Updated: Jun 7
As always it is a pleasure to help to launch a new Seamwork pattern as a Seamwork Ambassador. The pattern I chose for this month is the Kari Dress/Romper. The pattern is featured as a Romper and the bonus pattern guides you through how to make it as a dress.
I made a few adaptations to my Kari Dress because I wanted to use a beautiful abstract chiffon fabric from Minerva. The fabric is a John Kaldor Ice Chiffon Fabric in a wonderful dark teal with black squiggles. It is a very contemporary print that has wonderful drape and flow. You can see a video that I posted when the fabric arrived. The fabric is quite sheer so you need to either line it or wear a slip/cami underneath. Due to the nature of the Kari Dress I chose to extent the interfacing for the front and back bodice so that it was the full length of the dress.
Essentially I cut out two front and back bodice pieces along the fold. This would allow for the dress to have a double layer of chiffon which not only created great flow and a bit of drama, but also ensured that the dress what not to sheer. I simply wear a skin tone slip underneath it if I am going out to run errands, but around the house or somewhere in the evening when you won't be back light by bright daylight, you can simply wear the dress as is. The fabric is so incredibly soft and although it is a chiffon is wasn't really slippery to work with which was nice. I used smaller gauge 35 mm glass head pins which helped with the delicateness of the fabric and prevented any runs or snags. I find the more you pin with a soft chiffon like this, the more success you have with sewing.
The dress itself was a pretty quick sew that you could complete in an afternoon. It would be a great pattern for beginning sewers as there are not fastenings or zippers. I cut out a Size 14 and graded down to a Size 10 through the hip area. My usual adaptations for this is to run a straight line down from the bottom of the arm syce through the hip area and down to the hem. I am very slim through the hips so this technique helps to avoid too much bulk at the hips. If you are hippier, simply cut out the dress size based on your bust size as there is a lot of ease. I am feet tall so I always have to lengthen any dress a prerequisite 6' to allow for a hem.
Sewing the dress together was straight forward. I followed the pattern directions for attaching the interfacing to the dress bodice, its just that my interfacing was the same length as the front and back pieces. As I cut the front and back bodice pieces out on the fold, I simply eliminated the step that has you sew the two side pieces together. I wanted to have a clean, simple front and back piece as the fabric is so delicate. I used a loop turner to turn the shoulder ties the right way round. This can be a bit fiddly, just remember to be patient and work the right side of the tie through a little bit at a time. Eventually you reach a point where the loop simply pulls itself through.
The end result is a dress that almost feels Grecian in its design. It hangs beautifully and flows as you walk. It is a versatile design that can be made as a bathing suit coverup, simple sundress or a flowy summer evening dress. Or perhaps one of each... after all there is Sew Much To Design.