I'm slowly chipping away at the list of things I want to knit or sew in 2018, and in the process, I'm gradually overcoming my apprehension about garment making. My first sewing project of the year is a Reversible Metamorphic dress. I love this dress. It's comfortable on its own, and I know it's easily adaptable to a year-round piece with creative layering with long-sleeve tee underneath, or leggings, or a cardigan on top, etc. Plus, I'm pretty excited about how it looks with my Arctic Cardigan, even though it's not pictured here. I don't aspire to have an entirely me-made wardrobe by a long shot, but it is a wonderful feeling to begin to assemble an entire outfit from pieces I've made.
The pattern is very well-written and beginner-friendly. However, as someone new to garment sewing, beginner-friendly is not synonymous with a quick sew. I am a very slow and meticulous sewer, in part because putz is just part of my personality and also because I'm constantly encountering new skills with nearly every sewing project. As with any PDF sewing pattern, there is a lot of prep work required, especially since we don't have a printer. I started the process when I had a stretch of days off of work. I printed the pattern, taped it together, and traced it with tracing paper, so as to preserve all sizes. The next day, I cut out the fabric pieces and then started sewing, and then kept on sewing until late on a work night, in order to finish the dress. In our one-bedroom apartment, I like to put the sewing machine away between uses so it doesn't take up valuable kitchen table space. On the day that Is sewed this, I ironed and pinned and sewed for close to 11 hours, I think, which sounds like a lot. Well, it sounds like a lot because it was, but under different circumstances, I'd split the sewing into two days. Since you are essentially sewing two dresses at a time, it is more time-consuming. But it is worth it to produce a garment so well-finished and wearable. And despite the time necessary to finish it, at no time did I stop and think this is hard.
My friend, Molly, generously offered to take some pictures of me wearing the completed dress. Thank you, Molly! Just to show it's versatility, I modeled it on it's own and with two different cardigans. As a side note, I'd be comfortable wearing this dress without leggings, but I have a few large bruises on my legs (seriously, I walk into furniture all the stinkin' time and bruise easily) and I figured that might be a little off-putting. But I do expect this dress to get wear in the Texas heat, sans leggings.
A note on fabrics: If you make this dress, make sure that both your top layer and your bottom layer are opaque, and that your bottom layer has an appealing wrong side, since it will show when wearing the dress with the top layer out. My dress isn't truly reversible, since you can see seam allowances and facing through the (much more sheer than expected) ivory fabric. That said, I'm still just as pleased with the dress, since I think the blue + white combination is charming. I'm planning a second version in a grey linen blend and an olive green rayon, which should be truly reversible.
Size: straight 2, no modifications to sizing
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer linen blend yarn dyed in chambray for the top layer and a 100% ivory rayon for the bottom layer.
Modifications: None, until I realized that the ivory was far too sheer to wear on the outside of the dress. I hemmed the dress so that the only true "right side" of it is when the blue is the top layer. To conceal the side seams that would be occasionally visible, I created a little tab of the chambray fabric and covered the seam on both sides of the ivory fabric.
Next time: I'll make the "swoop" on the front skirt a little more subtle and slightly longer, without increasing the overall length of the dress.