The “Island Flower” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: about 2.5 metres of some island-style floral print that was lurking in my stash
Pattern: Style 1077
Year: 1976
Notions: some scraps of interfacing for the collar
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: around my ‘hood for these photos, on a lovely autumn day
Wear again? yep
Total cost: free!
Bump: 17 weeks

Firstly, I have to admit that I have no idea where this fabric came from. No idea at all. It’s been lurking in my stash for quite a few years now, and I know for sure that I never bought it. I have a feeling it was a gift from a friend’s mother, who gave me a bunch of fabric she no longer had any use for. Whoever gave it to me – thanks! :-)

Secondly, I have to also admit that I don’t know what type of fabric this is. Some sort of brushed cotton? Or a cotton/something blend, perhaps? It’s definitely got a fair amount of cotton in it, but I’m not sure if that’s all there is to it…. Hmmmm….. Mysterious fabric, what are you?

Anyway, this week’s Sew Weekly theme is ‘City Inspiration’ – using a location from your city for inspiration. I umm-ed and aah-ed about this one for a while – my first thought was to use some architectural feature somewhere, but nothing wanted to work in my imagination, so I resorted to hunting through my stash to see what I could find. Lo and behold, this island floral style print jumped out at me. Eureka! Perfect!!

Why is an island style print perfect for this challenge? Well, it reminds me of the suburb I live in, which happens to be rather multi-cultural. There are a lot of Pacific Islanders living in Wellington, and a lot around where I live – neighbours in the house behind us are from Niue and the Philippines, across the road are families of Cook Islanders and Samoans. There’s a Somali social club around the corner, and the combination of shops are like a mini United Nations – Turkish spices, Indian clothing and jewellery, a Middle Eastern grocers, a Chinese grocers (two, in fact), a Halal butchers, greengrocers selling taro and green bananas and coconut. To say nothing of the huge variety of takeaways and restaurants. I love living here – there’s so much variety!

Because of all of that, this island print reminded me of all the cultural diversity where I live. And there was enough left for another version of Style 1077 (yep, it’s only been about a week since I made my Autumn Skies dress, but that style is so perfect for early-second-trimester that I just had to make another one).

I made a couple of alterations to the pattern this time – I added about 2 inches to the hem so that it sits just below the knee (and therefore doesn’t show my pasty white knees in winter when my over-the-knee socks scrunch down), took about 2 inches out of the width of each sleeve at the cuff (next time I’ll take even more out – even with that alteration, those things are wiiiiide!), and added a pocket, because pockets are awesome. Aside from those little tweaks, I’m pleased to say that this version of Style 1077 came together just as nicely and easily as the version I made of it last week.

The verdict? I actually think I quite like this dress. I was a bit unsure about making up this fabric – island style prints just remind me too much of all the crazy cheap island print shirts that are in the discount stores around here, so I worry it comes across as a bit tacky. But after wearing it for a little while, I’ve gotten over that – sure, it’s crazy bright and loud, but as far as autumn/winter dresses go (with many many layers, of course!) it’ll add a splash of colour in the office, yes indeed it will.

Other funny thing – it disguises my bump so well, I actually kinda forget I’m pregnant when I’m wearing it. Hah. But yes – there is a 17 week bump under all that bright floral!

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14 responses to “The “Island Flower” Dress

  1. Fun! This is so bright and cheerful!

  2. Pingback: Style 1077 « Patterns patterns patterns

  3. Pingback: Style 1077 – the “Island Flower” dress «

  4. Looking good Kat, love the dress, suits you and the bump well x

  5. As yeah, this is nice! I like this representation of your home, too.

  6. A very happy dress :-)

  7. Lovely dress! I like living in lively, multicultural neighbors like that too. Unfortunately, I’m not really doing so at the moment! :)

  8. You are truly the master of disguised bumps, Kat! Each dress you make, makes you look less pregnant… until you turn sideways!!! Gorgeous fabric and great style. Lovely to see more of your surroundings too :-)

  9. I think I have this pattern in my stash! It looks lovely. x x x

  10. I love the photo in front of the graffiti! You should get that printed LARGE and frame it!

  11. It’s lovely! The fabric is so fun and colorful. and I love the pictures of you in front of the graffiti :)

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