You know how it goes: there’s a new make in your closet, you go out and take 1,000 pictures and pick the 5 that make the garment look the best (and you) then post those on the blog. The rest get deleted. But, what if your new make looked amazing in every single photo? Even when it’s overcast and wet and kind of squinty outside and the sun keeps going in and out? Get ready for photo overload, because that’s exactly what happens when you combine the Midsummer Night’s Dream dress from Papercut and the Cascade skirt from Megan Nielsen.
I made this dress up as part of indie pattern month on The Monthly Stitch. (Vote for me!) This week’s theme was franken-pattern, so I mashed up two beautiful patterns from two different designers and got this beauty.
I’ve been craving a racy, flowy, thigh baring dress since the Anna dress came out, but after two muslins, it just wasn’t doing it for me. For some reason, it makes me look kind of dowdy and overwhelms my upper body. I don’t know what the problem is since it looks great on everyone else. And, in case you’re wondering, it’s not just me. Man friend says it looks fine, I just look a bit Amish. Sorry, not the look I’m going for here.
So, I gave up on my thigh baring dreams for a summer, and finally made up my first cascade skirt a couple of weeks ago (unblogged). Pretty much life changing in the thigh-baring department. I love it and wear it all the time. It’s beautiful, comfortable, and just so perfect for my summer lifestyle.
Naturally, this got the wheels in my head turning for a dramatic summer dress. What could I do to turn this beauty into a dress? A quick look at my pinboard pattern stash (god I love pinterest) made me think that a mashup just might work. Plus, papercut patterns usually fit me well out of the package, so I figured not much could go wrong.
Except I needed 4 yards of drapey fabric. Maybe you shop differently than I do, but I don’t typically buy things in 4 yard increments. I’m exactly 5 feet tall, so 2 yards is usually more than enough for a dress on my frame. I searched my local haunts and didn’t find anything suitable. 1 week to go, and I thought I’d just have to sit this contest out.
Thank the sewing gods for Sally. She went to an epic warehouse sale a few weeks ago, and gifted me this beautiful vintage silk sari when she heard my dilemma. It was so, so, so perfect for this project! The silk drapes beautifully, but is a little nubby so it wasn’t really difficult to work with. It also gets bonus points for feeling like heaven next to my skin.
If you’ve never worked with a sari, I highly recommend it. It’s a lot of fabric, so you’ll have plenty for whatever you need. Both edges were printed with a border print, and one edge had a yard square of a contrast print. I, personally, love working with border prints and contrast prints but they can be so hard to pull together when they don’t “go” together. The sari pretty much solved that problem for me, since all of the color schemes are the same.
I am 100% in love with this dress, and can’t wait to wear it somewhere fancy. If you’re looking for a fast, easy, dramatic dress, this mashup is totally it!
Patterns: Midsummer Night’s Dream from Papercut
Cascade from Megan Nielsen
Sizes: XS on top, S on bottom
Alterations: NONE for fit! I did make some slight changes, though:
-Serged and stitched the bodice instead of bias binding it
-The skirt is about 2 inches shorter than the bodice, so I put that edge on the inside 🙂
All kidding aside, though, don’t wear this one out on a windy day in Chicago… you might end up looking more like this: