Summer is for strawberry milkshakes

I love summer – warm weather (sometimes!), sunshine, flowers blooming, long days and relaxed evenings. It all makes me happy. πŸ™‚

Know what else makes me happy? Dresses! In particular, summer dresses. Yes indeed!

And so, it seems only appropriate that my first make on the blog this year is… a summer dress. (Surprise!)

This months theme over on The Monthly Stitch is ‘Cheers for New Years’ – choose your favourite beverage as inspiration for something to sew. While pondering which drink to use for inspiration, my eye was caught by this multi-pink-toned quilting cotton from Minerva. The colours and squiggly design immediately made me think – strawberry milkshake! (Which is, after all, a rather fantastic drink for summertime.)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Inspiration and fabric decision made, the next choice was… which pattern to use? (Obviously, it would have to be a dress. Because, dresses.) With the directional print of the fabric, I thought it would be fun to make something that could use that as a feature – the Sylvie dress by Christine Haynes. It’s a fun summer dress, and features a wide band under the bust – perfect for mixing up a print direction for contrast.

Sylvie dress by Christine Haynes

Size-wise, I made a size 6 at the bust, grading out to a size 10 at the waist and hip. Officially, my high bust measurement put me at a size 8 in the bust, but going by the finished garment measurements I felt that would be too much ease for my personal preferences.

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(And here’s where I made a dumb mistake. Firstly, do not cut out fabric when tired and upset. Secondly, when grading between waist and bust and there is a wide underbust band involved, remember to grade the band as well as the upper bust piece! Yes, there was a lot of unpicking involved to take it and correct that one. Whoops!)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

As with all patterns, I lowered the bust darts – in this case, by 2cm.

I didn’t have enough fabric to make the dirndl skirt variation of the dress, so instead I extended the skirt out by 8cm on either side at the hem, and angled the side seams to meet, to create a gentle A-line shape. (My walking style is not conducive to wearing straight skirts. Long legs, long strides, seams rip….!) I also added 1″ at the skirt hem because – tall.

Another change – pockets! I added simple in-seam pockets to each side seam. πŸ™‚

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern sewed up nicely – quick and easy, with a nice and neat finish where the wide band meets the upper bodice as it’s self faced on the inside. The neck and armholes are finished with bias binding (the pattern has a piece for cutting a self-bias facing, but I didn’t have quite enough fabric so used a purchased pale pink bias binding instead).

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I also used a white polyester hem binding on the skirt – normallly I use Hug Snug, but thought I’d branch out this time and try a different type. (It worked fine for the hem, but it’s quite stiff and a bit rough, so I wouldn’t recommend it for seams that sit next to your skin. I’ll be sticking with the lovely soft Hug Snug for those!)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I must admit though, I’m a bit on the fence about the final dress. I’m not 100% sure that it suits me?!? It’s mainly the colour I’m unsure of – is it too pale? (Normally I go for bolder colours, but when viewed from a little bit of a distance, the colours on this kind of blend together into something a lot closer to a pastel shade….)

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

And another confession – I made another mistake when cutting out, that I didn’t realise right up until the end. (Yep, that lesson again – don’t cut out fabric when distracted!) I forgot to do my usual SBA. *hangs head in shame* And with this style of bodice, that’s even more obvious than usual! So there is far too much fabric in the bust of the front upper bodice. *sigh* I’m currently debating whether to recut the upper front bodice (I think I may have just enough fabric to do that?!) and fix it, or not. What do you think – is the colour and style working enough for me to bother unpicking and fixing? Or should I just give this one up as a lost cause and give it away instead? I have lost perspective on this one due to my annoyance at my own stoopid mistake when cutting out. Gah.

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

But hey – it’s a summer dress! And there are roses in the background, and I have a big milkshake cup! Yay! πŸ™‚

Strawberry Milkshake dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

16 responses to “Summer is for strawberry milkshakes

  1. Pingback: Strawberry milkshakes forever! | The Monthly Stitch

  2. I don’t notice the extra fabric in bodice and the colour looks great – especially with your hair. Opinion of an unbiased bystander. 😊

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ (I find it so hard to be objective about things I make sometimes – just a bit too close to them I suspect!)

      • I hear you. I always find a few days makes all the difference, as does some form of compliment by a friend or coworker πŸ˜‰

  3. Could it be an option to unpick only a few centimetres of the underbust seam each side and gather the fullness rather than use darts? That way you migth get those little ripples of the gathers that suggest fullness rather than one decided dart that points out a lack of fullness? Could be easier than unpicking the whole bodice?

    • Sadly the way the bodice and the band under it are constructed means I have to do a lot of unpicking anyway, as the band is self-faced and neatly encloses the seam joining it to the front bodice…. 😦 I do like the idea of gathers instead though – I think I’ll transfer the darts to those when I do the SBA, to give a suggestion of fullness. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  4. I love the fabric and I think the colour looks great on you especially with your hair in that colour. Beautiful!

  5. I think the shape is great on you! This dress makes me reconsider Sylvie, which I’d ruled out as unsuitable for me. I don’t think the extra bust fabric is noticeable, and I like the light summery colors on you. However, I know the extra bust fabric would bother me if I’d sewn it. Maybe instead of redoing the bodice put the time into a new Sylvie (with SBA) in colors/print you’re sure you love.

    • Thanks Lee!

      I actually really like the Sylvie pattern – it’s cute, and I think that wide band has a lot of potential for playing around with things like feature prints, directional changes, lace overlays, etc. So much fun! πŸ™‚

  6. I think the bodice is fine. I love the change in direction around the waistband!

  7. I really love this dress, especially the under-bust band which looks great with the print running in the opposite direction! I also think your bodice is fine! πŸ™‚

  8. What a lovely dress! I think the bodice looks fine too. If I make a dress and I have slightly too much room in the bust I usually leave it, that way it still fits if I want to wear a padded bra

  9. I love those “ice cream” colors on you! I didn’t notice the bust extra fabric till you pointed it out, but I would on myself as I’m used to fitted clothing. Great roses! We had 16 inches of snow and 10Β° F here in Colorado today. And that’s not in the mountains!

  10. Pingback: Get inspired for UFO month! | The Monthly Stitch

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