A new chapter in my button down summer escapades is this redesigned Vogue Patterns V8577. I wanted to give the bodice from my first version another try, but with a different skirt. So I took out my skirt block, and drafted a straight skirt to pair with the original waist band and bodice.
I’ve mentioned before that curiosity drives my sewing, but so does comfort and ease when wearing what I make. This garment satisfied all three points. The design is one I’d had stuck in my mind for a while–a simple, straight blue denim colored dress that I could throw on anytime and feel great in. I hope I’m not alone in saying that when I imagine what types of garments to sew, I dream up little scenarios in which I’d wear them. For this, it’s walking around the city on a warm day, writing at a cafe, and wearing it into the evening. I finished the dress last weekend, and I’ve already done this twice.
Style-wise, this dress is a jump forward in understanding what I am trying to create globally with my sewing. I always considered myself a “prints” person in terms of fabric. While I am at heart, this summer I’ve realized that I wear bold solids constantly. Most of my handmade wardrobe now consists of garments that stand out for their color, and are made for mixing and matching. Then items with distinct patterns punctuate when necessary.
My love of buttons has come to light, too–although you probably already noticed. I always feel the need to embrace variety, but this feeling goes out the window for buttons. I could likely wear button down dresses and shirts, buttons on pants and skirts, exclusively and not even notice much. It took making this dress–the last in a long line of button down dresses I made this summer–to realize that it was a recent theme. Maybe this tendency is fueled by some creative masochism because nothing annoys me more than having buttonholes that falls out of step. Yet, it is almost impossible to achieve a perfect alignment, and I know I need to embrace this while I continue practicing.
That said, in terms of construction, I am pleased with how I was able to put this dress together. I first made some fit adjustments to the bodice, taking out excess fabric from the center back in particular. I opted out for any lining this time, but used french seams and some bias binding for finishing. I wondered if using large buttons would work, so I tried that out. I was worried this might result in a gape at the bust, but it doesn’t. I probably should have just made the space between the center edge and buttonholes wider. It is spaced at a 5/8in distance.
The fabric is a light linen, locally sourced. It really looks like denim in person, but I’m sure you know it is linen by all the wrinkles. I ironed this dress 10 minutes before taking these pictures, so wrinkles are now a part of the design!
Given that the fabric is on the light-medium size, and the weave is not incredibly dense, I am not sure how this dress will age with the pressure put on the buttonholes and darts. The fabric snags easily. I am prepared to make a new version in the future, in something heavier, if I have to. I am curious about what it would look like in actual denim, or tencel, but I set that idea aside for now because I would prefer to move on to new projects and just savor wearing this dress as much as possible. I also think it will be great with layering, so I intend to wear it throughout the seasons. Now, it’s time for fall sewing!!!