I had absolutely no plans whatsoever when I placed my order for this delightful Robert Kaufman cotton poplin fabric, which is usually a very bad mistake. Rash decisions with no end goal ultimately end up with more material languishing in stash mountain for a considerable amount of time. But I had to have it! I don’t generally like novelty prints but I think this can be classified more as graphic print or typographic print – very appropriate for a graphic designer anyways! And I absolutely love it!
When it arrived I was in awe of its texture. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with cotton poplin before – the cottons I’ve worked with have been much smoother and crease a whole heap more. You can see the weave of the threads on closer inspection of this one and it’s got a marvellous matt quality to it.
It feels very similar to some vintage batik fabric I used last year for a sheath/shift dress and I love how that one feels against my skin. So after much deliberation, I decided upon something much the same – fitted for sure but with all this roasty toasty weather we’ve been blessed with, I also liked the idea of baring my back and cutting away the shoulders to air a bit more skin!
But I had to get my skates on. Not only did I have a Minerva review deadline, there was an Insta hashtag challenge I was determined to join in with, too.
So typically, I decided to make things just a tad more difficult for myself by designing, self-drafting and sewing my own fitted sundress!
I traced my existing sloper template to include princess seams and a V-neckline, increasing the underarm curve slightly above the bust across the side front where it meets the centre front piece seam and the ‘strap’ that is graduated to the shoulder and meets a back extension to form a buttoned halter-neck.
I created a facing for the whole of the top half to the waist. I did consider making it shorter but I may add a lining to the skirt section at some point.
To finish the seams, I trimmed and pressed the seam allowance to the side and topstitched alongside the joins to create a kind of faux flat felled seam finish.
It’s not a bad fit for a first trial. I did do a mock up of a shortened version and its seemed to fit just right but its amazing what issues a little real life walk-around brings to the fore.
It transpires the back section collapses a little and could probably do with a bit more support. Maybe some interfacing would have given more structure or perhaps I need to add bones in the side and centre back seams? Or maybe I just live with it. What do you think? That said, I love how effortless it is to wear right now and I don’t particularly want to have to sit so upright in it all the time!
Needless to say, I’m not deterred. It’s so perfect to pair with espadrilles and I’m sure I’ll be donning trainers with it at some point, even flapping around in flip flops – DM’s too, probably. They’ll all go well with it, which proves its very much my kinda dress!
By the way, the fabric is called ‘Out of Print’ and if you like it as much as I do, here’s a link, but you’ll have to be quick. I don’t think theres many metres in stock.
Thank you so much to Minerva of course for gifting this lovely material as part of the Brand Ambassador programme. And also to the lovely ladies of Instagram (@sewing_in_spain, @Rocco.Sienna and @SewSarahSmith) who are hosting the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge which involves sewing a summer dress before 21st June. There are so many great entries already which have totally inspired and spurred my project along – do have a looksee! Sometimes deadlines are a good thing… Yay! I did it!!
One more thank you to my Daniel for finding this ideal little suntrap along the river and for taking these fabulous photos.