Finally, a new pattern! After three hazel dresses, it seemed time to try something else… and I’m glad I did.
The pattern is the Staple Dress by April Rhodes, made up in a Nani Iro double gauze. I’m obsessed with Nani Iro fabrics, and this dress is made from one of the two pieces I’ve had set aside for months. I actually bought this fabric with the Staple Dress in mind (after seeing this identical fabric and pattern combination here). I think the simple, relaxed silhouette of the pattern makes them a great match.
Actually, despite buying the pattern– and fabric to use with the pattern– quite a long time ago, I was pretty unconvinced about the staple dress. I didn’t like the puffiness at the sides of the bust which you can see on a lot of peoples’ versions of this dress (including on mine!). I thought maybe I could avoid this by skipping the shirring and just using a belt (Um. Ok. So I was also nervous about shirring.). But when the dress was all but done, and I tried it with a belt, I just wasn’t happy with it. It bunched up under the belt unevenly, and pulled up every time I raised my arms (one of the problems with kimono sleeves!) so that I had to re-tuck it down. Besides, I don’t really like wearing belts– and as I was making this dress with the intention of wearing it at work (I’m a teacher), I wanted it to be really comfortable!
So, I took a breath, bought some shirring elastic, and gave shirring a go. I ended up doing five rows of shirring. Verdict: Although my stitches are kind of wonky, it was no where near as hard as I expected, and it definitely improved my satisfaction with the dress.
close-up on the waistline shirring
I wasn’t totally in love with this dress– being bigger, for a long time I shied away from attention-grabbing prints, and a style like this is never going to be the most “slimming”– but after finding myself reaching for it several times over the last few weeks as I rushed to get ready for work, I can now say that I’m totally sold on it. I’m getting used to the print (I felt a bit too much like I was wearing art, at first!) and the double gauze is so incredibly snuggly… combine that with the super comfortable shirred waistline, and I feel like I’m wearing a nightgown. In the best way. There’s another one in my near future!
Here’s some of the important details:
Pattern: Staple Dress by April Rhodes, bought as a printed copy from Stitch 56 (along with a bunch of other patterns), and forwarded on to me by my mother in Australia because they don’t ship to Korea. It would have been way cheaper to buy a PDF, but I HATE cutting and taping those things together!
Fabric: Nani Iro double gauze in 2014 Sen Ritsu, view D. I bought mine from Miss Matatabi. Doesn’t seem to be available at this shop any more, but there are lots of other gorgeous Nani Iro prints!
Size: XXL bust graded to XL at the waist/hips.
Modifications: None, except that I shortened it a bit at hemming (I’m 5’2.5 ish)
Like: Super comfortable and practical (pockets!)
Dislike: Not incredibly flattering, neckline feels a bit big… maybe I should have cut a straight XL with a full bust adjustment? But I didn’t want to mess around with that. I’ll probably just make the next one the same way.
Notes: STAY STITCH! So important to stay stitch the neckline and sleeves of this dress, for any hope of the facings matching them later!
Also, I cut the pockets out of a plain navy blue quilting cotton… the fabric was too gorgeous to waste on something that won’t be seen much. I did cut the facing strips out of the main fabric, however, but I’m not doing that on the next one… without facings and pockets, I think there’d be enough fabric left over for pajama shorts 😀
I’ll leave you with some more awkward pictures (Oh, how I hate having my photo taken!).