brown knit as the contrast fabric for this project. The envelope keeps the same fabric for the outside on the back and the front, but I thought it might look neat to combine a print and a solid on each side of the dress.
And honestly, dress is a strong word for this garment. It’s very weird, and it’s easy to sew for most of it. Here is a shot of the front of the dress, after I had stitched outside and lining together.
The general process for sewing this dress was very simple. Add some darts around the bust area, stitch the front piece with right sides together, making sure to add in the tying ribbons at the sides. Stitch the back tie pieces. Then repeat the stitch process for the back dress pieces, right sides together, throwing the tie pieces in at the sides. You need to make sure to leave an opening on the front and back pieces when you stitch them so that you can turn them right side out and then topstitch (or slipstitch) the turning spot closed. You also should leave the shoulder seam open to connect the pieces later – this was the most challenging part of the project.
Above is a shot of how I dealt with the shoulder seams. Since it it reversible, you don’t want a nasty seam on one side of the dress. I put the front and back pieces together, but as you can see above, I pinned one side of the seam down before I pinned them together so that I could stitch one side of the dress nicely. Then I did some folding magic on the other side of the dress, and top stitched the other side of the seam closed.
It doesn’t look perfect since the print fabric doesn’t hide the thread, but unless people come very close up and inspect my shoulders, I doubt anyone is gonna notice. This is a shot of the “good” seam side, the other side has the top-stitching and looks just a tad less happy.
My favorite part about reversible garments is that you don’t have to hem anything. It’s glorious. Anyway, here is the finished product laid out on the floor. Weird, huh? Even more weird, that brown knit fabric had a selvage edge right in the middle of it – wtf? Like a good little software engineer, I turned this opportunity into a “feature” along the center back of the dress. Assuming I am wearing it with that side out.
And now, to decide which way the dress looks better – with the print in the front or the print on the back and sides? What do you think?
I think I like it better with the Settlers print in the front, but my husband says he likes it more with the print on the back and sides. Also, I am torn on boots – the cowboy ones in the picture on the left? Or some slightly Steampunk strappy brown ones? Maybe I need to get some platforms, sunglasses, and a 70s wig…