October is also known in these parts as Frocktober! I'm not quite able to fully join in the mantra of Frocktober (a dress a day, ever day, during the tenth month of the year - to help raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer) but I'm going to try it on for size at the weekends. For those that don't know me - this is actually quite a challenge... I'm not really a wearer of dresses. But October has been set aside for dress sewing and dress sewing alone, so you can expect to see another dress following hotly on the heels of this appropriately floral Peony! The dress is very... sweet? - definitely a million times more girly than what I would normally go for. But after wearing it two days straight, I'm really rather liking it. Why do things never look as good in my photos as they do in real life?
I saw the floral fabric on Gorgeous Fabrics back in July and knew it would become Peony were it to fall into my hands, and there was a perfectly matching apricot coloured cotton as well which I used for the trim, bodice lining and an underskirt. The combination of colours reminds me of these beautifully hued peonies...
Back when I was searching for buttons for my Baby-its-cold-outside Coat, I came across L'ucello - the kind of kitschy, vintage mishmash of sewing related paraphernalia shop that makes you involuntarily smile as you walk around because there's beautiful things as far as the eye can see. True to their vintage haberdashery purpose, they have an outstanding collection of lace trims (and buttons!), and I fell for the geometric floral lace trim that is now securely applied (by hand and with silk thread so you can't see the stitches!) to the waist of this dress. At the time of writing this they don't yet have a website, but their blog gives you a wonderful idea of what's in store if you care to visit them (in the Nicholas Building off Swanston St, right next door to Buttonmania, another totally awesome shop you really should visit!).
Otherwise, this is my kind of dress pattern - bateau neck, little sleeves, waist definition. I do remember having to make a trawler-load of alterations to my toile the first time around though - I'm not quite as curvy as the size models they use at Colette Patterns, and those bodice darts were pointing in every which direction except where they should have been. No matter no more! :)
Because the floral cotton was quite soft and not as tightly woven as you might think it, I also included a little underskirt in the apricot fabric - it gives a little more poofiness where I gathered it, will help protect against wrinkling and acts a bit like a slip. It was also a perfect use of the exact remainder I had left! Ages and ages ago, I bought a really long piece of lace trim off Etsy - it was finally put to use to secure the hem on both of the skirts:
I did the same seam treatment as on my first version - The Green Peon(y), using orange rayon seam binding to pretty-ify the seam allowances. And it was a bazillion times quicker to make up because a) I didn't have to wrestle with pleats and b) I'd already toiled it so I knew I could get straight down to the business end of sewing. I really must make the habit of sewing up already-toiled patterns... it's sooooo much easier :)
|More vibrantly coloured when shot indoors and with a flash...|
I pushed all of the easing in the sleeve cap up to the shoulder seam line to give a little poof to the sleeve cap, and trimmed them with some of the left-over apricot cotton.
Bring on Spring and Summer!