DIYs, Dressmaking & sewing, Featured

Five reasons my Liberty print dress didn’t work out as I expected

June 22, 2017
Liberty print smock dress And She Made

I made this dress quite a while ago. It’s got everything I want in a dress – floral fabric, a gathered skirt and a smock shape, which I’m loving in this current weather. And yet, I haven’t worn it…

This is one of those makes that doesn’t quite go as well as expected.

I enjoyed making this dress and I love the print of the fabric (both Liberty Florence fabrics in different colour ways), I have a similar RTW two-tone dress that I love and took inspiration from and I’ve made the pattern before (twice, in fact), so I’m not really sure why I don’t quite like this make. Here are five reasons why I think it didn’t work this time.

The weight of the fabric

I guess it feels slightly unstructured. The fabric is very lightweight as it’s a Tana Lawn, but I knew this and wanted it to feel quite loose. When making this pattern (a Megan Nielsen Sudley) in the past, I’ve used viscose, a drapey fabric which gives the dress a flowing feel, and is very different to how this one feels.

The fabric choice

I had these two fabrics in my basket for ages before I bought them. I’d eyed up the fabrics and wanted to use the two contrasting colourways as I was inspired by the RTW dress I’d bought a few years ago. But I feel they don’t quite work together. Both are busy fabrics and really deserve to be used on their own for maximum visual impact.

The fit

As much as I love this dress pattern, the fit is VERY loose and coupled with the above, all I can think of when I see it is that it looks like a hospital gown. I think perhaps Liberty fabrics are better suited to more tight fitted clothes.

A few mistakes

As lovely as this fabric choice is, I did make one annoying mistake right at the start and that is to cut the fabrics so that the prints faced different ways. The bodice, as you’ll see if you look closely, has the stems facing downwards but the flowers also appear to be looking down, while the skirt has the stems facing upwards but the flowers appear the right way round. I’m still not quite sure which is the right way to position this fabric as the fabric doesn’t have an obvious right-way-round feel that I noticed while cutting out.

The waistline

Finally, the waistline on this dress is empire line and therefore very high and I think this makes the style of this dress (and the two prints) not stand out as much as I wanted. Perhaps had I used the longer sleeve, the fabric would have been more equally balanced but, as it is, I don’t think it is here and the bottom fabric tends to overwhelm the top fabric.

Have you had any sewing mishaps lately and how have you dealt with them? I had enough of the skirt fabric left to make another shift dress which worked out a lot better. You’ll be seeing that soon!





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