Summer Sewing #6 – Painted Stripe Dress

Here's the first finished piece of my Summer Sewing. Yay! One down, six to go. I'm really looking forward to all of my sewing projects. I will not be sewing in order so be prepared for some surprises! This is a great summer dress with its casual painted stripes and cheeky cut out shoulders. The weather here has been cloudy in the morning and sunny and warmish in the afternoon. I'm hoping I'll get the chance to wear this dress soon. Maybe for a happy hour by the beach with oysters and bloody mary's. What could be better?

The pattern is from the book Built by Wendy Dresses by Wendy Mullin. I've had the book for quite a while. When I opened the pattern pieces and found they were uncut, I was completely shocked. I had looked over the book so many times before I thought I must have made something from it. The "Bow Wow" dress is the one that has been calling to me ever since I first bought the book. At the same time, I was apprehensive about the location of the slits because it would make it hard to wear a bra without the straps sewing. But I'd wanted to make this design for so long, I decided to take the plunge.

I cut the size for my bust (a large) but I think I could have gone down a size. Alterations may be in order. The shape is very simple and and it was quite easy to construct, as is common with BBW patterns. So alterations would not be too difficult. The dress is not exactly like the drawing which could just be my sizing issue. In the drawing the shoulders are much tighter and the slits are not gaping.

Above I'm wearing it without the belt and you can see it's not fitted. I'm considering adding some darts at the waist, front and back. Wearing the belt (see below) does help bring in the dress and show off the waist but it's not a smooth line.

I haven't even mentioned the fabric yet and that's probably the biggest deal with this piece. I used a navy solid Japanese cotton that I bought at Mood a few weeks ago thinking it would be classic. But once I sewed up the dress it was soooo boring. And I thought it kind of resembled scrubs. Ew. So, I got kind of very ballsy and painted stripes onto the dress. Yes, I got some paint and painted it. I went for an intentionally loose, rough brushstroke so that little mistakes wouldn't be that noticeable.

The trickiest part was painting over the seams and the invisible zipper. The paint tended to pool up around the bumps so I tried to pull it smooth when painting those sections. I used Jacquard white fabric paint with some water added and a stiff paintbrush.

I used an invisible zipper for the back closure. The zipper was given to me by the lovely folks at Kollabora along with a few other things that you will definitely be seeing during my summer sewing. The zipper arrived just in time for this project and was the perfect color and length. If you haven't already set up a profile on Kollabora, I highly recommend it. They have a great community of crafty people and a very friendly user interface. Thank you Kollabora for the sewing gifts!

So, what do you think of the dress? Should I make some alterations? Add some darts? Would you ever paint stripes onto one of your creations?

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