Floral Farrah Dress
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 26th August 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
Earlier this spring I took a hard look at my wardrobe and found that it wasn’t quite reflecting my personality. I vowed to bring in more lively colors and prints with my future makes. When I saw this floral Viscose Challis Fabric, I fell in love with the color palette. The bright oranges and pinks are complemented by the subtle blue background and the floral print is balanced by earthy sage and mustard tones. It’s just so pretty.
I instantly knew this fabric would be perfect for a summer dress with floaty sleeves. Initially, I thought a SOI Eve or V9328, which would be beautiful for a summer special occasion. But since I don’t have any occasions coming up this summer, I decided I needed a pattern that would give this beautiful print some everyday wearability. Enter the Chalk + Notch Farrah dress. This pattern paired with this bright floral viscose was everything I was hoping for. It’s so easy to wear. When I put it on, I feel instantly elevated without feeling overdressed. I can dress it up with a belt and heels for a fancy brunch or wear it paired with my lilac trainers for a trip to the park or grocery store.
While this fabric had a steadier hand than most viscoses I’ve used, I still treated it the way I do all slippery fabrics. After washing, I starched the fabric to keep it from moving around when cutting. I cut the fabric using a rotary cutter and marked it using a fabric pen instead of snipping notches. I interfaced the hems and all bias cut edges. I used a microtex needle and had no problems with snagging or pulling. Though the fabric is a bit sheer, I didn’t line it since I usually wear a slip under dresses anyway.
This pattern has some really lovely details and I learned some new techniques. I must say, this pattern was deceptively complex. I was thinking that since it’s a shift dress, the construction would be pretty simple. The details however, really elevate this pattern and it is aptly described as an intermediate pattern.
The front and back yokes are both burrito-ed and the shoulder seams are enclosed. I love the burrito technique and I love the finish on the inside. The next step is to hem the flutter sleeves. There’s an option for a double rolled hem but the instructions suggest using a narrow roll hem. To toot my own horn for a minute, I must say that this was my first try using my narrow hem foot. Whoop! Whoop! I’m so happy I decided to try it out instead of shying away from something new and intimidating. It took some practice but I’m so glad I did it!
The flutter sleeves are then sandwiched between the bodice and the underarm gusset pieces. I had a pretty tough time with this construction and had to unpick each side three or four times. It was a bit of a struggle but I did get there in the end.
The side seams are stitched and pressed open leading into what should be a miltered corner. I was finding that the dress was coming up shorter than I liked so I chose to do a 0.5 centimeter double hem instead of the 2.5 centimeter hem which changed the shape at the corners. It’s not as clean as the intended miltered corner but it still looks cool and I am happier with the extra bit of length.
This dress wasn’t the quick, easy sew I thought it would be. In fact, I probably would have really enjoyed the sewing process if I hadn’t been frustrated about it not being as easy as I thought. I learned the important lesson that I shouldn’t underestimate a pattern and to give myself a bit more grace when sewing something new.
The Make Breakdown
Pattern: Chalk + Notch Farrah Dress
Fabric & Notions: 2.3 Meters Viscose Fabric
Fabric Notes: Steady, but lightweight. A slip or lining is best for dresses and skirts.
Design Modifications: Eliminated miltered corner and hemmed with a double fold at 0.5cm
Fit Alterations: Added 2 centimeters to center back yoke piece
Difficulty: Intermediate - careful around those ruffly gussets!
Future Plans: No more Farrah’s for now but my mom loved this fabric so much, she ordered some for me to make her a little top!
I definitely had some struggles making this dress but I am so happy with the finished garment. I’m so excited to wear this dress all summer! I even love seeing it hang in my wardrobe. All the happy colors bring in a bit of life and joy to my closet. Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
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