This year one of our season tickets to the musical theater includes a performance on Valentines Day. We didn’t even think about trying to eat out on such a busy date night. Instead, we had carry out Chinese before the show.
PINK is the color of Valentines Day, along with red of course. I want a pink dress for Valentines Day!
I fell in love with this awesome pink boucle the instant I saw it. Originally I planned to make a jacket/skirt suit. But, I don’t wear that sort of thing much anymore. I decided to go for a dress. I wanted to color block with something in a solid contrasting color to emphasize the rich woven texture and rainbow of colors on the boucle. I think I pulled every piece of fabric from my stash to find one that would work! It was a tough decision. I finally settled on a blue cotton/spandex knit, leftovers from a tie front pullover. I was a little worried that the knit might be too thin and soft for the boucle.but the high spandex content gives the knit great recovery.
I played around with different color blocking schemes. I wanted the sleeves to be knit for comfort, and to use the blue knit as a neckband. From that point, it was a matter of choosing which pieces looked best in which colors.
One of the things I love about boucle is the softness. But, that can also be a problem, if the boucle decides to sag or bag in an unfortunate place like the behind. To help the boucle keep it’s shape I interlined the boucle sections with plain polyester lining from the stash.
Because boucle is horribly ravelly, I first laid all the pieces out, and traced them with pins and chalk onto the fabric. When I was sure I had more than enough fabric, I laid the pieces out on a single layer (called a flat lay) to make sure the grain stayed straight on each piece. Immediately after cutting each piece of boucle, I finished the raw edges on my serger. I ended up re-serging several of these edges, but my fabric didn’t ravel.
The front section went together quickly without incident. I screwed up the back. I mismeasured, and finished the edges of the back slit so high up it was almost at my butt! NO WAY could I leave the skirt open that high up!! I didn’t know what to do. Picking apart the rolled finished edges would be time consuming and messy. I thought about zigzag stitching the upper portion of the slit together, but I was afraid that would look exactly like the band-aid solution that it was. The boucle was a little thick and bulky to make a nice kick pleat. The lining fabric would make a nice pleat, but, it might look like underwear or something that wasn’t supposed to show – and whatever I used to fill up that crazy high slit was going to show
Then, my eyes fell on the very last scraps of the blue knit fabric. These scraps were almost perfect triangles. I realized if they were tall enough, and I sewed them together, I could make a circular sort of kick pleat. Because it matched the sleeves, neckband and yoke, it would look like it was supposed to be seen. I took a deep breath and grabbed the measure tape. Luck was with me! The triangles were plenty big. I simply cleaned up the shapes a bit, sewed them together to make a wedge shape, and sewed the wedge shape into the giant back slit.
The boucle sections of the skirt have a fairly deep double folded hem. I knew this would be too bulky for the soft, flowy knit in the kick pleat. So I hemmed the boucle sections first. Then, I folded the knit up to the proper hem depth, and topstitched with a slightly stretchy stitch. Finally, I finished the edge off with the serger fairly close to the stitching
Pattern Description: Sheath dress with princess seams, interesting shoulder yokes and side and skirt insets.
Pattern Sizing: Misses – exactly like usual Vogue sizing
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, Except – I used a different color block pattern. And an error resulted in a skirt that’s much less pegged.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the interesting seaming. Lots of potential here for color/texture blocking, decorative seam treatments, etc.
Fabric Used: Polyester boucle from Fabric Mart, with a cotton/spandex knit for color blocking
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Because my accent fabric is a stretchy knit, I omitted the zipper. The knit portions stretch enough to go over my head and shoulders.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and Yes. The seam lines offer all kinds of opportunities for fun embellishment, and contrasting colors/textures, etc.
It takes a little time to put all the pieces together, but the process itself is easy. This pattern is labeled Very Easy, and I think it is.