I’m excited to be sharing my interpretation of the Asian trend for Sew Country Chick‘s Sewing the Trends series. I’ve made it a goal this year to start sewing more things for myself so when Justine announced this fun series, I jumped at the opportunity to sew along. For the last 6 years, as a boy chasing SAHM, my wardrobe staples have been jeans and a t-shirt. Now that I’m finding myself no longer covered in spit up and baby food, I decided I deserve a few fun, girly things in my closet.
I’m certainly not claiming myself to be a fashion diva. Far from it. I definitely needed to do some research about this year’s fashion trends. I’m determined to try out some of the bolder fashion trends like mixing prints and bold patterns but what caught my eye first was the Asian inspired pieces. I love the rich colors of kimono fabrics. I wasn’t sure how the kimono silhouette would work with my curves, but I thought I’d give it a try. When I saw this cotton voile, I thought it would make the perfect summer dress.
Since self drafting for myself is relatively new and comes with a whole slew of new challenges having to do with womanly curves, I feel most confident starting with a trusted pattern. I went with one of my favorites, (affiliate link) The Casual Lady from Go-To Patterns. Since the pattern is made for using a knit fabric, and I was planning to use a woven, I used the next size up. I knew this would work because the pattern itself has a nice ease to it.
The original pattern has a cap sleeve so I extended the shoulder 5 inches and then connected it to the original waist. If you wanted a more pronounced kimono sleeve you can simply extend the shoulder seam. I also added 5 inches to the bottom hem.
I also created new front and back facings to take into consideration the new shoulder length and the fact that I would need to finish the woven facings. Once the pattern is drafted, you’re ready to sew
Pin the shoulder seams, right sides together and sew using a 1/2 inch seam.
Prepare each facing by attaching fusible interfacing and pressing the bottom curved edge of each, to the wrong side 1/4 inch.
Pin the front and back facings, right sides together, at the short ends and sew using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Open the facings and dress neckline flat, press the seams open and pin with the right side of the dress together with the right side of the facing.
Sew in around the neckline using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Clip around the neck seam without going through the stitch line.
Flip the facing to the inside of the dress and press.
Top stitch the neckline. You can also top stitch the bottom of the facing in place if you want. I didn’t want another line of stitching on the dress front so I simple make a few hand stitches at the shoulder seam to keep the facings from sliding out the top.
The final steps were to pin (rights sides together) and sew from the waist to the hem, and then hem the sleeves and dress bottom.
I have an extremely short waist so I went back and made myself a matching belt to call attention to the fact that there actually is one there. I’m thinking this could be really cute shortened to a tunic length as well.
The fit of the dress and the super soft voile make it SO comfortable. I’m still debating how appropriate the style is for my body type but for now the comfort level is trumping everything else. At the very least, this will be well worn around the house. I may dress my children up in handmade clothing on the regular basis, but I’m still working on the confidence for myself. I actually had to run out of the house right after this photo shoot and didn’t have time to change. I’m happy to report that no one stopped to point at me and laugh. I’m on my way now, baby!
Thanks for having me join along in the fun, Justine!