Hello Internet Friends!
The rain that heralds the beginning of fall on the west coast has finally begun to arrive, but despite the rainy weather I wanted to hold on to a bit more of summer by posting my bright yellow raw silk Cielo dress!
In yet another Instagram poll, I asked my followers if I should whip up a quick end of summer/beginning of fall Cielo dress in either some bight yellow raw silk noil that managed to snag as a remnant from the Love to Sew Podcast x Spoonflower meet up at Blackbird Fabrics HQ or the floral linen I got from Japan. The bright yellow version was hands down the winner so I set out to capture the last bit of summer in this bright make :)
This is super easy pattern to sew, all in all it took me two short afternoons of sewing (from the weekend that I sewed on my balcony in the sun!) and I had a finished dress which was super satisfying. The lines on this dress are very clean, with a few hidden details that I love such as the back angled yoke and cuffed sleeves (both pattern pieces that would be great for colour blocking!). Also, POCKETS! that may look non functional at first glance but they are actually really useful for holding a card or two, some change, and my sunglasses, a phone was a bit too heavy I found and tended to make the dress hang funny…..but still, POCKETS!
While I love the simplicity of a shift dress I sometimes find them hard to fit as many of the patterns I’ve previously tried have left me with quite a bit of pooling at the lower back which really ruins the silhouette. For this pattern I took a good look at the finished measurements to make sure that ease at the bust was sufficient to prevent any pooling issues through pulling of back fabric by the bust. I also ensured that the hip measurements for my chosen bust size would also work for my hip measurements, again to ensure that there wouldn’t be any fabric pooling at the back. After taking all of these things into account I settled on a straight size 10 in the A/B cup which would give me plenty of ease at both the bust and hip.
Now we come to the #shortgirl problem where I needed to shorten the pattern…..normally this wouldn’t be an issue but since the pockets for this dress are made though the use of two front pieces (the front top and front bottom) by sewing the bottoms of the pocket shapes together first and then folding down the front bottom to make the lower half of the dress, shortening the dress made me concerned that it would mess up the pocket depth. I knew I needed to shorten the dress considerably, I settled on a good 4” (and ultimately took another 1.5” inches off at the hem after completing sewing), and while I could have simply lopped 4” off the hem I knew that this would probably result in the waist of the dress hitting at the wrong spot. I held the front pattern piece up to my body and used the waistline marking to confirm that this would indeed be the case.
So to make sure that I would be shortening the pattern correctly I folded out the 4” in the upper front piece at the lengthen/shorten line and then folded the front bottom piece at the pocket markings, placed this onto of the upper front piece and then ensured that the side seam length was correct as well as the depth of the pockets. Everything looked great :D so I shortened both the upper front and back pieces at the lengthen/shorten line accordingly and went on my merry way. Things were sewing up beautifully until it came to sewing the tops of the pockets, I had forgotten to move the the pocket markings on the upper front piece up after my length adjustment. This meant that the pocket markings didn’t match up on the two pieces, a simple fix but an important thing to remember to do if you shorten or lengthen this pattern dramatically!
To keep the lines of this dress as clean as possible, and to negate any issues that may be a concern with sewing a bias tape finishing with the raw silk noil, I went with facings to finish the neck line (This also added to the speedy sewing time!). As I mentioned above I ended up taking an additional ~1.5” off the final hem to make the dress length just right, threw a quick hem on it using wonder tape (my new best friend because I hate doing the pressing and pinning for a hem) and et voila! New dress!
I’ve loved wearing this dress over the last few weeks of summer heat! Not only is the cut of the dress very breezy and cooling but the silk as well softens really well post washing and this raw silk kind of sluby texture repels water a bit which means any sweat doesn’t really show (which was a life saver when I wore it in Boston when humidity was still a factor! I was soo hot but I didn’t look overly sweaty!) The fabric does crinkle a bit but not as much as something like a linen and it presses like a dream so getting creases out isn’t a problem.
I’m excited to wear this dress as the seasons being to change as well! With some nice leggings and a oversized cardigan it’ll add a nice pop of colour to the chiller fall season. I also have plans for some nice top versions in the future, although I’m not sure if I’m bold enough to do the dramatic sleeve option…we’ll have to see, perhaps the ‘perfect’ fabric will land in my lap and make that view a viable option in my wardrobe!
Do you guys have any transitional pieces planned for this end of summer/beginning of fall season? Let me know in the comments :D