Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Zeena in Brussels Washer Linen

Here's my take on By Hand London's Zeena dress!

The simplicity of this dress caught my eye... no darts, no setting sleeves... yes. Plus, I loved the versions I saw made up: Annie's (even though she wasn't happy with it), Caroline's (that fabric!!!), Katie's, Sarah's...

I was able to eke the Zeena dress out of a 2.5 yard piece of this Kaufman Brussels Washer linen blend (linen + rayon = amazing, y'all!). I adore the deep teal color that they dub "ocean."  And the fabric itself is delightful. The texture and look of linen, with the drape and easy ironing of rayon. Super light, airy and cool!

I had to piece together the facings and take a teeny bit out of the hem in order to fit Zeena onto my piece of fabric. I did not cut the skirt on the bias as instructed by my cat, however.

I went with the shorter sleeved, scoop neck bodice and the longer, knee length skirt.

I narrowed the sleeve seam allowances just slightly because the sleeves were just a tiny bit snug on my biceps.

I also moved the center back zipper to the the under arm, cutting the back skirt and bodice on the fold. I just prefer side zips on dresses. I find them easier to get in and out of... no need for strange contortions to get the back zip done up. Plus your arm covers up any shoddy zipper insertion (most of mine are shoddy... I need to take a zipper mastering class or something). Double plus: the back bodice looks nice and neat and there are fewer seams to sew!

Final verdict: When I put this dress on, I was pretty delighted with it. The color is gorgeous, the loose and blouse-y style is super easy and comfortable to wear. I wore it around town running errands yesterday and felt quite cool in it, temperature-wise.

However, now that I see the photos, I'm not sure it's my best look. 

I feel like the dress is making my waist look really wide. Looks like I could lose some length from the back bodice, too. I might sew the bust pleats up a bit more as Annie suggested so that the outer edge of the pleat doesn't sag so much.

Also, despite my best efforts (understitching, plenty of clipping, stitching in the ditch at the shoulder seams), my facings seem to want to pop out. I might have to go back and topstitch them. Maybe some bra strap holder thingies, too, since the neck is quite wide.

So, not totally sure about this dress. It's comfy, so I'll probably continue to wear it anyway, but I don't know if I would make it again...