My August Minerva Make – Skulls ‘n’ Roses Dress
This month I wanted to try something a little bit different, just for kicks. I picked a dress pattern in a style I wouldn’t normally go for, and a fabric I wouldn’t normally go for.
The dress pattern is Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 1607:
I would say that this dress is unusual for most people due to its quirky strap placement, but for me it was also a choice outside of my normal comfort zone because it’s fitted right down to just above the hips. I’m a pear shape and my belly isn’t exactly washboard flat, so usually I wear things that flare out at the natural waist. But like I said, I fancied a change.
The fabric is a ‘Gothic Skulls’ print. Novelty print fabrics are not at all unusual for me, but there are two things about it that would normally put me off: First, it’s a pale background print. I avoid these as much as possible because I won’t be able to layer up with tights in the winter. Second, it’s a polycotton blend. I have no problem with plain polycottons, but I find polycotton prints fade really badly after multiple washes. But! I saw this print and thought it would be fun for a summer dress with crazy straps. It was all coming together in an 80s New Romantic kinda way (minus the androgyny). If I still had my DMs I’d have worn them for the photos.
I chose an ivory polycotton to line the dress with. I only envisaged lining the bodice, but in the end I fully lined the dress and had buy an extra metre of fabric. Unfortunately I bought white rather than the ivory, but as it’s on the inside it doesn’t matter too much I guess!
I made a toile of the bodice, midriff and yoke, and made a minor adjustment of sewing the side seams at 3/8″ instead of 5/8″ as it was pretty tight-fitting! Once I had adjusted the toile, I used it as my lining.
I didn’t toile the straps, and I’m glad I didn’t because to sew them twice would have been soul destroying! Even though I had everything labelled, it took me a good few hours just to work the straps out and sew them.
The finished dress is still a bit snug, if I’m honest. There are wrinkles and the fabric rides up a bit over my hips. But hey, I’ve seen worse, and it isn’t uncomfortably tight, and I’m totally going to wear this to my friend’s hen party on Friday night.
It took me a while to figure out what bra I could wear under this. In the majority of photos I’m not even wearing one, but it felt a bit porno to be honest. I eventually worked out that my multiway bra works with the straps crossed over at the front but normal at the back. Feels a bit strange but it seems to work!
The straps do shift around quite a bit when wearing this dress, and when they move out of position they look a bit odd. I’ll probably end up continually readjusting them! I’d like to try the other version of this dress which has a more simple strap formation. I like the skirt a lot, even though I thought I wouldn’t be comfortable with the fitted yoke over the stomach and hips.
Thanks to Minerva for the fabric, lining, zip and pattern!