A few months ago I saw that Sitka Fabrics was adding more woven fabrics to their store and they were looking for some dressmakers/sewists to make some clothes out of their incoming collections. I immediately raised my hand and they said yes to me! This is my first project for them.

I don’t know if you remember my Christmas dress from this year. It was an exact rip off of the one Gretchen Hirsch made. I picked up the fabric at Beetle and Fred when I was there in September. The pattern I used is from Butterick and it’s number B6284. After very little adjustment I made a super comfortable dress that I wore at least 5 times between December 25th and January 5th. But I realized that I would be needing another one that I could wear when it is not the holidays.

So imagine my delight when a fabric was offered to me that I thought would work beautifully for another version – even though I was not planning on another red one! I loved how the dress had worked in 100% cotton and I was curious about making it in a lighter weight more drapey fabric. You know how I love to experiment.

This fabric is a woven made from Viscose rayon. It has the cutest little flower print. Sadly, I can’t find it on the Sitka Fabrics website anymore. I will say that the washed linen that is currently there is fantastic.

Anyway, lets talk a little about the pattern. The sleeves are cut with the bodice and under the arm is a gusset. The gusset detail allows plenty of arm movement. They might be a little tricky to insert if it’s not something you’ve done before but just take your time. If the pattern instructions aren’t doing it for you Gertie has a great little tutorial here.

The pattern also calls for a gathered skirt but I was thinking about one with 1 inch pleats all around so I put the bodice on my dress form and pinned the uncut fabric to see how it would look. Well, the tiny print just camouflaged the pleats so that much work would have been sort of a waste of time. Gathered skirt won in the end.

When I sew slinky or drapey fabrics like this I always pin way more than I do with cottons and fabrics with more body. It helps to keep everything lined up.

In the end, the second dress is just as lovely as the first and I’m pretty sure it’s going to get as much wear in the warmer months as my ankle length wool circle skirt gets in the colder months..

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