Thursday, April 28, 2016

Giant Feather Groove Dress

I've had swing dresses on my mind for months now. A fitted top with a big, swingy, floaty skirt. Not sure why (ok, maybe this is why), but I couldn't (and still can't!) get the idea out of my head.


I've just been too lazy to slash-and-spread an existing pattern to get the swingy dress I wanted. Enter the Groove Dress from Madeit Patterns. Ahoy, swing dress!


The Groove Dress is designed for knit fabrics and it's got loads of neckline and sleeve options, as well as two hem options.  It has optional fisheye darts on the back in case you're looking for a more fitted look.


For my first dress, I went with the short sleeves, round neckline and no darts, in order to maintain optimum swingy-ness. I chose the straight hemline rather than the more dramatic high-low/mullet hemline, only because the fabric I decided to use is white on the wrong side, which I thought would look bad peeking out in the back.


 The fabric is rayon spandex jersey from the Nicole Miller line at Jo-Ann. After seeing it online, I sent my mom on a mission to Jo-Ann with a few photos to see if she could find some in the store. She scored big, finding three of the prints I had my eye on. They were all on sale AND she had a coupon. That woman, I tell you... she's good.


 When I saw the fabric in real life, I still found it to be beautiful, but very different from what I expected after looking at the online photo. The color scheme is much more yellow and autumn-toned than I probably would have chosen and the feathers/leaves are enormous! It wasn't just me, though, who was a bit fooled by the photo on the website; some of the reviewers have the same complaint.


 That said, the fabric itself is lovely. Thick and weighty with good recovery, easy to work with. And the giant-sized feathers/leaves were perfect for a simple pattern like the Groove Dress, with no seams across the body to break them up.


I am really happy with the pattern's fit, which is lovely through the shoulders and bust:



The dress is longer than I thought it would be considering I am taller than the 5'6" for which it's been designed. I measured the back length to see if it had stretched out as compared to the final garment measurements in the pattern. It did stretch a teeny bit, but only about 1/2". So keep that in mind if you make this pattern... it was well below the knee on this almost 5'8" girl!



Is it bad that I wish the skirt was even swingier, though? While I love the drape and bounce it has, when I see it on myself, I wish I'd made the skirt even more dramatic, taking advantage of the full width of my 58" wide fabric. Perhaps the mullet hem version would have had the drama I'm seeking...? When deciding to make my Groove Dress, I was particularly inspired by these dramatic mullet-hem examples: Monkeys and PumpkinsMiss Castelinhos.


 But even without the extreme drama, this is still quite possibly the most comfortable dress I've ever made and I am really happy with it. I'm definitely going to rifle through my stash to find some jersey that's the same on both sides so I can try out the mullet hem version of the Groove Dress.


And I am also seriously considering getting the little girls' version to make for my nieces. I think they would love the swingy skirt.

33 comments:

  1. Lots of possibilities with that dress...off to check out the pattern, lol!

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    1. Definitely! It's got some great neckline options- if there was winter where I lived, I'd definitely make the cowl/long-sleeved version!

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  2. Beautiful! The multi colour feather print is amazing. I love everything about it and the length looks good on you.

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    1. Thanks!! Yeah, reading back, it looks like I was complaining about the length, but I actually quite like it!

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  3. Very striking! You're right it fits you beautifully in the bodice. I'd be hacking that pattern into a tee, stat!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, good plan- a swingy little tee version would be great!!

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  4. You look great! I love the fabric too. The large print works well with this pattern. Might need to try it myself. Sorry sbout the heat wave. How miserable!

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    1. Thanks!! I agree- the pattern is perfect for large-scale prints! Ha ha, I appreciate the sympathy for this heatwave. I am just about done with it.

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    1. Thanks, Paige! It's so, so comfy!

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  6. It looks great on you! Perfect for that hot weather. The print is quite amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much! It is great for the hot weather because it basically doesn't touch my body anywhere except the shoulders/bust. Hooray!

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  7. I love it!! I would not have thought that a swing shaped dress could be so flattering, honestly - I think the perfect fit through the shoulders really makes the dress flattering despite the looseness elsewhere. I also agree with the others that this would be a really cute t-shirt/top/tunic!

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    1. Thanks, Inder! I think you're right- the shoulder fit is key. Also: drape!

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  8. Gorgeous! So many variations spring to mind. :-)

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    1. Thanks! I know, right? Can't wait to make my next one...

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  9. This is lovely and that fabric worked out perfectly for this style.

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    1. Thanks!! I am really happy with how it turned out!

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  10. This looks gorgeous - and even if the fabric was different than you expected it is still amazing!! I love those colours and that print! (Thumbs up emoji!)

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    1. Thanks, Heather!! I am super happy with it- wore it on Saturday night and didn't want to take it off!

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  11. The print is huge, but it works for this pattern I think :) Love the dress :)

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    1. Isn't the scale insane? Thanks for the compliments!!

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  12. Love it! Exactly what I'd like to wear in the summer heat, too.

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    1. Thanks, Katie! It's perfect for the heat- wore it Saturday night and was cool as a cucumber!

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  13. Thank you so much for getting your Groove on and sharing your Groove Dress, it looks so good on you. And I love how you have carefully considered taking your pictures with friendly house plants so your dress feels at home. I look forward to seeing your next Groove Dress.

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    1. Thanks, Olu! It's a great pattern- can't wait to make my next one!!

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  14. It looks really Fabulous! and what a great print

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  15. As usual, Meg, I feel like I need to copy you! I didn't give this dress much thought since I wasn't sure it would be great for my pear shape. I love how it looks on you! Maybe I need one after all!

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    1. Thanks, Teri! I think this dress would look great on you- it's fitted through the bust and shoulders, but skims over the hips!

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  16. Meg - can you tell me about the sizing? Both of your Groove dresses are wonderful and I would love to take a stab at this but I am outside the range for the pattern line. I was wondering if you could compare your measurements to the measurements for the size you chose. Thanks, Rebecca

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    1. Hi Rebecca- I'd say the bust size is the most critical for this dress since the rest is really flowy and loose. My full bust is 41.5" and I made a size 18 (for body measurement 42"). It's fairly fitted, so if your bust is larger than 42" you'd have to grade up (or do a FBA, depending). Hope that's helpful!

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    2. It is helpful - thanks so much.

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