Dress – The Ballgown – Personal Pattern
Socks – J Crew
Shoes – Cole Haan
Necklace – Found Brass Nut + Silver Key
It’s probably best to wait to post about your Summer of Basics makes till the end of Fall, yes? That’s exactly what I was thinking!
For the first basic garment of the summer, I wanted a long sundress with a lot of skirt, that could be worn every day, but also felt just a little bit fancy. I used this fabric that I’ve had forever, that’s moved with me across the country TWICE! It’s a heavy grey quilting cotton printed with little clothes pin dolls!! I really love this dress, it makes me feel like I’m wearing a ballgown!
The bodice is self drafted, which I covered over on my Insta stories as I was making it. It’s based off some personal slopers that I made probably about five years ago – turns out I don’t have the same boobs so I had to do some rather drastic smallering up in the bust area.
There’s no support or anything in the bodice other than the lining, because I wanted it to be light and comfy to wear and wasn’t really concerned with it keeping its shape perfectly. I used a white silk cotton blend for the lining, and just butterflied all the seams, then understitched all the seam allowances to add at least a bit of strength to the behind – the – scenes situation.
The good news is that I entirely did not remember to get a picture of the back, which is entirely scooped out with a bunch of points for the straps to criss cross all over the place. Gotta get some of those weird tan lines, ya know?
I added super huge pockets into the side seams, on account of obviously. I didn’t want them to collapse inside or weigh down the side seams, so I top stitched them onto the skirt. If I did it again, I wouldn’t topstitch along the bottom of the pocket. I like how the topstitching looks, and it adds a bit of utility to the vibe, but when things are in the pockets, you can see the bulges along the bottom topstitched seam.
The skirt is just a rectangular tube gathered into the waistband. I didn’t want to double that thickness at the waist by gathering the lining in like I did for the skirt, so the lining has a six inch yoke, with the bulk of the lining gathered into that. I love this technique, because then you can get a really full skirt and you don’t have to worry about hemming curved edges. Oh the horror!
So, I only actually ended up wearing this dress once this Summer… Do you ever make something because it used to be your style, and you have fondness in your heart for those clothes, but you don’t really wear them anymore?
I think that’s what may have happened. I don’t really like tight clothes anymore!! I feel like I can’t breathe and then I get all panicky!! Also some of the printed dolls are a little bright for me (aka, there is more than one color). So maybe I’ll make another one in a solid cotton sateen (maybe a coppery color? or dark grey?) and let the waist out a little bit. I’d do it on this one, but I am not unpicking all of those bodice lining seams. I already did that a couple times. yikes.
Anyway! I still love it, and it makes me happy to have in my closet. And you never know when you’ll need a ballgown!