When I saw this orange-patterned jersey fabric at Ommel I immediately saw it as a sundress and a beach cover-up. The fabric is from Swedish company called Elvelyckan design. I went through most of my sewing magazines to find a pattern. Finally I found this Emporio Armani inspired dress in Finnish sewing magazine Suuri Käsityö 7/2015.
As you can see in the picture above, this is not actually a proper pattern but rather instructions on how to draft one. The size is a medium, so I knew in advance that it probably would be too big for me. Luckily I knew that I could always take it in, so I decided to go for it.
As the pattern was so simple I drafted the pattern straight onto my fabric using a magic marker. Never before have I cut jersey in bias but I decided to follow the directions. I did check and the jersey did have much more stretch in the bias direction.
I tried on the bodice as soon as I had sewn the side seams and saw that I not only needed to take the bodice in, I also needed to shape the waist. This A-line shape might work with drapier viscose fabrics but my cotton jersey was too stiff to hang nicely.
The sundress hem was just a long rectangle that was gathered. I sewed it on and it was fitting time again. The dress did not work at all. The “waist” seam hit the widest part of my hips in an unflattering way. At the same time, my waist seemed to disappear completely. I also saw that the back part of the bodice didn’t stay up even though I had already sewed an elastic inside the top edge.
I ripped out the hem. Then I added two waist darts at the back to shape the bodice and chopped perhaps 8 cm out of the bodice. Now, after I re-attached the skirt the dress looked much better! I solved the drooping back bodice problem by sewing a long narrow tube out of the fabric and braiding it. I threaded the halterneck tie through one end of the braid and sewed the other end to the centre of the back bodice top edge.
Finally, I think that all the work paid off. This dress finally fits and I love both the fabric and the shape. Now I only need to make the bikini to have a whole me-made beach outfit!
Of course, I had to take the sundress to the nearest beach for a test, even though it was almost 9 pm (how I love the long summer days!). I only tried the sea water temperature but there were several people swimming.
Now we just have to hope that the warm weather lasts! However, I am not in a hurry to go to the beach since I am still trying to heal the little sunburn I got last weekend at the Turku airshow. Yes, I did use sunscreen but I think I missed a spot at the back of my neck which was bright red in the evening. Luckily it doesn’t stop these late night walks with my husband who agreed to take the photos for me.
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