I made this dress a few months ago and had shared it on my instagram, it was probably the most labour-intensive project for me. As part of Minerva.com ‘s Maker Team/Blogger Network, I received this fabric as a gift and wrote a review for them in exchange. All views and ideas are of my own. As for this post you’re reading on my personal blog, it is just for the purpose of jotting down notes and to documenting this dress that I’ve made, since I have got way too many photos of the (often boring) construction process that can’t all be included in the Minerva post, which is more result-orientated. (The post is not yet on their website).
- Pattern: I AM APHRODITE pattern from I AM PATTERN company. I made the view with the hollow back.
- Size made: Sizes EU36-46 included. I made size 36.
- Pattern pieces: 7 pieces for backless view. 8 pieces in total in the envelope.
- Fabric used:
- Dress fabric: “Panda Retreat” Lady McElroy stretch cotton twill [97% cotton, 3% spandex], 56 inches width, 2m length, gifted by Minerva.com.
- Applique: two colourways of the same design, purchased from Etsy (just search “bamboo patch applique” or similar).
- New Techniques used:
- Adding and layering appliques to a “frame” of fabric, without any backing material.
- Sewing neck facing in the round
- Constructing a “window” in a garment.
- Lengthened sleeves by 15cm.
- Narrowed the sleeves (free-hand drawing on pattern).
- I understitched the neck facing and hand sewed it to the bodice/neck (pattern instructs topstitching).
- Reduced the sides, flaring from underarm to tip. At the waist the intake is about 7cm.
A little background about the initial concept of this dress. It all started with I AM PATTERN company’s “I AM APHRODITE” pattern. The back window/panel caught my eye instantly, and I have seen lovely versions circulating on the internet and instagram. Some people placed a panel print in the space, some left it bare, some put lace there – all beautiful. So it gave me an idea to put an applique there.
And browsing through the list of selected fabrics from Minerva from which I could choose to make my project, I fell in love with the Panda stretch cotton twill. I love teal and the panda print is cute. What if I put some bamboo leaves in the back window? So I searched on Etsy and I was not disappointed. I saw 2 colourways of this bamboo design. Then the idea came to me that I can layer the pieces and give it depth, plus amplifying the 3D effect of the leaves.
The panda fabric is so nice, I especially love the teal colour. It looks different in various lighting too.
I was both delighted and relieved when I finished making this dress. The hand stitching had been laborious and taxing on my eyes and wrists and my back (back posture…I had to hold the pieces really close to be able to see fine details). But worth it? Yes, I think it is! It is the first time I tried this technique (stitching applique to a window in a fabric, layering to create 3D effect) and it came out very similar to how I imagined it in the first place, which is always a really, really good feeling.
By the way, if you want a heart-shaped window, I AM PATTERN has that too (the “I AM Cherie-Cherie” pattern from the “I AM in love” collection). How cute is that!!!
It’s been a long post – thank you so much for reading!