it’s 2016, it’s February, and my only 2 sewing projects of this year consist of salmon pink colour and glitters. i swear i didn’t plan them (the fabrics were all bought separately, except those i used for this project. i mean, the glittery tulle was bought in 2009!), but it looks like i have decided what my trend-colour/style is this year, i.e. NOT rose quartz and serenity as Pantone suggests.
anyway, i bought these 2 awesome & glittery African wax cotton fabrics with a plan to combine them. part of the reason why i bought them, other than the obvious one (glitter? yes, please!), was because if you look at the “brand”, it’s called “Budaya Java Design”. that sounds very Indonesian to me, as budaya means culture in bahasa Indonesia, and Java… well, that’s where i came from.
each of the fabric is about 110-120 cm wide and 1,2-1,3 m long. i didn’t know what to make yet at that time, but then i came across this super lovely dress pattern on a Finnish handicraft magazine called Suuri Käsityö, edition 1/2016, pattern no. 1.
the original pattern calls for a flowy material like viscose, drapey silk, and the likes. but of course i had to make it using a stiff material instead! something about the shape of the dress translates to stiff fabric in my head.
the pattern doesn’t have side seams, instead the front piece is somewhat triangular and the edges continued on to the hemline of the back piece. that was why i figured using 2 different fabrics is the perfect choice for this pattern, as you can really see the unique seamlines.
another thing this pattern features is an exposed zipper at the back. if you hate sewing zippers as much as i do, you’ll understand that even if the pattern doesn’t suggest exposed zipper, i would’ve made it like that anyway. i used one of my late Grandmum’s old zippers for this dress, and you can see how easily you can turn any kind of zipper as an exposed zipper!
and the front pockets! oh, i love dresses with pockets! since the shape of this dress isn’t tight on the waist, the pockets actually look neat and they stay put in the right places.
i also love the long sleeves. this way i can also wear the dress even in the autumn.
the dress was supposed to have a lining, but i am too lazy to bother with any full lining. instead, all i did was make a partial lining only for the neckline part (both front and back) using the same fabric as the dress. i didn’t even need any interfacing as the fabric is stiff already.
this is my fourth time sewing African wax cotton fabrics, and i really can’t tell you enough how much i love it. it’s just like any other cotton, but better because it’s thin enough yet quite stiff so that you don’t even need any “stabilizer” (= interfacing). when it comes to sewing the sleeves, it’s still very easy to adjust to match the marks on the pattern due to the stretch (as with any normal cotton fabric that always give a little bit of stretch, even when there’s no elastane involved) without fraying the fabric. in fact, here’s a little secret: i didn’t finish the edges of my African skirt that i made almost 2 years ago, have washed it many times, and none of the edges have frayed yet to this date. it is THAT good.
in case you can’t see it already from the pics, i am super duper pleased with the result! even my husband said that the dress looks so neatly done, and honestly i think so, too (i think i’m allowed to be proud about this once in a while, considering how lazy i usually am when it comes to sewing neatly).
this was also the first time i ever sewed using this magazine’s pattern, i must give a praise for the pattern maker as it fits me so perfectly i didn’t even need to make any size adjustments. i hope they will have other interesting clothing patterns in the future that i can try sewing again!