I have lived in Texas for almost ten years and, in that time, I’ve been completely spoiled by the gorgeous weather we have here. The summers are brutal, there’s no getting around that, but the winters, you guys. The mild, short, bearable winters with no snow or ice or bone chilling cold. It’s the perfect climate for someone like me who enjoys being outside a lot, year round. I can hop on my bike on the coldest day in December and not have to worry about icy conditions or piles of dirty, gray snow on the roads. I’m also a weakling who could cry at the mere idea of endless gray skies and snow and bundling up in half a dozen layers just to check the mail. No, just no. So, high five to those of you in colder climates who enjoys those freezing temperatures. You’re much stronger than I am!
My disdain for winter coupled with mild Texas winters and my overwhelming love for spring (flowers are blooming! the sun is shining! the grass is green again!), means that come February I am all in for the new season. This year is no different, and I’ve already finished quite a few projects and we’re just three days into March. I’m also on a deadline this month, which is the ultimate motivator to get things done. In case you missed it, see what I have planned for our Florida trip here.
I’ve always wanted a gingham or checkered dress for spring and summer. Around the time I was thinking about said dress, this new Butterick pattern was released. Then, a day later, I found the fabric. Meant to be, right?! This fabric is unique because it’s 100% linen, and I am crazy about the color. It’s fresh and happy but also classic.
Originally, I wanted to put sleeves on this dress, as seen in view C. I went back and forth for a good two days about this sleeve. In the end, I went sleeveless because I felt like the dress was a little more versatile without the sleeve. I couldn’t put a cardigan on over those sleeves, and I just so happen to have a green one that matches perfectly. Also, when I tried the dress on with the sleeves it felt like a lot of gingham, a lot. I adore the sleeves though, and I will definitely make this dress again in a solid color with sleeves.
I added fullness to the skirt and contoured the neckline because it was gaping open a little bit. It didn’t require major changes so I took off 1/4″ at each end of the neckline, tapering to the original shoulder seam line. I made two bodice muslins before cutting my fabric to make sure the fit was accurate.
Notice on the shoulder seam and side seam where the white paper is. That is there to illustrate what the pattern looked like before I took off 1/4″ in those spots. Normally, to contour a neckline, the excess is transferred and released in a dart or gathers or a pleat, but there was no clean way to achieve this on this particular bodice. When I made changes the first time, I moved the neck excess to a bust dart that I created just for that purpose, but I didn’t love that solution. So, I ended up making small adjustment at the shoulder and side seams, which essentially makes the neckline shorter. That way, all the excess around the neck that was causing it to gap open has been eliminated.
I lined the entire dress (the lining is 100% cotton), which took some creativity when constructing the bodice in order to keep the bodice lining free around the waistline to attach the skirt lining.
I absolutely adore this dress, and I can’t wait to make it again. But first, I have enough of this fabric left to make a new spring top. You know I love it when that happens!
Have a great weekend!
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