April’s pattern for the #SewMyStyle project is the Sew House 7 Bridgetown Backless dress or tunic. I thought about this pattern for a while because of the backless design feature. I really like it, but my days of going braless are long gone and I wasn’t sure I really wanted to bother with a cami or similar. In the end though, I found a few inspirational pics that showed it to be less or more open on different people, and decided to go for the woven version of the dress.
I’m currently at a film festival with my husband halfway up Mount Hood in Oregon, and it’s cold and snowy. In case you’re wondering why I’m wearing hiking boots with a dress and appear to be taking photos in a garage, now you know. 🙂 If you’re interested in what the film festival could be, I’ve left a clue at the end of the post! Enjoy.
The style of the dress itself is loose-fitting through the top half with kimono-type sleeves, and a little more fitted on the bottom half. The back of the dress comprises two halves of fabric that overlap to form the draped back. On me, this is fairly flush against the skin, but depending on various factors (size, fabric, shape), it could be quite open, necessitating a cami or non-bra approach. The waist is elasticated at roughly the high waist and I would probably lower it slightly next time, as I’m long-waisted.
One of the great things about #sewmystyle is the chance to try styles and make garments I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards. A loose top and elasticated waist is not my natural style – hence the belt accessory, which definitely helps accent my figure a little more. As a little experiment, I asked my friend to try it on who is a different shape to me. She has broader shoulders and slimmer hips and I guessed this type of dress would suit her better. And I reckon it did – it looked great! Having said that, it does look better on myself than I anticipated, so it’s certainly not a dead loss by any means. I think a knit version would be extremely versatile in the summer actually, and I’m rather tempted by the maxi length versions I’ve seen. Sew House 7 has a full tutorial on how to achieve a maxi hack if you’re also interested.
There are some things I really like about this dress. It’s extremely comfortable to wear, which is augmented by the fact I used a delicious Cotton and Steel rayon from the Frock collection. I must admit it drapes slightly less than I expected (the arms are more angular and stiff than I thought they would be), but it is cool against the skin and so light. I also really like the banded hem finish on the woven version of the dress.
There are two “versions” of the Bridgetown dress, but the hem is the main difference: the woven version has a deep band of around 6 inches to finish the hem, while the knit version is a case of simply turning up and hemming. I also found it very satisfying to finish the two back pieces and front piece all at the same time with a long length of facing as in the pic above. It was easy to apply and looks very nice.
I don’t have my notes on me here on the mountainside, so I will edit the size and amount of fabric when I get back home, since I think I managed to squeeze the pieces out of less fabric than stipulated – and it is handy to know if you have 3 yards, but not 3 1/4 yards in your stash. I do know that I pretty much made it over the course of one weekend and I suspect it was only a few hours sewing in total.
Now onto the next project for May, which is the Cali Faye pocket skirt. This looks like a good staple, which will be very useful for Me Made May, I’m sure! Oh, and that picture I promised you: