One of the more interesting fabrics I’ve managed to come by last year at the op-shop was a bunch of children pillowcases and sheets printed with multi-coloured butterflies.
I’m not sure what era, but the background is a shade of cream that’s generally not in fashion anymore so I’m guessing at the 80s or 90s. Either way it was clearly one large adult size sheet to begin with, that someone had cut up and altered for use on a child’s bed. The stitching wasn’t the most amazing but I was more excited about using the fabric. See, I love a good butterfly print. I’ve been searching for one for ages. And this completely fit the bill. I had a favourite dress when I was a little girl that was white and completely covered in butterflies. I think I’m still hoarding it in a drawer somewhere. Anyway, this dress was worn constantly and when I outgrew it, was passed down and beloved by my little sister. I have so many good memories of wearing that dress. Obviously now it’s nowhere close to fitting, so there was definitely a gap in someone’s wardrobe for a butterfly dress. My sister enthused so much over the fabric when I first bought it I thought it was only fitting that she get one. Thankfully there’s loads left for other projects; am I seeing a sleeveless shirt in my future? I recently joined in the frenzy and purchased the Kim Dress from By Hand London. Its like they thought up my ideal bodice. Easy princess seams, not too thin straps, a decent neckline, sweetheart detailing, the works. I’ve already got about 5 planned in every colour and pattern combination under the rainbow. So it seemed like a good idea to try out the pattern (a wearable muslin/calico if you will) before I cut into the seriously gorgeous fabric that lay in wait. Thankfully everything went reasonably well. I realised that there were two problems that had arose as soon as I finished the bodice construction. Firstly, the back was massively too big and secondly, the entire bodice was a couple of inches too short. Now because I’m not exactly keen to construct an entirely new bodice and let that fabric go to waste, the easiest solution was to add a waistband. It emphasizes the waist even more than the original pattern, which is always a bonus in my books. Additionally I look in the back seam about an inch either side so it fitted a little more snugly. The skirt posed another problem. The pattern asks for three yards and I had two 1m pieces available. Ah well, she’ll just have a less gathered skirt. I completely omitted the pin tucks since I knew I would be too perfectionistic in trying to get them to line up, and the pattern was busy enough already. Since the fabric was quite sheer, I followed the instructions and self-lined it, adding a waistband to the exterior fabric and lining. It was also quite relaxing to slow down for a bit and hand stitch the lining in place. Then all that was left was to add one of my invisible zippers from yesterday. Turns out it was the perfect off-white to hide in the cream. Suffice to say, the Sister (or Bee as I call her) is pretty pleased. Thankfully our measurements are pretty darn close so I know I’ll make the same adjustments in the next one for myself. So that’s my judgment on the Kim dress: I love it, I’ve been waiting for it and thank god I went with my gut and ordered it the moment I saw it.