I was so pleased with the first Janice dress that I made just before the end of 2021 that I wanted to make another but with a few changes.
Continuing with my ‘green theme’ I chose some pretty floral viscose that I purchased from Rainbow Fabrics.
There was a lot of this fabric so although I originally intended to make the dress with short sleeves there was ample to be able to cut out long sleeves with deep cuffs and still have enough fabric for a short sleeve blouse. I also had sufficient fabric to make the bodice front facing in the fashion fabric whilst the remainder of the bodice lining was cut from plain White viscose voile that I keep in my stash. This time I would make the bodice button through to the waist seam only before gathering the skirt into that. I would add a deep frill at the hem and also a narrower frill around the neckline.
Construction: The dress was fairly straightforward to sew apart from the fact that yet again I have chosen a very mobile fabric. I love the feel of this viscose to wear as it is warm to the touch and drapes beautifully but the making of the dress is challenging as it slips and slides away from you all the time. Many, many pins and some spray starch were used to ensure that the fabric stayed where it was put! The narrow frill around the neckline was cut 48 inches long x 3¼ inches wide before folding in half, gathering and basting to the front facings.
The long sleeves have a continuous lap placket opening and there was sufficient depth to the cuff (finished 3¼ inches) to add two buttons to each. I searched through my button stash – regretfully I could not find 9 buttons (I need 5 for the bodice plus 4 for the cuffs) all the same that suited this printed viscose fabric. I found 8 and added to them 2 of the same size and shape but a different shade.
I decided that I would put one of each on each cuff so at least they would match in their miss-matching. Then I looked again at another ‘stash’ of buttons and found two more options! Finally I chose the no. 3 buttons which were originally bought last year to go onto the Gold denim pinafore dress.
There are concealed side seam pockets in the main panels of the skirt which were cut 22 inches long together with the hem frills (cut 12 inches long) were stitched with French seams where there was no selvedge. The gathering/pleating of the frill was completed using the ‘ruffler’ foot on my Brother 550SE machine. The hem on the frill was double folded by ¼ inch and machined in place. I was in a quandary as to how to finish the waist seam, in the end I used some pretty green satin bias binding to enclose all the raw edges.
Conclusion: Partly due to the design with frills and full bodice lining and partly due to the fabric, this dress has taken a long time to make. However, I do like it but not as much as I thought I would. I am pleased with the narrow frill around the neckline and I love the long gathered sleeves into deep double buttoned cuffs and will definitely be making those again on my next long sleeved project.
I shall give myself a little break from dressmaking for a day or two and then return re-charged and ready to tackle a blouse using the remainder of this pretty print fabric.
Project #7 completed 30th January 2022