I had some gorgeous slinky bamboo jersey bought locally which had amazing drape qualities plus a suitable belt bought from a charity shop so I thought this dress option would be the ticket. As with the top, stylewise it is outside of my comfort zone. I usually wear A line skirts and avoid belts but sometimes you need to push your soft edges and try something different and I am happy with how this turned out. It has a grown up elegance which is a hard look for me to achieve- I'm usually more free flowing and bohemian.
The dress pattern is an extended version of the drawstring top but as this fabric was a little thicker than the viscose jersey I used before, I wanted to reduce some of the fullness at the front (the back piece is flat. Frances includes hacks and adaptation posts on the Journal section of the website so I used this post, traced the top section only and took a wedge out of the centre front and then joined it onto the traced lower section of the dress, squaring off the bottom edge on the top whilst I did so. Another change I made was to omit the buttonhole for the drawstring and just have a casing for the neck elastic.
I sewed this on my vintage Bernina 830 record using a walking foot. The fabric has a little lycra content and is bouncy and resistant to sew with a standard foot. The manual comes with an excellent section on stretch stitches and although the machine dates back to 1974, it would be hard to improve upon it today. Frances suggests a deep hem for this dress and my first attempt at this was a little puckered: the width of the hem being turned up is narrower than the dress above so it needs to be eased in which lead to bit of a mess that did not improve with pressing. I consulted my Bernina manual and found a solution...
I left the original hem stitching in place and hand basted the lower edge about ½" from the edge. I then stitched with a slightly longer stitch and with a top thread (green in the picture below) which is held in gentle tension whilst the zig-zag sews over the top of it. I had to be careful to lift the fabric so it didn't stretch whilst holding the thread. When the zig-zag is complete, the hem is pressed with a damp cloth and the top thread is pulled out. It was a great technique! I then carefully unpicked the original hem, trimmed the excess fabric on the wrong side and pressed again with a damp cloth.
I cut a size 8 with front modification (as detailed above) and used 2.5m of 150cm wide fabric. Raystitch sell a similar Bamboo/lycra mix.
I think this will get most wear in the summer with flat Saltwater sandals and a hint of a tan (wishful thinking). It also looks good for holidays, easy roll-up packing!