I was lucky enough to test the Bumblebee Pattern before it's release and realized what a wonderful and caring woman RaeAnna is! She put a lot of effort into this pattern (her first!) and it really shows.
Scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a copy of the Bumblebee Dress pattern along with a gift certificate to the Ribbon Retreat and some free fabric! After all, who doesn't love free fabric :) Or, if you tend to be a bit impatient (and incredibly unlucky!) like me you can buy the Bumblebee Dress on sale here for only $5 until November 18th!
I posted my first Bumblebee Dress (with minimal changes from the pattern) here, but for the second one I wanted to do something a bit different. A few months ago I bought this goldish (the color is actually called mustard) chambray from fabric.com. I didn't have anything in particular planned for it, but once I started designing this dress, I knew the color would be perfect. But since the chambray is an almost utilitarian looking fabric, and I was going for a dressier look, I dug through my fabric until I found this lovely cream silk dupioni. I think it adds the perfect amount of shimmer to make the dress a little unexpected :)
I made a few small changes to the pattern like using narrower ruffles on the bodice and sleeves. I'm not really much of a ruffle person, but I think that is because I hate sewing them, not because of how they look :) I kept the larger ruffle on the bottom, but I added a high-low hemline because I wanted a tunic that could be worn with pants. It's just too cold in Michigan to wear a dress and tights in the middle of winter, and a dressy top with pants is a much smarter, frostbite-free choice :) To create the hemline, I cut the back of the dress about 2" shorter than the pattern and the front about 8" shorter. The only other change I made was to add a band between the bodice and skirt because I thought it added to the overall traditional look.
I generally don't do embroidery, so I chose to add pintucks and buttons to the bodice. Just a little nod to my humble beginnings in heirloom sewing :)
I drafted my own pants pattern (more about that later this week!) and sewed them from a stretch cotton sateen. I have never used that particular fabric before, but I definitely will again!
I don't know if you have ever worked with silk dupioni, but that stuff is a bear to sew. It frays like mad! Poor Mae ran through my sewing room while I was cutting and ironing and acted like she had just run into a giant spider web :) And then when I was gathering the ruffles, I had to spend a few minutes collecting silk strands from my clothes and everything else in the general vicinity. The silk also snags rather easily, but thankfully the slub texture hides any minor imperfections that occur while sewing ... and there were a few :)
I've said it before, and I will probably say it again :) The Bumblebee Dress is a great pattern that has so much potential for customization. You can take a look at the other stops on the tour and see for yourself just how true this is!
And we're outta here! That's all for today :)
Dress - Robert Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Mustard
Bodice/Ruffles - Cream silk dupioni
Pants - Navy stretch cotton sateen from Joann's
Buttons - Joann's
Boots - H&M