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.