I made a dress! And I have a lot to say about it, so buckle in.
So, as you know I’ve made three Roscoe blouses. I like this easy breezy peasant blouse and frankly it’s pretty simple to make. The pattern comes with three views: blouse, tunic, and dress. The tunic is just longer with a very wide gentle ruffle on the bottom and the dress is same as tunic, just even longer. The line drawing on the pattern makes it look like the granniest of nightgowns. BUT I’ve looked at many pictures on IG following #roscoedress and #roscoeblouse and I really liked the look of the dress when it was worn belted. Hmm…would that work for me? I’ve often wished I had a nice belt, so first step was to buy a belt. Loft had a great sale a couple weeks ago in which they were practically giving things away. So I ordered a belt and it arrived on Friday. I tried it on and deemed it perfect for cinching dresses, so the Roscoe Dress was on! I pulled out my pattern pieces and looked at how to add the length pieces for the dress view. I was very worried about the dress fitting over my hips and was sure I needed to grade out a size. I sort of did that but it was ridiculous and unnecessary of me. Straight size 12 fits perfectly.
The fabric: Two years ago I bought nice fabric (“I need drapey fabric”) for the Suki robe/Ogden cami. I bought a few yards of a gorgeous rayon (Art Gallery/Indiefolk/Meadow Dim). I ended up not wanting to use it for either of those and it’s become one of those precious fabrics that I hesitated to cut into and new it needed to be something special. I thought it would suit this pattern perfectly, plus it’s one of two fabrics that I ample yardage of. [I am a teeny bit worried that the inside of the belt is slightly rough and could pill the fabric. I will keep an eye on it.]
So Friday I adapted the pattern pieces, Saturday I cut out the pieces, and Sunday I sewed it all up. This fabric was a little slippery and delicate so I did a lot of pinning when it came to cutting them out. I also had a hard time marking the fabric ( I dared not used my wheel).
Everything went together very well, except I didn’t notice which was the front ruffle piece, and which was the back. Why are they different?? Also the ruffle really doesn’t gather very much at all and I a beast of a time making it fit properly. I don’t know if I mixed up front and back, but I think it worked out fine and is perfectly swishy.
I had been toying with the idea of short sleeves for this dress and the choice was made for me when I laid out my pattern pieces. By necessity I had to cut them short! I followed the tips here for doing a short puffed sleeve. I had just enough 3/8″ elastic in my stash to do this. I love a short sleeve with this and will also look forward to wearing this in the fall with a jean jacket, which is one of my very favorite looks.
Here’s the big news on this garment: I used my new birthday serger to finish the seams!! I’ve been so nervous about using it because it really comes with no assistance for the first time user of such a machine. After poking around on the interwebs I have found this series of videos to be the best. The Brother 1034D is the kind that I got. I dare not use it for actual construction yet because what if the seam isn’t in the right place? Did you know that there is a knife that trims the fabric?! I used the bad multicolored learning thread it comes with and there’s so much color in the print you can barely see it. But then I felt like I really ought to use good thread so I followed the video instruction and threaded the machine from scratch with good thread to do the remainder. And although I didn’t do a great job-(so nervous about being too close to my construction seam-somehow it seemed to gather up in some places and I had to stretch it back.) I believe that it did the job and honestly that big ruffle seam allowance is so neatly bound up now, I love it!
And, ta-da! It was done! Time for a photo shoot:
A few thoughts about the unbelted version: I tried this on many times as I made it. When I tried it on before I added the ruffle it was slightly above knee length and I thought “Hmm..I don’t usually like swingy above the knee dresses on me, but I do like this and could see making it like so.” Then when I tried it on full length aka looking like a nightgown I thought “i could wear this all day long. It’s so swishy and flowy and comfy!” I think a lot has to do with the fabric. I would absolutely wear this loose and caftan-y if we had a beach vacation. Or as a nightgown!
Although this wasn’t a particularly complicated garment to make, it may be my proudest thing yet!