Recently, I was partially-gifted this incredible block print fabric from Fibers to Fabric. I say partially because I was given a discount for $25 and I wound up purchasing $30 worth of fabric!
I really love block-printed fabric. I have purchased it in the past at shops like Topstitch and I've always really enjoyed the handfeel of the fabric. It's really soft and drapey, but easy to sew like a quilting cotton, which to me is the best of both worlds. And I love the irregularities of the fabric print- it reminds me that we are all human and nothing in life needs to be perfect.
Lately, I feel like I get these grand ideas for fabrics that I see online and then when they arrive at my door, I forget everything I wanted to make almost instantaneously. That's what the wash cycle is for nowadays- whenever a bit of fabric arrives in the mail for me and I've forgotten all my plans, I just toss it into the wash with all the other fabrics I'm confused about and let the ideas simmer in my brain.
Usually, by the time the fabric has come out the dryer, I am ready to go! Which was the case for this fabric (or at least that's how I remember it).
For this fabric, I knew I wanted something that showcased the entire print. I wanted a pattern with minimal style lines so that I wouldn't feel too much pressure to a) pattern match and b) make an already busy pattern even busier. So I opted for an oversized vintage Butterick Shirt Dress.
This dress could be so many things: a nice swim cover up, a breezy gardening dress, and a casual Parisian style outfit to wear while sipping wine in the south of France (I wish!).
I did wind up having to pattern match the front of the dress- I didn't fret too much at first but after sewing the front seam, the pattern was in that weird space where it was off JUST enough to be distracting, but not enough to look intentional. So I did some tweaking and wriggling until the pattern matched close enough (to my eye) that I was satisfied!
I did a few mods to this design mainly because this was much more oversized than I thought it would be, especially seeing as I cut out a medium. The few modifications I took on included:
Cuffing the sleeves
I am really weird about where my sleeves hit me. If they are too low I feel like my entire body is being pulled towards the ground. So a simple cuff lifted me right on up!
Omitting the buttons up the placket
I just didn't think they were necessary, nor do I believe I will ever wear this buttoned all the way up. And if I change my mind in the future, adding those buttons would be a quick task!
Adding a waist tie
I had a few long strips of fabric left over and seeing as the dress was much more oversized than I felt comfortable in for daily wear (I am all about flowy dresses for the beach with no waist restrictions!), I fashioned a super simple waist tie and it made all the difference to me. Plus, I now have options and can wear my dress any which way that pleases me! If I change my mind in a few years and suddenly LOVE the floaty dress trend, I will have the ability to omit the waist tie and embrace it fully!
Stopping the side slits...wherever
I didn't actually mark where I was supposed to end the side slits. I kind of just guessed. At first, I ended them WAY too high and thought this would be a tunic style I'd wear over shorts. But seeing that I have very few shorts to pair with this outfit, I thought I'd get more wear out of it as a dress. So I slip stitched those slits closed and ended them about halfway up my thigh. It's still a bit high, and I have to be careful when running down stairs (I mean it'll ALL hang out!), but I like it a lot more as a dress now! All that to say, I have been wearing this dress around a lot lately.
It's such an easy thing to throw on and feel put together but like I am still wearing comfy PJ's! I do sometimes get Peter Pan nightgown vibes from this dress, but with the right shoes and accessories, I instantly feel more put together and ready to frolick through fields of flowers. Or, more realistically, head off to run a million errands.
The only thing I wish I had added... pockets!