May 30, 2011

Pink and White Summer Dress

The weather has been hot, but I still hadn't found a summer dress. I've been in and out of stores since April trying to find one that I liked and fit and I kept coming up empty. I had just about given up on finding one when a solution fell into my lap. I was at the fabric store picking up notions for another project when I saw the cutest linen fabric.
Perfectly summer!
How could I resist when it was also 40% off? Bolt under my arm, I suddenly found myself in the pattern section looking through the dresses. And I came across McCall's #6350 and knew it was the one. The sweetheart neckline, the halter strap, the gather of the skirt, it was all for me.

View C just called to me.
I opted for no pockets. Dresses with pockets can be so cute, but I think they look terrible on this dress. A few notions and some white cotton for the lining later, I was home and ready to start cutting.

Unfortunately, dress patterns don't tend to be sized for shorter, busty women like me. I had to alter the bodice of the pattern to accommodate that and shorten the length of the skirt. It involved quite a bit of trial and error to get the darts in the proper place, but I eventually got them where they needed to be. Overall, I spent 3 days working on this dress from impulse-buying the fabric to wearing it to a friend's gathering. It is a close-fitting dress, so I had to do a lot of trying-on, taking off, and altering. If I had fitted it properly in the pattern stage, it would have been done right the first time.

See that tulle along the hem? That was a surprise addition at the end. I saw in it another pattern and thought it was cute. I ended up heading back to the store for some tulle after I had the dress mostly completed. It's a combination of two different colors, one dark pink and one pinky-pink. Neither color looked quite right on its own, but with two pieces of dark layered over two light pink, it was just the right color to compliment the pink of the dress.

In hind sight, I wish I had thought to shorten the mid-section pieces a little. It emphasizes my shortness because it is a bit out of proportion with how much I shortened the skirt. But I am really pleased with the addition of the tulle. I think it makes the bottom of the skirt a little more lively and makes the dress a little flirty.

Overall, I am really happy with my new summer dress. I think I might make a second one with a few changes to the pattern if I can find another fabric I like.

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