26 April 2015

Stashbusting Sewalong: April Theme "Vibrant Colour"!

When I started making this dress, I was looking out the window at the constant rain that Sydney had for three straight days, and kissed summer goodbye, while wondering why on earth I was making a sun dress, out of vibrant orange and yellow flowers no less. Easy. Because I bought this fabric on holidays a couple of weeks ago, specifically to make something on theme for the Stashbusting Sewalong for April. That might sound like an oxymoron, but it's souvenir sewing, so that doesn't make it stash adding, right? I will add my fabric to the "purchased" column on my spreadsheet, but I'm not really fussed if I miss out on my target for the year because of this purchase.

On the very first morning of my Rarotongan holiday, I came up with the idea of making a sun dress from a local style of fabric. It just so happened to be my wedding anniversary that day, and having just crossed the international date line, our anniversary was about 45 hours long this year! Being in a tropical island on my anniversary had me thinking about my honeymoon in a similarly tropical paradise. Part of my honeymoon was spent in Hawaii, and whilst there I bought a sun dress. It was a very simple style, but a favourite of mine while it still fit me comfortably, reminding me of my honeymoon every time I wore it. I decided that to commemorate this trip I should find the perfect fabric to re-create the same dress. I bought a sarong on the first day of my holiday, and was going to make the dress from that, until I actually found the right places to buy fabric from. I think the sarong is safe from being chopped up. At least for now.

I kept the style of dress fairly similar to my original. My new dress is a little longer, the straps a little wider, and it has more ease to make it more comfortable. I tried to find a photo of me wearing the original dress from 11 years ago, but came up empty handed, so I (quite surprisingly) squeezed myself into it for these photos. Although it did fit, I don't think I could manage a whole day wearing it. It's really snug!

The fabric for me new dress is a rayon, and is very fine and drapey. I briefly debated whether to line the whole dress so that it would hold it's shape better, but decided just to line the bodice with some white cotton poplin. (At least that 20cm of fabric was stash!) I almost changed my mind back when I went to do the final step of sewing, which was to stitch the bodice lining in the ditch from the outside. The fact that I would be sewing from the right side of the dress trying to keep my gathers even without being able to see them made it a little more difficult, but I just used pins every half centimetre or so. It worked out OK.

It didn't turn out to be much of a stashbust either, although my attempt at pattern matching the back seam did take up a bit more of the fabric.

Almost nailed the CB pattern matching!
I bought way more than I needed of each of my Rarotongan purchases, only using about half of this fabric. I bought two metres of each of my other two fabrics also. That's probably too much of them too! But those will have to wait I think. My mind is turning to winter sewing now that we've had a taste of cold weather!

I also wanted to mention that I took all these photos of myself on my new camera. It's nothing special, just an underwater camera that we bought for our holiday. I was having a look around the internet to see if you could buy a remote to use with it, when I discovered something even better! There's an app that you can download, and control the camera remotely from your phone. Not only can you take photos and videos, and zoom in and out, but you can create collages as well. You get about one second after you've clicked on the phone until the camera takes the photo, so if I look slightly stunned in some photos, that's why!

Here's one where I wasn't quite quick enough!

This will certainly make taking photos for M-M-M a lot easier!


  1. I love it! And what a special dress it will be just like your original honeymoon dress!

    1. Thanks Diane. I hope it is just as special too!

  2. This is so lovely and cheerful. The colour really suits you too.

    1. Thank you Megan. I actually got to wear it yesterday. I think it was summer's last hurrah.