A Floral Dress for Spring!

So in love with this new dress!  This is definitely one of those projects that started with awesome fabric and a fun pattern and came out just how I imagined it! And I even finished it in time for spring!  (Sorry not sorry for all the exclamation points!)

First, the fabric!!  About a year ago Mood (online) got in a bunch of Liberty of London prints and were selling them for less than typical Liberty prices (at least in the U.S.).  I have heard about Liberty prints, of course, and even admired many of them online, but I had never bought any of their fabric before.  I absolutely fell in love with one called “Floral Eve“.  The back story to this particular print is pretty cool.  The design was originally a painting that depicts a representative plant from each family of flowering plants; it was a merging of art and science.  As a biologist, I thought this was really cool, and I knew that I had to have some.  When I got the fabric, I really came to appreciate why Liberty of London fabric is famous.  The detail of the print is truly astounding, and I love just looking at it.  This fabric is not the well known Tana lawn, but rather a 50/50 silk-cotton voile, which makes it somewhat see-through.

Slightly blurry close-up of the fabric.

One pattern that had caught my eye awhile ago was Marfy 2601, which used to be available from the Vogue/Butterick/McCall’s website but isn’t any longer.  I find Marfy patterns fit me pretty well aside from just a bit of shortening (1 inch in the bodice and 1 in the skirt), so I cut into my precious fabric without doing a muslin.  I live on the wild side, I know.

The construction actually went remarkably smoothly.  Instead of just plunging ahead and then having to get creative to make things work, which is what I normally end up doing Marfy patterns, I actually took the time to think things through.  For instance, I realized it would be best to do narrow hems on the neckline before sewing together.  Since the dress is see-through, I did french seams, everywhere except for the armscye.  If I had really been good about thinking ahead, I would have given myself wider seam allowances because doing french seams on 1/2″ seam allowances is hard.  Luckily, with the help of my quilting foot, I managed.  For the armscye, I used Hug Snug seam binding.  The gathering bit on the bodice is a lapped seam, and I also used binding to finish that.

Overall, I am really happy with this dress and it feels very springlike.  Using such a light fabric, but have 3/4 length sleeves also makes it work nicely for those in-between spring temperatures.  There are just two minor flaws that could have been tweaked.  One problem is some slight gaping in the left side bodice.  I think this occurred because of how I shortened my bodice.  I may take a small dart to fix it on this dress, and transferring that change as a dead dart should fix the pattern.  The other is that the fit across the back is just a bit tight.  I really could have used a broad back adjustment, and I will make sure to incorporate that on any future Marfy patterns.  I was out of town when I took these pictures, so I am not wearing the slip that was meant for this dress.  I didn’t even have a full slip with me, so instead I am wearing a camisole and a half slip.

The dance of spring, or something.


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