A year ago I made a dress with a dragon on it. I rather liked it, but the main colour is black and the dragon is possibly overly subtle, plus some minor fit issues, so it doesn’t get a lot of wear these days. This, then, is the new and improved version…
I really enjoyed making this dress. My sister sourced and printed the fabric for me, as my birthday present (I have great sisters), and it’s a fairly loose weave linen fabric. She’s been doing a bunch of screen printing, and I’m always impressed by how clean her lines turn out – look at the horns on the dragons! For Christmas she made our other two sisters printed t-shirts, but rightly concluded I wouldn’t wear one – when do I ever wear a t-shirt? – so I got this instead. She chose everything about it, and made good choices. The colour is perfect, and the fabric feels lovely to wear.
I used a New Look pattern I’ve used a couple of times before, though I can’t remember the number. For some reason, this pattern fit me perfectly out of the packet – even the darts are in just the right place – when no other pattern from them does, but I’m not going to complain. The skirt I pleated from a rectangle, instead of using the very similar but not quite rectangular pattern pieces – my current love affair with half-circle skirts means that would have been my first choice, if not for the dragons, but I think this was a better decision. I like the way the pleats hang in this fabric, and the circle skirt would have been a huge pain in this loose-weave fabric.
Speaking of which. The fabric was a bit painful to work with. Both of the other times I’ve sewn with linen, it’s been a fairly close weave and stable fabric, which this very much isn’t. It shifted around all over the place when I was cutting, and frayed a ton when I was sewing. How fun. I don’t have an overlocker, so I opted to do a straight stitch down the seam allowances and then pink outside that, in the hope that the two things would keep it from fraying too much. And I did a fairly deep hem largely so I wouldn’t have to cut the selvedge, and have another raw edge to deal with.
The bodice back apparently dips down a bit, which I hadn’t realised until taking these photos. However, I have a limited amount of sewing perfectionism, which dips even lower for things I can’t see, so I’m not going to worry about that. The only other thing to say about the fit is that it does gape slightly at the front neckline, but again not enough to worry me.
I lined the bodice with a cotton lawn, which was much easier to work with than the linen, and hand stitched a lot of things to finish it off. For some reason, I really felt like hand stitching on this dress, but I did still run into the issue where I did about two thirds and then got sick of it and wanted to just wear the thing. I ended up finishing off the sewing during a camp I went on, then wearing it the next day.
Here’s it with a cardigan:
I found it rather hard to get good detail shots, but here’s a few for you…
I’m now working on making a baby quilt for a friend. I’m finding it very satisfying because I can sit down, if I have 20 minutes, and make a block just like that – though I find it hard to stop at one! It may take me a while to finish it though.