Alternate title: How Sally of The Quirky Peach bossed me into making a beautiful dress. Yes, it’s true – Sally and I engaged in some light-hearted bossing as part of Heather Lou and Oona’s brainchild, The Sew Bossy Initiative!
Normally, I’m not much for planned sewing. I can’t even tell my own danged self what to sew without facing major recalcitrance. This was different. I felt like an elf picking things out for Sally and got Christmas feelings when I sent them off to her. And I was eaten alive with anticipation after 3 weeks of email exchanges – what would I be sewing up? In addition to the excitement, Sally and I also pushed back every loose deadline we’d set for ourselves at least once (usually twice) so I never felt like I was rushing to make decisions or sew.
Anyway. Without further adieu, I present the Bossy Bees dress!
Sally really kept me guessing. We both tried to ask vague questions about each other’s likes and dislikes, and by the time we were ready to send each other our projects, I was pretty sure I was going to be challenged to a knits project! Instead, she sent me one of her favorite woven fabrics – rayon challis, printed with bees to boot! – and this glorious new Rebecca Taylor pattern (Vogue 1395). She also included lining fabric, a lovely note AND a fat quarter of crab fabric (!) that I’m hoarding for something special.
The bodice of this pattern is interesting; the ties reach around from a back overlay with a gathered detail close to the neck.
I ended up adding an lightweight underlining to the bee fabric as it was slightly sheer and I’m a prude who can’t be trusted to wear a slip. This added some weight to the back. If I were to make this pattern again, I would forgo underlining the back overlay as it pulls the shoulder seams back a bit.
The pattern suggests a narrow hem on the sleeves, ties and skirt. I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle the corners of the ties. They look good to me from the outside, but I’ve been wondering if there’s a technique for narrow hemming a corner. Anybody know? I trimmed off the bit of excess on the side that ended up on top.
I also made my first attempt at catch-stitching the seam allowances of the skirt. It took a bit of time, but it really does keep those seam allowances flat! The challis has such a lovely drape, and I thought it might be tempted to roll closed if left to its own devices. I didn’t want the lining hem to get too much body, so I serged it instead of finishing it with the narrow hem. Sacrilege!
The only change I made to the pattern was adding 1″ to the bodice length. Since the bodice is pretty loose-fitting, I only made a muslin of the front and back pieces and skipped the back overlay. I was concerned about the skirt length from the pattern photo, but it’s perfect with the extra bodice length for this 5’8″ gal.
I’m smitten with this dress, and couldn’t resist taking a wedding-dress style photo of it. It feels amazing to wear, too – I may be a rayon challis convert!
Here’s a closeup of the bee print.
I had such a fun time with the Sew Bossy process. It was delightful to take a break from my normal sewing of separates and tunics to sew a straight-up pretty dress. And, I tend to pick a lot of solid fabrics, so I was excited when I saw that Sally had picked a print that I both loved and never would have found for myself. And, at the time of writing this post, I can’t wait to see the project I sent Sally!
Big thanks to Sally for being such a good boss, and thanks to Heather and Oona for Sew Bossy. And, if you haven’t already, wander on over to Sally’s blog and see what she made!