It’s Kathy back with another dress! This time I am trying a Chalk and Notch pattern for the first time – The Fringe Dress. This year as part of my #2018makenine pledge, I am trying to use nine sewing patterns from independent companies that I have never used before. This is the fourth pattern made now from that list, so I am slowly working my way through them.
I cannot resist a cute floral fabric, so when I saw the arrival of this adorable Aqua Zantelle Viscose crepe I knew that I wanted to make a dress with it! Viscose does have a tendency to shrink a little in the pre-wash so make sure that you allow for this, also it is worth noting that it is fairly slippery to sew with and moves around a little, so may be a fabric more suitable for someone who has some sewing experience under their belt. That said, it is a stunning fabric, the colour is bright and happy and the surface of the fabric has an interesting natural slubbed texture to it.
This dress pattern has different neckline, sleeve and belt tie variations and I opted to make view A which has a v-neck button front and simple sleeves with a cute button up tab feature. It looks a little like a shirt dress. Both views have a shaped hem with a gathered skirt, but I felt that I wanted a horizontal hem and so cut my skirt pieces out with a level hem.
I found the sizing a little challenging. My body measurements put me at a Chalk and Notch size 10, but the finished garment measurements look like a size 6 would be a good finished fit. I made up a size 6, but it still feels roomy ( I can get it on and off over my head without undoing the buttons), and the belt tie at the back is tied as tight as it can go. Next time I will size down.
I enjoyed making the pattern very much, clear written instructions are accompanied by good line drawings, and although it’s not the quickest dress I have ever made, it is straightforward and comes together nicely. The front bodice fastens with 3 buttons, and you will need a button for each sleeve tab. The buttons that I chose have a natural look – rather like coconut shell, and they pick up the golden colours in the fabric perfectly. I used ¾” buttons for the bodice front and used smaller ½” ones for the sleeve tabs.
The skirt has a really subtle gather – barely none at all, and I like this. I’m glad that I chose to make the hem horizontal rather than the shaped hem, as I know I will get more wear out of this style. I’m kind of thinking that I might have left the length a little too long, and will perhaps shorten it a tad. Hmmm.. not sure. Also can we just take a moment to appreciate that it is a dress with pockets! Oh yes!
All in all, it’s a great dress, made all the more pretty by using this colourful floral fabric. I am so looking forward to getting lots of wear out of this during the Summer months, warmer temperatures permitting. Thank you so very much to Sheona for providing me with the fabric to sew up such a cute dress, I had a great time making it!
Take care, and I’ll be back soon,