Finished - A sassy, slinky, stripey Audrey dress

Sometimes when it's stinking hot you just need a little stripey number that covers what needs covering, reveals what is worth revealing and still fits comfortably after an all-you-can-eat night at your favourite (air conditioned) curry house (seriously I had the best meal of my life at this place. Mostly gluten free, a lot of free-range, very cool - if you live in/visit Melbourne I can't recommend it enough)



This is a little mashup of the Maria Denmark Audrey knit dress, and a very fitted tank pattern that I rubbed off one of my favourite RTW tanks a couple of years ago. I purchased the Audrey pattern for one reason - the back darts. Unusually for a knit dress this pattern has a pair of very discreet fish-eye darts that adds lovely shaping to an area that on me can be prone to sloppiness in a knit unless the garment is designed with negative ease all over (or has a waist seam). Adding shaping to this area elevates the fit of a fairly pedestrian garment to something with a bit more style.

From Maria Denmark

I was a little dubious that the darts would be a bit crappy looking in a knit but with plenty of marking, sewing in 2 parts from the middle to each tip and a very good press they're almost invisible in the stripes. I'm not 100% sold on the A-line shape at the hem - future versions will be a little straighter, but really for a wearable muslin I can't complain. Another point of difference for this pattern is you can choose a B cup version or a C cup version.....


By combining my favourite fitting scoop tank with the body of the Audrey dress I'm pretty close to finding my perfect knit dress pattern that hugs the parts I like and skims over the areas that need a little more ease.  And by changing back to the drafted sleeves and upper body I'll enjoy making a long sleeved mini-skirt version in the cooler months. I'll be honest and say I really don't like the neckline and finish on the pattern as drafted. It makes the dress look too like a nighty in my opinion but it will be a cinch to swap it with a boat neck, a funnel neck, or even the Sewaholic Renfrew cowl neckline. You could get a similar look to my frocklet using one of the tank patterns from Measure Twice Cut Once. 



 The fabric is an organic cotton-Lycra by Hilco. I find it extremely frustrating that it is hard to find decent quality cotton-Lycra blends in Australia - it seems the European fabric companies (such as Hilco, Lillestoffe, Stenzo, Swaffing) have got their act together. Anyway I ordered this via Crafty Mama's, who imports a lot of European knit fabrics (mostly kids prints but there's a few on there that are tempting to this big kid) and patterns. I was a bit disappointed when it arrived because it was pricey at $30/m and it is a printed stripe, not a yarn dyed stripe. Most of the Hilco stripes are yarn dyed, so I made the assumption it was. Anyway it's lovely quality so it's just another lesson learned - read the description Tragic! 


I love my little stripey number and it got an enthusiastic two thumbs up from my curry companion..... I am well aware that I have a serious stripe addiction. I'm considering, for science, putting on my entire stripey wardrobe in one hit, and seeing if I resemble a nautical version of the Michelin Man....

Source

Comments

  1. Gorgeous! You look so comfortable, but also so well put together. Back darts in a knit, what a good idea...I think I'll need to have a closer look at that pattern.

    And even in head-to-toe stripes you wouldn't come close to the michelin man!!

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    1. Thanks Kirsten - it's so comfy, I'm rather in love with it. It's in the wash now and I'm yearning for it!

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  2. Love this stripy dress on you - and your sandals are super cute too!

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    1. Thanks Caroline - I think of them as my Mondrian sandals!

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  3. Yay stripes, love stripes! I also love the back darts. The sack look for knit dresses seems to be "in" but I much prefer this more feminine silhouette. This looks like the kind of dress that one could live in all summer.

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    1. Thanks Kate - I'd love to look good in a sack dress but it's just not going to happen for me! I'm very taken with the shaping this one gives me!

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  4. I love this! So effortless and put together! I'm fairly spoiled being in Southern California, but I cannot wait to wear something like this again soon! I'm sick of jeans and sweaters (luckily I never have to wear a coat!). I love the A-line shape, but this dress definitely looks like something you could easily tweak to make different dresses!

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    1. Thanks Katie! I'm rarely effortless so it's lovely of you to say so! And whilst I don't wish winter upon us I am excited to make a snuggly wool version when it gets cooler!

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  5. Fantastic pattern hacking combo! I like the idea of the fisheye darts and it fits beautifully. I quite like the a-line shape, but you gotta be comfy. And how about that price? For printed stripes! Eek. Bit disappointing

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    1. Thanks lovely! I think shape is growing on me a bit. And yeah I was pretty gutted with the fabric initially - to her credit Lisa at Crafty mamas offered a return and refund even though it was a cut piece but I think that's sometimes the gamble you take buying online..... I'm lucky where I live that I have access to lots of great fabric shops.

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  6. That's a seriously awesome dress! I bet you'll wear it about 3 squillion times xxx

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    1. Thanks Zoe! I've already started looking ahead at the weather forecast to plan when I can next wear it. That's a little bit sad really!

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  7. Now THAT is a go-to dress! I love the shaping in the back; that's beautifully done. And I much prefer your neckline version. Incidentally, I wonder why it's so hard to find good knits in Australia??

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    1. Thanks Danielle - I really don't know - it doesn't make sense that there's great knit fabric garments available in RTW shops but it's so hard to source for the home sewist and expensive when you do source it. Maybe I'm just being picky but there's way too much overpriced polyester out there (I'm talking to you Cleggs!).

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  8. Holy cow - dart-sewing WIN!! Super cute dress! It's making me long for summer.

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  9. Great little dress! I would wear this constantly. I'm pretty sure I need back darts on everything I wear... and I'm with you on yarn dyed stripes vs. painted! I don't want my bulgy areas crackling the ink (although higher quality fabric always helps!)

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    1. Yeah fingers crossed this holds up. Yikes I didn't even think about the strain of bulge V dye..... And yes, I think back darts are the secret around a sway back adjustment without a centre back seam!

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  10. I love this simple dress. I am going to sew something similar but I need to wait a few months for summer in Poland.

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    1. Thankyou! Yes it's definitely a hot weather item but would cute with a cardigan too!

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  11. So simple and chic!! I bet you wear it all the time as the best thing about a staple like this is how many ways you can wear it.

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    1. Thanks Jo - just wish summer wasn't over now! 😔

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  12. Gorgeous dress! I really love it.

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  13. Ps. could easily rival your stripe collection!

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  14. What a great mash up. Looks perfect for summer. Ah summer... I wonder when that will come to the UK.

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    1. Thanks Elena - I don't envy you your winters one bit!

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