summer dress!

Enough with the sweaters for now, I had enough time this weekend to get back to fabric and sewing and I knew just what I wanted to make - a summer dress!

It's a prototype for a dress that I've promised myself I would make to wear on my birthday, which is coming right up. The fabric is navy gingham cotton that I found in a thrift store. The pattern was also a thrift store find - Vogue 2429, published in 2000.
I made the bodice with the gathered sweetheart neckline and rouleau straps, but my thrifted fabric was only 36" wide, so I just cut two rectangles, the length of the skirt and pleated them into the bodice. 

This served as a muslin for two projects.  My birthday dress, which is some fun Amy Butler floral fabric, and a maxi dress that I have been imagining from this chevron print rayon that would have a cool effect when pleated.  I got the bodiced fitted for my birthday dress, but I will make it with a gathered skirt, and I got to test how a pleated skirt would look with this bodice too.  (I think it passed the pleat test.)

This pattern came together well.  I faded between two sizes in the bodice because I have a smaller bust and I pleated an ample amount of fabric into the skirt to cover my pear-posterior with no regard to the actual pattern for the skirt... other than that, it no adjustments needed.  

Perhaps the best thing of all about this dress is the straps.  I love strappy dresses, but being short, RTW straps are often too long and slip off my shoulders if I don't stand super-straight and tall.  This is great for my posture, but otherwise pretty annoying. I got to adjust these straps to the perfect length and they feel very secure - yay home sewing!

The bodice is lined.  I self-lined this one with some extra gingham.  Here's some inside-out views

Also a detail of the gathering and rouleau bow.  I really like the bow detail and it got a little washed out in the sunlight of the photos my obliging husband took for me, so here's a close-up.
This dress also fits the bill for a "Summer Sundress Sewalong" that I discovered this week on Handmade by Heather B.  Check out the fun on flickr.  I hope to add a couple more dresses by the end of July too. I do think knitting is fun, even when it's in the high 90s, but nothing beats a sundress in July!