March is National Women's History Month. If you haven't already, check out my Women's Month blog post about the Diane Von Furstenberg pop-up.
To celebrate this month of women leaders, I decided to create a fun conversational-printed dress with women. The fabric was purchased from Mood Fabrics in New York City. Every time I go to the store I go straight down to the second level where they have the cotton prints. I love to use prints in my garments, but especially ones that make you take a second-look. This fabric caught my eye right away and I knew I couldn't leave without it.
So after purchasing 2 yards of this cotton voile fabric from Mood last year, I finally decided to give it some love. It was hard to decide on what pattern to use right away. My initial thought was to make a top out of it, since I am always making dresses. However, after deliberating I decided to trust my gut which said that the print would be too large to have it so close to my face. And I wanted to give it justice, since the print repeat is large and would surely be missed in a shorter garment.
So while I do love McCalls M7978, I decided to use McCalls M7889 (again). This time I made view C, the misses dress with pleating along the waistline, button-front closure, center back yoke, and a tie at the waist. What I especially loved about this version of the pattern was the fabric blocking that they did at the hemline and sleeve hem. The model is seen wearing a striped fabric that was cut two different directions, breaking up the print and creating an interesting line.
Since my fabric was one-directional I decided I would rather pick a complimentary fabric to use at these points. So I headed back to Mood where I found a beautiful, matching lavender fabric in their cotton shirting section. I chose to match the lighter purple in the fabric seeing as how lavender is the it color of the season.
After attaching the lavender fabric to the hemline, I knew I made the right choice. However, it was more difficult to fall in love with the color-blocked sleeve hems. Attaching the thick lavender pieces to the sleeves made the dress look a little too kitschy.... almost like a robe. I spent a lot of time deliberating on what fabric I should use to finish the sleeves
I took to Instagram once again to take a vote:
Although I liked the sleeve without the lavender fabric, I felt like it was missing an element... my partner was the one to give me an ah-ha moment. When he suggested creating removable panels at the end of the sleeves to switch out the fabric, I thought, why not just make it reversible?
So that's what I did. Luckily I had just enough fabric to cut out the printed cotton. I then cut the two pieces in half and attached them to the solid-colored fabric. Now, when rolled down, the sleeve is all the same print. But when you roll them up, you have a pop of color. I especially love this compromise because you can adjust how much of the lavender fabric that you can see.
I hope you like the compromise that I made. Scroll down to see how it turned out and let me know what you think: