Dreams are made of floral chambray

My very dear friend who owns Jones & Vandermeer sent me some of their exclusive Liberty chambray to play with. It is adorned with Betsy, one of my all time favorite Liberty prints, and it is the softest, drapiest chambray I’ve felt. I’ve actually been holding onto this fabric for a bit. I plan a project and then it doesn’t seem good enough for the fabric. But making a dress in a simple silhouette seemed like the perfect way to let the fabric shine.

Layla just adores this dress. She loves Aqua blue, so I felt like she needed to have this. Like all the dresses I’m showing you this week, I used the Building Block Dress by Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S for the pattern.

I kept this version super simple. I cut a size 6 bodice with the size 7 length. The skirt is a gathered skirt (2 x bodice width of each piece of the bodice x 21″ length). The hem is folded up once by 1/4″ and then again by 1″. This is a longer dress than yesterday’s and I hope she will be able to wear it for a long time. I predict she will because it’s already generously sized all the way around and she’s soooo skinny.

The sleeves are gathered using the suggested alteration in the book. It was very easy to modify the pattern piece and just as simple to make and insert the sleeve.

I did line the bodice as I always do, but I felt it was unnecessary to line the skirt on this one. In case you are wondering at my bodice construction, as I do believe I do it differently than the instructions, I’ll tell you my process. I sew the shoulder seams and press my main fabric bodice seams toward the back and the lining seams toward the bodice front. This locks the seams in place when I sew the lining and main bodice together and lessens the likelihood of the shoulder seam ever splitting. I sew the lining to the bodice at the center back seam since the lining is narrower than the main fabric (so that the main fabric will fold inside and line the placket). I then sew the neckline seam. I would sew the armholes before turning right side out if I wasn’t adding sleeves, but for this I only did the neckline before clipping and turning right side out. Now I sew the side seams of the main bodice and lining separately. Go back and baste the arm openings of the lining and main together with a 1/4″ seam. I then prepare my sleeve by first basting gathering stitches, then sewing the side seam (almost always with a French seam), then I go ahead and hem the sleeve edge before setting it in the armhole and sewing together. Finally, I finish the arm seam with my serger (or overlock stitch on my regular machine.) I will do French seams at the arm hole, but for most of Layla’s dresses I don’t.

I can’t wait to show you tomorrow’s dress! I think it might even beat out the horse dress as her favorite. If you have the Building Block Dress book, what are your favorite modifications? Have you found it empowering for transforming your patterns or do you find it rather daunting? Don’t leave me talking to myself over here! I want to hear your thoughts or questions if you have any!


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Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way.

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