I've been slowly revamping my wardrobe, and my goal the last few months was to make items largely out of my stash fabrics. I don't have a HUGE stash, but it's definitely been motivating to use what I've got and go easy on the sewing budget in the meantime. It's also been good to get me out of my comfort zone. I have some fabrics, like the one I used for this dress, that aren't colors I typically wear or to which I am usually attracted.
I pulled out this fabric to try out this easy, three-piece 1950s pattern, Advance 5627. (And the skirt is a rectangle, so I pretty much consider this a two-piece pattern.) The blousey silhouette means I didn't feel nervous about the fit and just went for it after some initial pattern piece measurements. I may bring it in a couple inches below the bust and at the waist next time, but I'm still quite happy with this version.
I used rayon fabric from Ethiopia, specifically from the Harari people. My mother got it for me on a trip (as is her practice and I totally benefit) along with some other fabrics you'll see on the blog soon. Ethiopia has a lot of gorgeous, light fabrics perfect for hot weather. You may even be surprised at some of the prints as they don't look "ethnic" to most of us in the U.S. on first glance. Harari fabrics tend to resemble a lot of our graphic prints used on summer maxi dresses and knits. They're generally bright, bold, and have really vibrant prints. They also have a lot of rayons, a fabric you don't see much in other parts of Africa where cotton tends to dominate.
I love the giant, swirling print on this fabric. While I don't normally wear greens and yellows, I actually quite like it here in combination with the blues. The bodice is gathered up by ribbons at the shoulders. I sewed the green ribbons to the shoulder seams at the underside (just tacked them). I tacked them slightly outside of the center of the shoulder pieces so I can tie them around my bra and slip straps to keep everything hidden. I also love the neckline as it's classy and doesn't dip down impractically far while also flattering my round face and narrow shoulders. There is a zipper at the center back, and the skirt is just a dirndl style.
I'm definitely going to be making this pattern again! While it's a 1950s pattern, the silhouette is so classic and timeless. I look forward to making this pattern again and wearing this dress a lot this summer! I think it looked great in this whimsical little cloud-house in my town, too. Both are a random, fun thing for summer!
belt: bought with a dress
shoes: Swedish Hasbeens
hat: vintage 1920s/30s
dress: me-made with Advance 5627 and Harari fabric (Ethiopia)
Do you have a summer silhouette you especially love? Are there any colors you don't normally wear but don't mind in certain pieces you own?