For some reason, about three weeks before we went on holiday, I got the idea into my head that I was going to make one garment for each country we were visiting and get photos in each place. Coz, you know, three weeks before you go on holiday is a brilliant time to get all ambitious like that.
(Spoiler alert: I didn’t quite manage my goal. But four out of five countries isn’t bad, right?! 😉 )
So…. here’s what I made for photos in Slovenia!
It’s the Midsummer’s Night Dream dress by Papercut Patterns.
And just like both of the previous Papercut patterns I’ve made (La Sylphide, and Ooh La Leggings), this pattern was an absolute dream! Katie is a fantastic pattern drafter – so far, I haven’t had any construction or fitting issues with any of the three patterns of her’s I’ve tried. I’m guessing she’s a trained fashion designer as well, as her patterns have the 1cm seam allowances that are garment industry standard. Plus she uses clever time-saving construction techniques, like setting in sleeves in the flat for the La Sylphide dress. (Which, incendentially, makes it a lot easier to set in a sleeve smoothly. I recommend you try it.)
Anyway, back to the Midsummer’s Night Dream pattern….
It’s a pretty little wrap-around sleeveless dress, which crosses over in the front and ties around the waist with long ties. The skirt is quite full, unlike a lot of other wrap-around dresses I’ve seen out in pattern-land. (Which works well for me, as I do love a full skirt!) The neckline is finished with bias binding, which extends into long ties at either shoulder. The front panels feature a bit of gathering on the sides, so you get nice soft folds over the bodice, which I think look quite nice, although if I made this up in a heavier or stiffer fabric I’d omit the gathers.
(Side note: the tie shoulders make this dress pretty good if you’re breastfeeding, as you can just untie one shoulder, then tie it back up again afterwards.) (Hopefully that’s not too much information for the rest of you!)
I made up a size S, and made no adjustments to the size at all. (Wrap dress styles are so forgiving in the fit department, don’t you think? Especially this one, with the shoulder ties meaning you can get the waist to the right level just by tying the shoulders in the right place. Easy!)
The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to the back skirt. The instructions called for it to be cut out in two pieces, then joined along the centre back seam. I couldn’t think of any good reason to do it that way, so just cut it on the fold (overlapping to omit the 1cm seam allowance for the omitted centre back seam). Nice and easy, and one less seam to sew and finish – win!
I’m not sure what fabric this is made from – I picked it up from Fabric-a-brac a while back. It’s soft and light and doesn’t crease (perfect for travelling!), and frays like crazy. My kind-of mother-in-law things it’s a viyella, and I’m inclined to agree with her. I had the exact amount for a Midsummer’s Night Dream dress, and I think the fabric suited the pattern perfectly. It hangs well, and is lightweight enough for the bodice pleats.
I got a bit brave and tried making my own bias tape for the first time. (Yes, you read that right. Before now, I’d never made my own bias tape. Lazy me always bought it instead!) Even though I was using a fabric that frays heaps, it was surprisingly easy! And I love the way it looks, so I’ll definitely be branching out into self-made bias again in the future. 😉
So yes, another Papercut pattern success! Katie has managed to (temporarily) lure me away from my vintage pattern love, to indulge in a little affair with her more modern designs. (I hope you’re not getting sick of Papercut on here yet, as I may be about to start on a skirt…. But shhhh, it’s a secret! My other sewing project hasn’t heard about it yet….)
On a side note, isn’t Slovenia beautiful?!?! We were at Lake Bled for these photos, both up on the Bled castle, and then on the tiny island in the middle of the lake. So, so gorgeous! I think I’m in love with Slovenia….. *sigh*