Sometimes it’s nice to step out of your comfort zone, right? My comfort zone generally involves sleeves and not self made, narrow binding out of slippy slidey rayon. But you know, horizons need to be broadened occasionally.
I can’t remember where I first saw the George and Ginger Sincerely Rylee dress, probably in one of the many FB sewing groups I’m part of. It’s not my usual style, but I really liked the look of it as it’s not something that looks particularly home sewn (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I knew it would be great as a beach dress. And I know I say that a lot, but considering we spend about 10/12 months of the year submerged in water here, beach dresses are something I wear a lot.
It’s another mullet dress (party in the back) and yeah, I hear you on the no bra thing. But again, swimmers or even a strappy bralette would look cool with it. Or just let the girls be free. I ain’t judging.
So even though the boho vibe piqued my interest, I couldn’t imagine myself going head to toe floral. I needed something drapey but a wee bit more me. So skull rayon from Spotlight it was. I’ll admit, I feel a bit Lydia Deetz in it, but I’m ok with the whole summer emo-goth vibe.
Did I mention that if you’re resourceful you can grab this pattern totally freeeeeee? Yeah you can. I did. You just have to get your searching fingers ready and find both the George and Ginger pattern group and Sincerely Rylee fabric group on FB. Both have half a code in their pinned posts, grab those and away you go to the G+G website.
Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that PDF patterns aren’t my favourite thing (I failed cutting and pasting at preschool, I realise how ridiculous that sounds because yes, I sew), but you can get this baby printed as an A0 at your local Officeworks (or print shop, I assume). It cost me the grand sum of $4.10. Not bad for a free pattern. For that price I didn’t even trace it, just cut out the size 14 like some kind of rebel.
Shall we talk about all the ways I struggled with this dress? Lets.
Firstly, I sewed it yesterday afternoon, coming off the back of a huge, emotionally charged weekend away. I was tired. I should have known better. The pattern has two different skirt pieces. One is the top tier and one is for the bottom two tiers (which you cut 6 of, two joined together for the middle tier and four for the bottom tier. Yes, it’s very full and swishy). In my haze, I didn’t read the instructions properly and thought the top tier was for the top version of the pattern and the others were for the dress versions. Derp. Upon actually reading, that was more clear but I’d already cut everything else and didn’t have quite enough fabric left for that first tier. It was just long enough but not quite wide enough. So it’s not as full as it should be. I think it’s still wearable though.
The darts, they’re interesting. I’d already read in the FB group that some women had some gaping under the arms and a bigger dart is a good solution for that. I’m so glad I’d read that because I did make a wider dart and the gaping is very slight. It would have been bigger if I didn’t adjust it. But here’s the thing, I should have done a proper FBA because the darts are really short. I made the dress up as is and had to go back and extend those suckers as best I could with the armholes already finished. I almost doubled the length of them to get them in the general vicinity of my nipples. Not the greatest darts, but at least they aren’t pointing awkwardly to the sides of my boobs anymore. I’d say if you’re anything bigger than a B cup, you’ll need to adjust them. For reference, I’m a D cup.
The final hurdle was making all that narrow strapping behave itself. Which is all me and just a matter of practice. Easier to do out of something more stable like quilting cotton (not recommended for this dress as it needs more drape) than rayon. Cannot even begin to imagine the words that would come out of my mouth if I’d attempted it in something completely devilish like satin. Oh and the gathering and hemming on that last tier. Mate. My fabric was 135cm wide, which means that the last tier is 540cm. It’s never ending.
Despite the challenges though, I’m really quite happy with it. I love how flowy it is and the shape of the top. It’s nice to have a different style to wear and I definitely learned new skills. Mainly patience.