How adorable is this dress! I love working with Michael Miller Fabrics because getting a box of fabric in the mail and then deciding what to do with it really gets me thinking outside the box. I usually have a list of patterns I’ve sketched up and am getting ready to make into patterns but this allows me to break out of that and just make something.
The images online are gorgeous but the fabric is even better in person! There’s a subtlety within the prints that don’t translate to the screen. I had a (now forgotten) idea in my head when I picked the main print, Kashmir Rose, but then I changed my mind when I got it in the mail. I’m so glad I chose a contrasting Lattice as an accent fabric because the busyness of the fabric needed that major contrast.
What I did:
Once I had this fabric in my hands, I knew I needed to make a tea party sweet vintage style dress with it. It just seems so pre-war dainty. Girly and I were imaging doilies and lady fingers when I unboxed this fabric. I have a vast Pinterest account full of vintage dresses so I dug through them and pulled out some of the daintier details from my favorite pins. I loved the empire waist of one dress and the 6-panel skirt from another and through it would be AMAZING to mash them together into a very girly but not overly precious dress for my growing daughter. She’s in that stage where she’s not little but she’s not big either.
I used my basic sloper I developed a while back as a base for the top. Then I slashed it and adjusted to make small sections of gathers just under the bust. Then I took the bottom of the bodice section and divided it into equal sections and, at the waist, started flaring them into skirt panels. It wasn’t that hard to do!
When I had all my main pieces cut, I realized that the pattern would hide all the cool lines I made just made so I decided to add a little flat piping. Why flat piping? Because I didn’t have any cord to make real piping and didn’t want to drive to the store to get any. Driving to the fabric store is an all-day event for us because once we drive allll the way down to New Mexico, we might as well go grocery shopping and then hit up the hardware store for any supplies for house projects (it’s never ending and we haven’t even gotten to any major renovations yet), and then we’re all hungry so we’ll stop at Lotaburger and grab some Green Chile Cheeseburgers while we’re down there… See? All day event. So flat piping it is.
Flat piping is just like making bias tape except you only press it once to fold it in half lengthwise. I didn’t know how much I’d need so I made 191″ of it and have a LOT left over. Live and learn.
I put piping in all my major seams. And then hid some pockets behind the side seam piping. Because every dress or skirt needs pockets. I had enough of the Lattice print left over to use it for hem facing. Have I mentioned how much I love ham facing? It makes a cleaner hem, you can use a different fabric if you are running low on your main fabric OR you can use a different fabric if you want a special little secret that only you know about. I feel the same about cute fabric in pockets. Cute pocket fabric is a special secret that only you know about. It makes things so much better.